High employee turnover can mean bad news for your company. Maybe your applicants aren’t the problem, nor your human resources department. What if it’s the way your organization operates that causes all your best employees to leave? For many companies, this is where the problem lies, and if you want to attract and retain the best talent, this is a factor you need to seriously consider.
Why a Company's Best People Leave
There are a multitude of reasons. Your employees could be overworked, and with a disproportionate compensation for their efforts. They may quickly realize they’re better off somewhere else where their efforts will be better rewarded. This is especially so if employees think their job lacks opportunities.
A lot of younger people tend to prefer shifting jobs rather than finding that one company to stick to for life. And employees aren’t just leaving because of the so-called millennial mindset, but because the company fosters a poor, unrewarding culture.
Consider how employees perceive their jobs in relation to their personal goals, and their expectations of their roles. Employees become dissatisfied when their good work isn’t recognized, when they don’t know if they’re doing a good job or not. Often, one of the biggest factors for people leaving is they don’t find meaning in their work. They feel like they aren’t contributing significantly to the company, and feel as if they’re uninvolved with the its goals, and therefore feel useless. Others simply feel bored with their work because they aren’t given enough meaningful tasks. The key is to show employees they are a valued member of the organization, and that what they are doing means something to the company, and themselves.
Reward Your Employees
Pay your employees right. Paying below, or sometimes even at, the typical market rate and employees will feel like they aren’t valued. With higher pay, employees will feel like they’re worth more to the company, and will more likely be motivated to produce better quality output.
The benefits they receive are just as vital. Perks like medical insurance and retirement savings assure employees that the company takes care of them, which should be the case. And those little gifts of appreciation can go a long way, like buying your team lunch, installing recreational facilities like a game room, or organizing company-sponsored outings.
And when they perform exceptionally, promote them. Thank them. Always acknowledge the good work your employees do because they need to know that they’re on the right track, and that motivates them to do more. And when possible, train your employees. Invest time and money in them by giving them the space they need to grow their skills. They need to know they’re getting somewhere in your organization.
But rewards aren't the surest way to keep your best talent. Companies that focus on promoting a positive, involved, honest, and competitive (in a healthy way) office culture are more likely to succeed in their business, and convince people to stick around.
No matter how high your pay, employees will never reach their full growth and potential if they work in a toxic, dog-eat-dog environment. Keep office politics out. Train your employees to own their work (not point fingers) and to do their work well for the company’s goals, not their own. Weed out the bad eggs and keep the people who stimulate positive growth.
Make employees feel involved. Instead of micromanaging or dictating every single action, give your employees more responsibilities and the autonomy to figure out how to solve their tasks themselves. They’ll feel more involved that way, and instead of a workforce that simply knows how to follow, you’ll have a workforce that can smartly act on its own.
Know How Your Employees Feel
Managers must be sensitive to employees’ needs and assess employee satisfaction on a regular basis. "Stay Interviews" are individual sit-downs with employees where they talk about the things they like about their jobs, and the things they don’t. It’s a chance for them to express their feelings about their position and address concerns related to their work and their coworkers. Ideally, these sessions should be personal, since they’re opportunities to build trust. You get to see if their personal goals are aligned with their work, and it’s a chance to evaluate your company and its several departments, and to address the changes that need to be made.
Exit interviews are another effective way to gather employee insight. Before an employee leaves a company, he or she gives the employer feedback: why they chose to leave, and what they liked and didn’t like about working at the company. However, by that time, it may already be too late to address the problems they bring up, so it’s better to address any problems sooner.