The talent wars are making a come-back and employee retention will represent the most important competitive edge a business has. If your company has the best talent in your industry, if you’re not spending thousands of dollars on replacing key staff, if you are the magnet for employees – just imagine that competitive edge.
Where to start? Business owners are innundated with “best employer practices” and there are countless examples to follow, but here are some key pieces and sample best practices in this complex puzzle.
1. Don’t copy your competitors! The easy fix is to emulate what others are doing in hopes of producing happy employees –and it is tempting- but for the most part an easy fix doesn’t work. The ‘flavour of the week’ approach to employee retention can be both frustrating and costly. The key is to develop an employee retention strategy that FITS your business culture.
2. Communicate like never before. Employees want and need to know what is happening in your company. Open and honest dialogue with employees at all levels builds trust and respect – two more key pieces of the employee retention puzzle.
3. Understand that neither carrots nor sticks are particularly effective. Years of research are pointing to major problems with the carrot and stick approach. Employees want to know that their employer cares about them as a person. This takes genuine commitment on the part of supervisors – and a desire and natural affinity to care about people.
4. Create an atmosphere of respect and support. Create the culture you want in your business, don’t let it happen by accident.
Reducing employee turnover is a puzzle. But like any good puzzle, if you have a picture of where you’re going in the end, what it is you hope to improve upon, you’re half way there!