Best Practices in HR

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Lori Kleiman
  August 16, 2017

Retaining Employees is NOT as Hard as You Think!


Employees today see work as part of their personal brand. They want to work for organizations they are proud to say they are affiliated with. And this benefits the business as they talk about you, your products, and services within the community. We know employees are looking for collaboration and communication throughout the organization. Sounds good to me as a business owner!

Retention is an issue all businesses face, so why do employees leave? The 2017 Deloitte Learning Study tells us employers what employees want from our organizations. The list below is reflective of what we all hear, and can be brought into every organization. It may take time to get going, but once these practices become part of your culture, it’s not all that hard!

You can retain employees if you have:

Meaningful Work – Employees want to feel they have made a contribution, not just finished a task. Provide autonomy to get the job done, select candidates that fit the soft skills needed in a position.  Allowing employees to work small empowered teams will often provide the level of impact desired and retain them on your team.

Supportive Management – Employees want to know what you want from them, and the tools to succeed. Be clear when you agree on goals, and then be available to coach for success. It is meaningful when employees see that you are investing your managers too. Finally, employees want the performance management programs to be flexible enough to move with the changes in your business.  Check out our recent blog: Who Wants to Be Managed, Anyway?

Positive Work Environment – Every day doesn’t have to be a party, but it should be a happy productive environment. Be flexible, while you need people in the office most of the time, if there is an occasional need to work from home is it that big a deal? Employees just really want managers to be fellow human being, recognize a job well done, and include them throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how far a daily hello and occasional thank you will go!

Growth Opportunity – Differentiate growth from promotion. We all want to grow – it doesn’t mean we want to take on more responsibility. Provide training and support on the job, to learn new ways of doing projects and cross train on other skills. Allow the employees to self-direct what they want to learn, and how they will get the knowledge. You will be retaining talent that is constantly learning and bringing you new ideas.

And probably the MOST important retention tip:

Trust in Leadership. Without trustworthiness, you won’t have an employee base you can count on. People today care about your mission and purpose. They need to know that if you say something will happen it will, or at least you’ll circle back and let them know why not. It is imperative that your leadership team is transparent and honest with employees.

Most of our employees worked through the bad times of 2008 – 2011. They were there when you needed them, but they came out of that time wanting more. Employees know that the loyalty of the 1950’s providing jobs for life are pretty much gone.  The new expectation is that the time they are with you they will be treated as adults and given a role that allows them to flourish as people.

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Source: Lori Kleiman