Are your employees looking to leave?
By Krystal Rogers-Nelson
Employees stay with companies for less time than they used to. Robert Half, a global staffing firm, explains the phenomenon, reporting 64% of polled professionals believe changing roles (or “job hopping”) every few years awards benefits like higher pay, more advancement opportunities, and increased skill development.
This trend may seem concerning, but it can be beat. By adjusting your approach to employee engagement, you can reverse the current and retain top talent. Use the following nine tips to tap into your employees’ passions, get them engaged, and foster their potential for future growth.
1. Change Your Mindset about Employee Retention
Retention strategies are critical to engaging and keeping employees. However, those strategies should reflect the needs of your workplace. Listen to your employees and create retention plans revolving around feedback, flexibility, well-being, and anything else that matters to them. If you do, you’ll see more motivated, happy employees.
2. Improve Your Onboarding Process
A shift in mindset requires a change in process. So start at the beginning and examine your onboarding process, asking whether it sets employees up for success. Consider whether your onboarding program focuses solely on job responsibilities or employs a systematic approach comprising job duties, company vision, and workplace culture. A more comprehensive onboarding program can help employees feel like they belong, which can lead to improved employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
3. Clarify Expectations
Employees often disengage for reasons other than pay—another big culprit is unclear expectations. When employees don’t know what’s expected of them, they can’t tell if they’re succeeding or failing. Clear expectations change the dynamic. When you share specific parameters of success, you’ll see happier employees who get things done well and on time.
4. Trust Your Employees
Once you clarify expectations, let your employees take ownership over how to fulfill them. Giving them freedom to act on their own displays trust, which can improve work relationships and secure employee loyalty. But remember employees are unique—one may excel with almost unlimited autonomy, while another may prefer structure and regular check-ins. Adapt to individual needs to help them grow and succeed.
5. Communicate with Employees Regularly
Trust also forms through regular communication. Be transparent about the company: where it is now and where you project it to be in the future. Listen too. When employees realize that you hear and act upon their feedback and ideas, they’ll share them more frequently. They may also be more likely to stay with an organization that grows and changes in response to their input.
6. Give Personalized Praise
If you want to validate employees, give them personalized praise related to their responsibilities and projects. Additionally, focus on efforts rather than talents, says Bruce Kasanoff at Forbes, as this “will encourage people to learn and grow, rather than to simply stay focused on the one or two things that come easy to them.” Your praise can inspire employees to make efforts on the things that matter to them, such as applying for a new position within the company or spearheading a community outreach program.
7. Offer Growth Opportunities
No matter the size of your business, you can offer ongoing employee training, education, and development. Invite local clients to come talk about their businesses at monthly lunch-and-learns. Also encourage employees to attend local networking and learning events. Help employees expand their responsibilities too, especially if they seem to be leveling out with their current duties. By fostering a mindset of exploration and growth, you can encourage your staff to invest in their current roles and prepare them to move up within your organization.
8. Commit to Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is important, preventing burnout and helping employees stay passionate about their work. Champion it at your company by first practicing it yourself. Employees copy what they see and hear from management, so model appropriate work-life integration. And if you want your employees to follow your lead, make it easy for them: start offering flexible work hours or telecommute options, as well as health-related initiatives and social gatherings.
9. Create a Comfortable, Productive Work Environment
Finally, create a work environment that fosters creativity and productivity. Purchase ergonomic furniture and invest in good lighting, either through more windows or smart light bulbs. And don’t skimp on tech essentials—invest in appropriate software and tools, and provide reliable utilities like fiber internet to keep things running smoothly. A comfortable, efficient space will reduce staff frustration and allow your workers to focus on the parts of their jobs they love.
Employees may be prone to job hopping, but you can tap into their passion and potential no matter how long they stay with your company. Get started by using some of the tips shared here.
Krystal Rogers-Nelson is a freelance writer and security expert who specializes in tech, cybersecurity, and child safety.