You go to considerable trouble and expense to identify, interview, and hire great employees for your organization. So retaining them should also be a top priority. Luckily, most good retention practices are inexpensive to implement.
To understand how to retain good employees, you first need to know what they’re looking for. Today, the best employees want:
- Career development opportunities and a chance to grow in their chosen field
- Regular feedback on how both they and the company are doing
- A chance to contribute directly to the organization and be recognized for doing so
- Flexible work schedules that recognize their need for work/life balance
- A good salary or wage and an opportunity to increase it over time
- Benefits tailored to their individual needs
Good retention starts from the time you hire employees to the time they leave your company. See how tweaking some of your employment practices can have a big impact on employee retention:
- Recruitment and hiring. It’s worth spending time and effort on recruiting. When there’s a good match between employees and your organization, retention is less likely to be an issue.
- Orientation and onboarding. Again, it’s worth having good practices in place. Treating employees right in the critical early stages of employment has been proven to enhance retention.
- Training and development. Training and development are key factors in helping employees grow with your company and stay marketable in their field.
- Performance evaluation. When employees know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve, both they and your organization benefit.
- Pay and benefits. While today many employees tend to rate factors such as career development higher than pay, good pay and benefits still count.
- Internal communication. Effective communication can help ensure that employees to want to stay with your company. Employees need to know—and be reminded on a regular basis—how the organization is doing and what they can do to help.
- Termination and outplacement. Employees who leave on good terms are much more likely to recommend your company, and in doing so, help you attract and retain future employees.
Engage employees to increase retention
Engaging your employees—that is, making sure that they are committed and productive in their work—can benefit you as much as it benefits employees.
If you hire the right employees, chances are good they’ll be engaged—committed to your business and happy in their work. But to ensure ongoing engagement, you as an employer must play a major role, particularly when it comes to communication. Consider these five strategies:
- Be clear on what your business stands for. Your company’s mission and vision and brand must be front and center in everything you do.
- Communicate well and often. Your employees need to know—on a continuous basis—how both they and your company are doing.
- Understand generational differences. To get the best out of all your employees, know what motivates different generations.
- Find out what your employees need. Ask your employees on a regular basis how they’re doing, and be ready to follow up on their input.
- Empower all employees to do their best. Provide the leadership, resources, and training your employees need to realize their potential.
Understanding what engages employees can help during all phases of the employment cycle—from recruitment to training to performance assessment and beyond. It’s also much easier to retain employees who are engaged and committed to your company’s success.
Source: CareerOneStop Business Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor
When you are ready to look for work, really ready, take the time to put your best self forward. There are many opportunities for error on a resume and in an interview, so here are a few tips to help you stand out in a positive manner.
Ensure the individuals you recruit as references for your resume: a) know that you are using them as a reference, b) know what position you are applying for and what your expectations are of them as a reference c) think highly of you as a professional. Too often job seekers list references without first checking with them. Put a lot of thought into the people you put down. Make sure they are articulate, think highly of you, and are professional on the phone.
Stay positive. When an interviewer asks you about a past employer, or why you are looking to leave your current position, it is important to not state the negatives about the job. It is easy to say that you don’t like the supervisor, or you have a co-worker that always calls in sick, or perhaps that you keep getting skipped over for a raise. But DON’T. Instead say that you have always been interested in the company you are applying to, or that you have been working toward this position. Refrain from saying anything negative about your past/current employer and turn the tables to where you are seeking out this position because it is the perfect fit for you and you are the perfect fit for the company.
One more piece of advice, when you arrive, shake your interviewers hand, firmly, while looking him or her in the eyes and smiling. Do not give the limp fish handshake. A firm handshake exudes confidence and power. That is the goal of the whole interview, to show that you are confident that you are the perfect fit for the company and position.
The interview is your ticket to the position. Research the company, know your stuff and be prepared and confident. Your future just started.