Today I want to talk about a few things that make employees happy, resulting in less turnover and better staff retention. One of the biggest struggles that a lot of organizations face is employee turnover – taking time to find an applicant that shines during their interview, only to spend time and money training them and have them leave. There’s really no secret sauce or magic equation that can be followed to make everyone happy because everyone’s different, but there have been quite a few studies done that come to a lot of the same conclusions. Surprisingly enough (and this is something that I personally thought I would see more of), being paid a large salary isn’t always something that will make employees stay. According to Select International, Robert Half and globoforce, there are three common factors that contribute to better staff retention. I chose to focus on these articles for the purpose of this blog, but while I was researching these three factors came up in multiple articles/studies that I came across.
- Work-life balance needs to be considered. People are busy. Not only do they work 40+ hours a week, but they have partners, children, pets, extracurricular activities… the list goes on. Work, while it might be a very important part of their life, is not their whole life. As a boss, leader or manager, this has to be taken into consideration when you’re going over contracts with new staff and throughout the course of their employment. It’s unfair and unrealistic to expect your employees to devote their whole lives to their work. Allow for work-from-home days if it will make their life a bit easier. Offer a reasonable amount of sick days for the year. Be flexible with their scheduling if the regular 8:30-4:30 doesn’t work for them. By doing so, you show them that you care about their life and their well-being which will, in turn, make them happier, more dedicated employees.
- Encourage professional development. It’s been proven that we as humans innately want to know and learn more about whatever it is that we’re passionate about. Learning makes us proud. We’re hungry for that “feel good” feeling that we get when we obtain a certificate with our name on it showing that we’ve completed something. Creating opportunities for your employees to continuously learn and gain new skills will not only give them a sense of accomplishment, but it also benefits you as their leader because now you have an employee who’s gained a new skill that will be valuable to your organization. Make it known that you value them and their development while working for you.
- Recognize and reward their efforts. Showing your employees that you appreciate their hard work doesn’t need to be extravagant. Sometimes a quick, “You did a great job today” goes a long way. Of course, there are other ways to show appreciation as well. Consider planning a group dinner after hours or order in lunch for everyone. Look into evening outings such as a paint night, a play or a concert for everyone to attend together. If they’ve been working long hours or attend a tradeshow/conference on behalf of the company, give them an extra day off or tell them to take the next morning off so they can rest. Monetary bonuses are always nice as well, but taking the time to plan an outing or an activity for everyone shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and have taken time to think of a way to show them that.