One of the most important and most controllable aspects any business has in terms of staff retention is their company culture. As a business owner, director or even manager, you have a certain amount of control over office culture. Office culture is ultimately a determining factor for company culture but on a smaller scale. Initially finding the right staff can be crucial to this process and some organisations will engage in psychometric testing or DISC profiling in order to find the right person for their office in the first instance. An employee is less likely to leave a positive work environment where they are being looked after as opposed to a poorer working environment, this is not the only definitive factor when looking at staff retention, however, it is definitely important.
Company Culture contributes massively to how people react to having to go to work. If your office is more of a friendly, happy office it is undoubtedly better for productivity. According to an article in Forbes, “the Harvard Business Review included an analysis of hundreds of studies showing an average of 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, with creativity three times higher.”
Zappos is a great example of company culture. We love their story and the fact they are creating a great working environment for their employees.
Setting goals for your company is less about pressurising your employees and more about involving them in your company’s future. Engaging your employees and setting individual goals specifically for them that reflect your overall direction of the business will show an employee that the future of the business includes them. In the business world, job security is becoming more and more desirable so showing an employee your plans and their impact on that is an important step to achieving staff retention. Tracking goals should be:
Specific: Well-defined to inform employees exactly what is expected, when, and how much. With specific goals, managers can easily measure progress toward goal completion.
Measurable: Provide milestones to track progress and motivate employees toward achievement.
Attainable: Success needs to be achievable with effort by an average employee, not too high or too low.
Relevant: You should focus on the greatest impact to the overall company strategy.
Time-bound: Establish enough time to achieve the goal, but not too much time to undermine performance. Goals without deadlines tend to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises.
Have a look at Mind Tools for more information on SMART goals.
Recognising your employees doesn’t necessarily mean a regular bonus or regular salary increases. Recognising an employee can be as simple as implementing a more regular appraisal scheme and letting them know they are doing a great job. One of the most popular recognition schemes in the market at the moment is Perkbox. We use this ourselves. Simple things, such as a discount at their local coffee shops or a gym membership do encourage staff retention and give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
A recent blog post from The Balance also has some great and innovative ways to recognise an employee. Some of these include, documenting recognition, employee of the month and even a simple email to management stating the employee’s hard work and CC them into the email would go a long way.
Depending on the skill set level of person you employ, training is vital. Starting out at a new company can be very intimidating at the best of times and training them on how to do the job is the first step to ensuring your employees are competent at the job by the time you are finished with the training schedule. Following on from this, a regular review and training must be completed in order to ensure the employee feels not only valued but are progressing in their career.
Returning to the topic of appraisals, by asking an employee what their long term goals are you can achieve a sense of how to motivate them but also how to give them job satisfaction. For example, an employee that tells you they want to achieve a qualification in management in order to progress in their career, could be an opportunity for you both to engage in a training programme. Microcom offer a modern apprenticeship programme in line with this, which would not only mean that your employee would have on the job training, you could also implement a progression structure with higher targets/expectations. Creating staff retention through training and development can be expensive and time consuming, however, is one of the most proactive approaches to developing your workforce.
Effective communication in a business is vital to its growth and sustainability. In this particular topic, the value of communicating with staff to achieve staff retention is imperative. The success rate of a manager/business owner/director sending out regular correspondence with updates, memos and even company news will allow employees to feel like they are part of the team and being informed.
Communicating, however, is not a one way street. Allowing your employees or team to bring suggestions or ideas to the table can be motivating for the employee, but it may also provide you with an insight into the way they think and implement great ideas where necessary. Being open and approachable is key to effective communication and valuing input will also avoid smothering employees and creating a negative atmosphere within the workplace.
A study performed by Watson Wyatt found that businesses with effective communication practices were more than 50 percent more likely to report employee turnover levels below the industry average.