Worker retention is one of the most important concerns for contemporary employers. High turnover rates certainly eat into your business capital through hiring and training costs. It can also have a detrimental effect on company culture, customer satisfaction, and your ability to innovate in your industry. As such, retaining workers must always be a priority.
However, recent shifts in the employment landscape have made this more difficult for some companies. Workers across the country are taking a stand against what they consider to be poor working conditions and inadequate pay rates, among other issues. This has resulted in an economic trend of mass voluntary walk-outs known as the Great Resignation.
This certainly isn’t a simple matter and — despite what some pundits may say — it is not about worker greed. So, let’s take a look at how you can retain workers during the Great Resignation.
Employee engagement intelligence is one of your most important tools. This is where you seek direct insights from your workers about their experiences and relationships with the company. It is common for businesses to issue surveys to achieve this. However, you’ll usually find it is more effective if these surveys are anonymous. You may find workers are more likely to be frank, which provides you with more accurate data to work from.
It’s also worth noting the act of seeking insights in itself can be a tool for retention. It helps to show your workers you value their opinions. You’re demonstrating you are keen to understand what motivates them and what would encourage them to remain with you. However, it is just as important to swiftly, sustainably, and transparently act upon the intelligence you gain.
Your workers give a significant amount of time and energy to their roles. They have a direct impact on your company’s success. As such, it is only right to demonstrate your appreciation for their efforts. Creating an employee recognition program can be a powerful tool for employee retention.
The most basic forms here are financial recognition. You can implement pay rises to reflect skills acquisition and bonuses as the result of achievement. But this isn’t the only form of appreciation you should apply. You can simply gather staff together regularly and talk about how individuals and teams have impacted the success of projects. Providing frequent perks or occasional gift certificates as rewards can go a long way.
It’s also important to ensure consistency of your recognition program throughout your organization, as this prevents you from overlooking important but often unseen contributors. This is especially vital where remote workers are involved in your organization. Working from home can be an isolating experience and using appropriate remote recognition techniques can boost morale. Consider sending personalized corporate gift boxes or providing perks through online platforms. Even offering tools to help remote workers maintain their physical and mental wellness at home can be a good way to recognize their efforts.
One of the most important factors in retention is your company’s commitment to employee development. One recent study found 94% of workers polled would be more likely to stay with the company if it invested in their education. Your employees want to see you are committed to supporting them through their career progression. Prioritizing training and development of all workers can translate to long-term loyalty. Not to mention it can be an influencing factor on your company’s ability to innovate.
Make sure the tools for your workers to progress are present from day one. Train your front-line workers in customer service techniques that take them beyond associates to being trusted experts. Make certain the education you provide is designed for various learning styles so it is accessible to everyone. Be skills-focused, and provide a visible path to leveling up frequently.
Most importantly, make sure you have a clear and structured development program. Your workers need to see there is an achievable route to progression. Provide them with subsidized access to educational courses. Help them find the most appropriate mentors based on employees’ personal career goals. Though this development investment will undoubtedly benefit your business, putting your workers’ ambitions at the forefront will show them you genuinely care about their journeys.
COVID-19 has had a serious impact on many businesses. Indeed, elements of the pandemic have informed the progress of the Great Resignation. The challenges of this time shone a light on the fact that many employers were seemingly putting the profits of the business ahead of the safety of employees. As such, one key to retention is demonstrating your commitment to keeping workers safe.
This isn’t just about taking piecemeal measures to address specific risks, either. A holistic approach to worker wellbeing helps to make sure areas of vulnerability are reduced and your employees feel secure no matter what they’re doing. Keeping the workplace organized using clear process guides and consistent activities can boost safety. After all, clarity and visibility help to minimize the potential for errors and corner-cutting that can result in accidents. Encourage a culture of responsible organization throughout all levels of the business.
You should also work to keep safety an ongoing conversation with all employees. Regularly assess the potential for hazards and openly talk about the results. Reach out to workers for their concerns and suggestions. Show them you value their feedback in keeping them and their colleagues well throughout their time with your company.
The Great Resignation isn’t just about pay rates, it’s also about showing employees the respect they deserve. Take the time to seek insights from your workers about what is important to them in the workplace. Creating a recognition program and investing in development can show how much you value what workers bring to your organization. It’s also vital to take a holistic approach to keeping these talented contributors safe. Remember, your workers are your most important resource. You need to treat them as such.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor