For company growth and stability, your most valuable asset is your team. Your company can’t run without them, and the cost of hiring and training means that you invest well in your team members from the start. In fact, the average cost to replace an employee is six to nine months’ worth of that employee’s salary! Nevertheless, many businesses struggle with employee retention. Here are some tips to boost your company’s magnetism to help you retain your top talent, keeping them happy and doing their best work.
- Give them expanded vision and purpose
Your company’s vision plays a key role in both retaining and attracting employees. Everyone needs a sense of purpose to drive them. You’ve probably written a purpose or vision statement already, but I encourage you to revisit it and ask yourself a few questions. If you haven’t written one yet, keep these in mind as you do.
- Is the vision clearly communicated?
- Is it clear why what we do matters?
- Can team members understand how their role is important to the larger vision?
- Is this vision something that team members can get excited about, which will give them a sense of purpose in their role?
Talented people who are driven and motivated want to have a purpose to anchor their work. No one wants to complete tasks without meaning, so it’s vital that you can communicate to employees how their role is important to the overall vision of the company, and how that vision matters. It’s best if your vision is anchored in something outside the company itself—helping your clients and ultimately making the world a better place. It needs to be something your team can rally behind that will allow them to understand how their roles lead to meaningful work.
- Empower responsibility and leadership through every level of your business
Your company’s leadership style plays a big role in your company culture and in the happiness and productivity of your team. There are many different leadership styles, from top-down to collaborative leadership, and it greatly impacts the way your company functions. Regardless of how you structure your team, leadership should come from every level. Every team member should be a leader.
Here’s what I mean by that: Unlike a top-down, directive leadership style, encouraging every team member to be a leader, places responsibility and accountability on their shoulders, allowing them to feel a greater sense of purpose in their work. You empower employees to make decisions, work together to find solutions, and communicate with every level of leadership.
People tend to rise to the expectations set upon them. If they’re micro-managed and treated like they’re not capable of managing their own workload, they won’t manage it well. But if they’re given the opportunity to lead themselves, they’re more likely to rise to the occasion. When every team member acts as a leader, your leadership team is there to support them, monitor their progress, and give recognition for their achievements.
- Build a culture of empathy and promote fun in the workplace
Is your workplace stiff and formal all the time? I hope not. In business settings where dress code and behaving professionally are important, your work culture needs to incorporate a sense of joy and elements of fun. Make an effort to create an environment where team members feel comfortable joking with each other, sending memes over chat, and acting like themselves. Full-time employees spend the majority of their day at work or doing work-related tasks, so they need to feel comfortable in their work environment.
Another important aspect of your workplace culture is empathy and caring. Employees need to know they matter, not just for productive achievement, but as people. Creating a collaborative environment where team members are willing to help each other out and where you’re willing to adapt when needed can make a big difference. This extends to leadership and making sure every team member feels both valued and heard. It’s important for leadership to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of their team on both an individual and team level. Having a culture of transparency in terms of leadership decisions is another factor that increases trust and makes employees feel valued. The most important rule is to treat every person with care, listen to their concerns and ideas, and show them that they’re valued.
- Look deeply at the impact of benefits and pay for team members
While it may sound obvious, the reason your employees come to work is because they’re getting paid to do so. It doesn’t matter how much they love their job—they need to make a living. As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to just focus on your vision and trying to inspire your team with a sense of purpose as a means to retain employees, but the reality is that even though people can become extremely invested in their jobs, no one is as invested in your company as you are. Benefits and pay are major motivators for an employee to stay at a job, and providing a good compensation package is part of how you show employees that you care about them and their well-being.
Employees expect certain benefits, such as good insurance options, sick days, and paid vacation, but there are plenty of other benefits you can offer that will be greatly appreciated. A popular option at many workplaces is flexible working time. Allowing employees to come in an hour earlier or an hour later and stay until they’ve worked their eight hours can be a relief to many, because it allows them to structure their day in the way that works best for them—whether that means sleeping a little later or leaving a little earlier to beat the rush hour traffic or pick up a child from school.
It’s also worth considering allowing employees to work from home, if not full time, at least several days each week. As the working culture shifts toward more remote work, this benefit is becoming more common and something that many talented workers desire. It’s also worth considering that many people tend to be more productive from home than at the office. And for those who want to come into the office, the option is still there. When I started Hennessey Digital, I created an entirely remote workplace to ensure that I could hire the most competent employees from anywhere around the world.
Compensation packages are one of the most important factors in retaining employees. Remember to review your team members’ compensation regularly so you know whether you’re paying them fairly. Employees know that it’s often more profitable to switch jobs every few years than staying in the same position, but if you continue to increase their compensation package to keep up with the market, you’ll avoid other companies wooing your best team members away with a better salary or benefits.
- Don’t forget the power of upward mobility and professional growth
Some of the most important factors in an employee’s decision to stay or go, aside from compensation, are the opportunities for upward mobility and personal and professional growth that your company provides. The reality is that if there’s no good opportunity for a team member to get promoted, take on new challenges, and grow in their skills and career, they’re going to move on eventually. Star team members don’t just want jobs—they want careers, and they can tell the difference.
Depending on how your company is structured, providing opportunities for growth could mean different things. Perhaps it’s as simple as promoting employees who do well to higher positions with more responsibility and better pay. It may mean adaptability in roles and allowing the employee to take on more responsibility, creativity, and leadership in areas where they excel. In fact, customizing a job description to a specific team member can have major benefits for both the employer and employee. If you have someone who excels in a certain area and you can create a new job description that allows them to focus on what they do best, you can take advantage of their best work while also ensuring a loyal team member who feels valued for what they contribute. We have managers work with employees to identify their desired career pathing, and assist them in acquiring the skills to be promoted.
Losing your top talent and having to replace them is costly and time-consuming. But by creating a caring work environment, backed by tangible support, you can motivate your team members to stay energized and perform their best work. Boost your company’s talent magnetism to attract and retain employees; it’s a worthy investment in the future of your employees and your company.