The days of employees hiring on with a company and planning to stay until they retire have long since past (sorry to anyone that is still thinking otherwise). That said, this does not mean that having high voluntary turnover is a good thing. There are things that you can and should be doing to retain your talent. While there is no secret sauce nor silver bullet to improving your retention, there are 5 R's that you need to consider:
Demonstrating RESPECT to your employees
Giving your employees RESPONSIBILITIES that allow them to grow
Providing RECOGNITION for contributions, improvements, and innovations
Allowing time for RELAXATION
Ensuring REWARDS go beyond monetary compensation
Employees want to know they are respected and appreciated. As the saying goes, people may readily forget the things that you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel. If managers make it a priority to show outward respect for employees on a regular basis, it will lead to a positive workplace culture.
Show your employees you trust them by giving them responsibilities that allow them to grow. Encourage them to gain new skills. Provide ample continuing education opportunities. Hire from within wherever possible, and give generous promotions at appropriate times.
Everyone wants to be noted for their contributions, improvements, and innovations. Toyota gains engaged assembly line workers by recognizing and rewarding ideas, no matter how small. On the converse, people become disengaged and resentful when their contributions are not recognized—and especially when bosses take the credit for them.
Be generous with time off. Despite the hard economy, provide sufficient time for sick days, family vacations, new babies, etc. Pacing workflow can be highly beneficial to enduring employee relationships. Allow employees the chance to catch their breath from one assignment to the next with the help of team-building activities or mini break periods over the course of the day.
The rewards you give your employees should speak to their emotional needs and should go beyond their monetary compensation. Recognition in front of the company, company and department parties, service projects, lunches with the boss, logo clothing, handwritten notes, etc., can all contribute to the positive culture of the company and can be good morale builders as well.
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