Retention 101

retentionMany of our clients come to us because their business is booming and they need to expand.  But often openings happen because someone moves on to another opportunity or is let go.  Obviously this is a fact of life and cannot be eliminated, but are there ways to minimize the constant churn of replacing employees?

We see the following attributes common in environments with high retention:

Thorough Communication – This is not about a weekly meeting, MBOs, or a job description – but rather, continuous communication with your team.  Check in with them individually on a regular basis, create areas where they can provide feedback, input, etc. in both formal (meetings) and informal (lunches out of the office) settings.

Proper Communication – We’ve all received one.  An inflammatory, nasty email from a boss. Unfortunately, email gives us a tool to hide behind and communicate without direct (face-to-face) interaction.  It is a common tool for managers who hate (or at least prefer to avoid) confrontation.  And nothing creates bad feelings and a sense of “I have to get out of here” more than negative email correspondence without an actual meeting before or after that communication. Talk to your employees, for both good and bad reasons.  And if you want to email something, email praise and cc others within the department and leadership in your organization.

Set Expectations – Clearly tell your team, and members within, what’s expected.  Have goals and measure achievement towards those goals.  You may not be goal oriented (but I doubt it), but many within your team will find motivation, self-satisfaction, and another reason to stay and continue to do a good job simply because they’ve met goals.

Help Your Employees Reach Their Personal Goals – It’s sad, but many businesses are hesitant to invest in their employees’ growth and development because they think they are just helping an employee out the door.  First of all, I would rather have a happy, developing employee who is growing within my organization rather than a stymied, dissatisfied one who will stay as long as I tolerate them. But more importantly, research from Gallup shows that performance and employee retention improve when companies foster their employees’ growth.



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