A recent Gallup panel showed that over 50 percent of employees are considering looking for a new job. With these kinds of numbers, employee retention must become a priority for managers. At Marketing Innovators, we’ve been helping companies in a variety of industries to create a more engaged workforce and retain top talent. Here are five things we’ve learned about retention that hold true in any organization:
Make work challenging. Especially for your top talent, monetary motivation such as salary isn’t the primary appeal of a job. While there’s no doubt that money is important, for many employees what makes a job enjoyable is a challenging work environment that pushes them to develop and grow their professional skillset. Make it a point to sit down with your employees and find out what part of their job really fires them up. What makes them excited to come to work? What skills are they eager to develop further? When you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to maintain a motivating and engaging work environment that your talent may find hard to give up.
Provide employees with feedback. Everyone wants to be recognized when they have done good work, but employees who are highly committed to their career and interested in developing their skills are also looking for critical feedback from their managers. When employees receive neither recognition nor feedback, it’s not surprising that they may look for this elsewhere. If you haven’t done it already, consider replacing the annual “review” with quarterly sit-downs for a real conversation. This provides you with the opportunity to review accomplishments, areas for growth, and the chance to provide performance feedback and recognition. This is an excellent time to examine an employee’s “drivers” and map out strategies to overcome any workplace challenges.
Show your people a career path. Your skilled employees are looking for more than a job; they are seeking a career. Even if your employees truly enjoy and value the company culture and their current work, if they can’t see a way to move up with their career you may not have them for long. Communication is a critical tool in this situation. Do your employees have a clear career path in front of them? Is it easy for your team to learn about open positions within your organization? Clearly show that employee growth is not just possible within your organization, but that it is strongly encouraged and supported.
Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition. Managers can’t be everywhere, all the time. Peers may see accomplishments that you don’t. That’s where peer-to-peer recognition holds significant value. Skilled employees can be extremely motivated by peer recognition. Facilitating this recognition through an employee rewards portal that supports peer feedback gives your employees the opportunity to network outside of their immediate team while gauging advancements in their areas of expertise.
Train your management. You’ve heard it countless times, but people don’t quit their companies, they quit their bosses. Your middle management plays an integral part in fostering the right environment for your skilled employees to grow. Do your managers know what motivates their team? Have they set realistic expectations for their staff? Do they build a culture of trust? All of these are important managerial skills to engage and encourage your talent. Work with your managers to ensure they have the skills to provide the coaching, feedback, and collaborative work environment that is critical to keeping your employees motivated.
The retention of talent in your company is key to cost control, skill preservation and competitive advantage. If you are ready to strengthen your employee engagement efforts within your organization, start a conversation with a Marketing Innovators specialist today.