1. Clarify Expectations and Create Consistency. Put job descriptions in place for every employee, to provide a clear picture of job duties and the standards they are expected to meet. We suggest providing this within the first two months. Then, annually, revisit the job description together and work out the rough spots on both sides.
2. Know Your Workers. Find out what is important to each employee and what their goals are, and consider this in your interactions with them. This does not mean spending hours listening to personal histories or problems, but everyone knows when they are not being listened to, and that has an impact on performance. Consider the time you spend listening to your employees as an opportunity to better their working conditions.
3. Give Feedback. Feedback comes in a lot of forms, and we recommend that you spread it out. Bonuses, progressive corrective coaching, informal thank-yous, and formal performance reviews – all of these make your employees aware that you have specific expectations and that you are paying attention. Keep it professional and sincere and you will find employees will do the same for you.
4. Create a Team Culture. Develop a mission statement, if you have not already done so, and make sure each team member can define their own contribution to the team’s goals. This is also an area you should work on constantly. Impart to your team the belief that problems without solutions are not acceptable.
5. Educate and Train. Even when things are ticking right along, never forget how you got there. Show a commitment to your employees’ futures with you and they will respond in kind.
6. Offer Incentives. Give days off, free lunches, casual day passes, or bonuses for behavior that exceeds your minimum standards. You may be surprised at how infectious the attitudes and behaviors encouraged by a little bonus can be. It is not the size of the bonus, but rather its attainability that matters, and the “game” of incentives can be a great team builder to create togetherness and accountability. (Note: If you offer a bonus, always put it in writing and make sure everyone understands.)
7. Empower Employees. Let them make decisions when it makes sense. Even if they make a poor decision, it is a learning process. A good employee must be allowed to fail so they can later succeed.
8. Be a Leader. Set an example for your employees by demonstrating the professionalism, commitment, and integrity you expect from them.
9. Centralize Leadership. This results in a well-functioning team. Make sure your team leaders are well trained on your policies, and ensure that they are able to consistently and compassionately use progressive corrective coaching. Back them up on their tough decisions.
10. Implement Rock-Solid Employee Policies. Professionally-drafted, employment-law-compliant policies support your business by providing consistency, clarity, and protection from employees gone bad. If you do not already have them in place, CEDR provides top-quality office manuals and agreements that help avoid conflict and the tensions that lead to employee dissatisfaction.
Retention starts with the right hire, and builds by adding clarity, accountability, leadership, feedback, and trust. Following these strategies can reduce employee turnover and increase the flow and equanimity in your organization, thereby increasing your profits and your personal success.
Have an HR-related question, or want to find out more about how the right policies, procedures and management techniques can help in retaining your best and brightest employees? Please call us anytime at (866) 414-6056 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.