Coming from the world of talent acquisition, I have always prided the importance of human capital. When you hire hard, you manage easy. Finding the right people and building the right teams take time, but ultimately, it is this investment that best grows companies, both large and small. Unfortunately, after you put in the time and effort to bring in the right people, your next task is just as large.
According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, recent college graduates can be expected to stay at their first employer less than two years, with up to five career changes by age 35. While company loyalty doesn’t seem to mean what it used to, businesses have realized that they must promote their company as a great workplace – hoping that young talent will stick around, if only a little longer.
From Amazon announcing their 30-hour work week in 2016, to Netflix offering one year of parental leave to both salary and hourly employees, we often watch the trends of the Fortune 500 companies and see how we may mimic their success. While your small/medium size company may not quite be able to implement such drastic transformation, there are several strategies that may just allow you to make it to a top 10 workplaces of your city list.
Give Trust. When an employee feels trusted, they will rarely disappoint. A vote of confidence can go a long way, and equally allow a talented individual to thrive in a role that they were hired to do. Keep in mind, it is possible to manage your team by checking in on deadlines (destination), allowing them to run free with the details (journey).
Offer Flexibility. Gone are the days of a 9-5 punch card. Workplaces that allow remote working options, flexible hours and work/life balance create employees that are not only happier, but more productive in their jobs. Keep in mind, the more restrictions and demands of time placed on an employee, the higher risk of resentment and burnout.
Recognize success. From company merchandise to straight up cash, your employees want to be recognized when they are succeeding expectations. Not wanting or able to spend the cash? No problem. Create contests, recognition rituals, status-based recognition or even moments of simple appreciation of individual success in whole team meetings.
Communicate. While communication is essential to business success, it is equally as imperative to employee retention. Besides updating employees on task and goal-oriented items, talking to your employees reminds them that they are part of a team. Remember, communication is a two way street. Listening, encouraging feedback and keeping an open door will increase morale and your workplace environment.
Give Purpose and Opportunity. Forget the focus of what your company does, and focus on the why you do it. Engage your employees to understand your company’s passion, while encouraging them to pursue their own, outside of work. Studies have shown that those who have purpose live longer, healthier and overall more productive lives.
Take an Individualized Approach. Overall, know your employees. Ask questions, share goals and invest in your peoples’ professional growth. The more you know, the more you can utilize to offer balance, and ultimately, retain your people.
Mandy Davis is the Vice President of Client Services and Partnerships at Instructional Technologies, Inc. She has more than seven years of small-business development and leadership consulting experience, as well as expertise creating channel partnerships and managing teams of 20 or more people.