Successful employee retention requires three things to keep in mind.
We are used to reading business books about how to be great at customer service, how to engage the customer because after all, they keep the business in operation or so is the thinking but I have seen with my own two eyes how many businesses actually forget that it is their employees that keep them in business.
The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers so says author Sybil F. Stershic.
Often times it the employees that make customers come back
It isn’t that the customers are not important, it’s that your employees are the most important!
They are the ones that make your customers want to come back to your establishment or purchase a product from you again. They are the ones that will either go the extra mile or mentally punch out as soon as they get to work.
I remember a boss of someone I know who was perfunctorily willing to engage in a conversation about a raise after the employee submitted his resignation. It was a too little too late attempt that did not even seem genuine to the employee.
He politely declined to have the conversation because there was no changing his mind. He wanted out.
Sometimes, an employee leaving is not about the money. Sometimes it’s culture, toxic work relationships, a change in living circumstances, and a host of other issues.
But yes, money, benefits, work/life balance and good working relationships are also a reason why they stay or go.
Just like in a personal relationship, if you don’t nurture and pour into the one you have that you want to keep, there is someone (and in this case, another company) ready to do what you aren’t doing. Truth be told, you already have one or two employees thinking of leaving you.
Over 70% of US employees are disengaged at work and less than 10% think they have great jobs, according to a Gallup poll.
If you are a person who has the power to make decisions that impacts a person’s “want to” as in want to stay or want to go decision making,
Successful employee retention requires three things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t Be Penny Wise but Dollar Stupid
Some bosses won’t find it in their budget to give a decent annual raise or in some cases, the ability to make commission on what the employee hustles to bring in business wise.
There are many things a company spends money on and sometimes if you look closely enough, you will find spending that is no longer adding value to the company that can be shifted to an employee that is. I know someone who was a ridiculously great employee for about 13 years to a company.
He was able to bring the company a six figure additional unexpected income from doing things that were not even on his job description.
He wanted to retire at that company. He thought asking for a little commission on what he was or would in the future bring in was reasonable. The two key leaders of the region told him “that ain’t going to happen.” No real trying on any of their parts to attempt to take care of a valued employee.
One month later, he submitted his resignation and went to a competing company and one month after that received his first commission check that blew his mind!
For a fraction of the cost that it would have cost the company to keep him, they now had to send much more finding a replacement. Why is it that most managers don’t take into account the real cost of losing and replacing an employee?
It could take up to two years for a new employee to get with the company’s program too. Exhibit A of penny wise, dollar stupid. Don’t be that person.
2. Help Them Reach Their Full Potential
Companies that keep getting better are the ones that are investing in their employees so they get better.
Do you have a training and development budget for employees? If not, find a way to start one. At the very least, you can bring in speakers to your organization to teach on skills that can be immediately and easily implementable at the work place.
Most employees want to do their best at their jobs and want to learn the latest information on what they do, but most do not have the extra time or disposable income to return to school.
3. Change That Perfunctory End of Year Evaluation
For the love of all things that are good, do not do a typical end of year fill this out and let us know how you would like to be evaluated evaluation.
Those are equal to a fork in the eye for most employees. It shows employees that no one really cares about human resources at your workplace and that you are just doing the compulsory HR checklist. How about a meeting over lunch where you engage in a real discussion on what they love and don’t love about their present position?
How about asking if they still (or ever) find what they do meaningful?
Find out how you can connect what they do to the greater mission and vision of your workplace. It will change their entire view of you and the company. But don’t forget to actually put some of the knowledge your received to use after you return from “the talk.”
Nothing kills great expectations faster than managers who ask a ton of questions and never does anything with the answers.
Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group is known for saying “take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.” Yes, your customers matter a lot, but your employees matter more. Without them, you really don’t have a thriving business. You have an idea that never really takes off.