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Pointers for Retaining Employees

The flooding in Franklin on July 2017 is still lodged in the city’s collective consciousness. For many, it seemed like it was 2008 all over again. Your company specializes in wastewater removal, sewer upkeep, and frozen pipes problems, among others.

The company donated money and volunteer hours to help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts after the flood. It’s part of your company values to participate help the community in times of disaster. But as the head of the corporate strategy team, you are also responsible for looking ahead and ensuring the company’s growth.

A select committee composed of people from the HR, operations, and sales departments found out that there might be a direct link between retaining good people and the company’s sales performance. The attrition rate isn’t very high, but if the “A” performers stayed longer, the data indicated that an additional 5% to 8% further growth was probable. What could be done to retain your best people?

America’s Turnover Rate

A 2017 survey indicated that the employee turnover rate for that year was 18%. This is a slight improvement compared to 19% from 2016. If you have kept your turnover rate at 15%, then you are probably doing fine.

Not surprisingly, a strong economy is part of the reasons why companies have difficulties in keeping good people. With a good economy, employees are also looking for better opportunities. Any effort to retain your team members would have to consider this.

Holding on to Good People

The formula seems simple enough: keep employees happy and motivated, and they will stay. But as mentioned, in a good economy, employees will look for a place where they could be happier and more motivated.

Here are some ideas you can try:

  1. Recruit the best. The effort to keep the best starts at the time of recruitment. Conventional wisdom dictates that organizational stratification will always persist, i.e., a company will have its average and poor performers who will come and go, but there will be some top-notched performers driving results. Netflix turned this wisdom on its head by hiring only the best people based not only on their skills and expertise but also on their character.
  2. Nurture growth. You want high performers to drive the best results for the company. Guess what? It’s a two-way street. Organizational leadership and company structure and policy must allow for people to take on more responsibilities. They can only take on new responsibilities if they acquire the necessary skills through training. In other words, a plan must be in place to transition excellent workers to excellent leaders and managers.
  3. Open channels of communication. A mid-level employee at the Chinese conglomerate Tencent might not have shaken hands with the company’s CEO. But if your company has 500 or so employees, they should know the CEO. Create an environment where one-on-one sessions take place between employees and the various levels of leadership. Employees feel empowered if this kind of communication exists. This makes them happy and more motivated to do good work.

You can make work schedules more flexible to allow for telecommuting. You can provide bonuses based on the company’s performance. There are many ways to retain employees. Focus on a few key areas and build from there.

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