As a business leader, you’re likely tapping into your creative juices to combat the so-called Great Resignation impacting your business and the U.S. labor market. With 47 million people leaving their jobs last year, and more than 37 million expected to quit their jobs this year, you’re surely experiencing some difficulty finding a balance between retaining top talent and recruiting new professionals.
What many of us thought would be a short-term roller coaster of talent demand issues has extended into a challenge that may stick around for the foreseeable future. How are you expected to grow and scale your business when your employees are moving around like chess pieces? If your organization is scrambling to answer this, you’re not alone.
First, we need to understand what the pandemic has taught us: people are being bold in their stance to achieve autonomy with their work and personal life. The days of getting overworked and undervalued are a thing of the past. And the market conditions are allowing it to stay there.
From demanding flexible hours and remote work options to refusing long commutes and in-office appearances, what were once normal expectations have shifted to low-on-the-list options.
As a recruiting and consulting firm that understands our current market conditions, we thought it was appropriate to share what we’ve been implementing internally as well as what we advise our clients. See below for 7 Ways to Retain Your Employees.
- Enhance professional development
Most professionals want to continue to learn and grow as their career progresses. If they become stagnant or bored, chances are they’ll begin to look elsewhere for other options to fulfill their growth needs. And as people dive deeper into their wants and dreams, it’s crucial that you offer a path for that professional development. This can include providing access to workshops, online courses, motivational lectures and more. Showing that you have a repertoire of ways to help them develop their skills and talents will go a long way.
- Have a compensation strategy
Face it, businesses are showing deep pockets for new talent coming into their doors. If you want to keep your existing team in place, you must preemptively look at your current compensation models and strategy. Are you paying competitively? For example, do you want to pay at the 90th percentile or are you OK paying in the middle of the pack? If you want to remain competitive, it’s a good idea to increase base salaries or offer higher bonuses to individuals you may be underpaying. Your employees will appreciate you for showing initiative in adjusting their compensation without them having to ask you for it and before they turn in their two-week notice. These proactive measures can help you retain staff in the long run. It costs time and money to hire new people. Therefore, prioritizing how you can retain your top talent is not only good practice but smart business sense.
- Recognize and reward frequently
Who doesn’t like to be recognized for their hard work—especially with various hardships impacting many of us today? There are some unique but powerful ways to show your teams you care and appreciate them, and oftentimes, they don’t even cost much money or resources. If one of your team members is going above and beyond their responsibilities, ask them to mentor someone else on the team who may be struggling. Giving them a sense of leadership can give them purpose and let them know you see them. You can even call them on the phone to congratulate them on a job well done. Hearing from a leader about something positive will likely make their day. You can even send them unique gift cards for lunch options or treats. If you’re back in the office environment, take them out to lunch. It doesn’t have to be a major award to let your teams know you recognize their efforts.
- Understand workplace flexibility
While nearly 70% of leaders would like to see their teams back in the office five days a week, only a fraction of working professionals cares to return or are even willing to. That puts a lot of business leaders in a quandary on how to run their workforce. It’s imperative that in today’s society, you offer a flexible work environment where your team members have the autonomy to adjust their hours to care for children, elderly parents, pets or even themselves when needed. Additionally, it’s no secret that remote work options are a must. The pandemic has shown us that many (save essential workers) can successfully work from home. And just as you have personal priorities, so do your teams. Many who are juggling numerous life ‘hats’ can be helped by a little work flexibility.
- Drive a compelling company culture
A strong and engaging company culture is attractive for both professionals already on your team and those looking to join. Company culture is really the core of your brand, and it’s essential to consistently nurture and refine it. Bring your team together, whether in-person or virtually, and set the tone for engagement, camaraderie and even some fun. As team members inevitably come and go, it’s up to the leadership to work from the top-down to establish a solid foundation built on trust and teamwork. Frequent touchpoints and social outings are excellent ways to accomplish this.
- Ask for feedback
As a leader, you can’t always guess or assume you know what your team wants. Survey them at least once per quarter and create a follow-up plan to address any concerns. The key is then to implement the plan to change any processes or procedures and actually make a difference. You can also leverage tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) to understand how well you’re doing with employee satisfaction. Simply asking if your employees would recommend your firm to a friend or colleague is a quick and easy measure to refer to when refining any operational changes.
- Encourage healthy living
Encourage your employees to put their health and wellness first and foremost, whenever possible. This includes physical, mental, emotional and even financial health. Offer resources to help fight depression and anxiety, give incentives or access to fitness programs, and recommend best retirement planning practices. Showing you care about the whole person and not just the part that works at your firm shows you genuinely care about your team and their well-being. This helps instills trust and loyalty across the board—and when you have a loyal team, they’ll likely be more apt to stay.
Want help finding top talent for your teams or projects? Contact our team today!
Have other ideas to share that are helpful for retaining and attracting talent? Comment below!