June 26, 2012

How to Keep Employees

Hiring employees is something we do often at Landmark Group.  In a meeting the other day, the managers were spending time discussing our hiring rate and what we as a company can do to retain the good employees.  After that discussion, I decided to start doing some research to see where we as a company can improve in this area.  The following is part of an article published in the Wall Street Journal that I found informative.

Provide some small perks. Free bagels on Fridays or dry-cleaning pickup. Delivery may seem insignificant to you, but if they help employees better manage their lives, they’ll appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.

Use contests and incentives to help keep workers motivated and feeling rewarded. Done right, these kinds of programs can keep employees focused and excited about their jobs.

Conduct “stay” interviews. In addition to performing exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving, consider asking longer-tenured employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? And what are your nonnegotiable issues? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee-retention strategies.

Promote from within whenever possible. Give employees a clear path of advancement. Employees will become frustrated and may stop trying if they see no clear future for themselves at your company.

Foster employee development. This could be training to learn a new job skill or tuition reimbursement to help further your employee’s education.

Create open communication between employees and management. Hold regular meetings in which employees can offer ideas and ask questions. Have an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak frankly with their managers without fear of repercussion.

Get managers involved. Require your managers to spend time coaching employees, helping good performers move to new positions and minimizing poor performance.

Communicate your business’s mission. Feeling connected to the organization’s goals is one way to keep employees mentally and emotionally tied to your company.

Offer financial rewards. Consider offering stock options or other financial rewards for employees who meet performance goals and stay for a predetermined time period, say, three or five years. Also, provide meaningful annual raises. Nothing dashes employee enthusiasm more than a paltry raise. If you can afford it, give more to your top performers. Or, if you don’t want to be stuck with large permanent increases, create a bonus structure where employees can earn an annual bonus if they meet prespecified performance goals.

Make sure employees know what you expect of them. It may seem basic, but often in small companies, employees have a wide breadth of responsibilities. If they don’t know exactly what their jobs entails and what you need from them, they can’t perform up to the standard, and morale can begin to dip.

You can view the full article at http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/hiring-and-managing-employees/how-to-retain-employees/

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