It’s no secret that the majority of people keep looking for better job opportunities throughout their career, and why shouldn’t they? Life is short, and with the rise of the gig economy, the demand is changing more rapidly than ever.
Various stats show that some 65% of employees think they can find a better job opportunity elsewhere, or avoid a dangerous job. That’s a lot of people, and no mistake. On the other hand, good retention is capable of maximizing company profits up to four times.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that 87% of HR experts consider employee retention a top priority.
So, what can companies do to keep the workforce engaged and happy, and ensure that they won’t find better prospects elsewhere?
Let’s take a look at some ideas.
1. Provide Proper Training
People change, businesses change and markets change. In fact, the synergy is so fast-paced that it is crucial to be flexible and provide timely training.
Take a look at freelancers and digital nomads, for example. These people are highly resourceful and need no boss to tell them they should keep improving their skill sets.
With rising numbers of people turning to alternative employment and the gig economy, traditional businesses must learn to cope. Retention rates may easily skyrocket if they don’t learn to be flexible.
One good example of how the potential issue can be solved is mLearning. The times when massive preparations and time-consuming courses in a physical space were all the rage are long past. Nowadays, there are better opportunities.
A new employee app rollout is not anymore only a good idea; it has become absolutely necessary.
mLearning and e-learning, for that matter, are great in that they allow each employee to study in the way that suits them best. They also allow for additional freedom, as the employees can choose when they want to dedicate their time to learning.
Online training sessions have also proven efficient. Not only do they save time, but they also allow for a relaxed environment beneficial for the learning process. Why not study from the comfort of one’s home, a garden or any preferred setting?
2. Use Anonymous Feedback
Much and more has been said about anonymous employee feedback, and not without a good reason. To keep people from looking for better opportunities (or rather, to create the best opportunities so people won’t need to look elsewhere), it is necessary to know what they are expecting in the first place.
People are different. That fact doesn’t change even in the most uniform of environments, and even if everything may appear idyllic, some employees might just be going with the flow until the next opportunity.
Anonymous feedback is a great way to let the workforce know they matter. The anonymity ensures there will be no repercussions for negative feedback, which is certain to encourage people to be honest.
In addition, it ensures that everyone is equal. I.e., many businesses nowadays ask the employees to rate their managers, which is considered good practice.
Honesty in itself ensures reliable results. The only thing left is to act upon the feedback and thus demonstrate that inconveniences can (and will be) addressed promptly.
Lastly, anonymous feedback sends the message that everyone’s opinion is valued. When people know their complaints will be solved, they will be motivated to perform better.
3. Communicate Goals Clearly
Stats show that a considerable number of employees feel disconnected from their company’s goals. In fact, only 25% of employees feel satisfied.
This is an alarming percentage and a red flag for companies to brainstorm efficient ways to change the trend.
Firstly, it is a well-known fact that clear and honest communication is the starting point for success. If the managers are incapable of communicating the company’s mission clearly, they shouldn’t expect the employees to be inspired.
One reliable signal that things aren’t as they should be is absenteeism. When employees start looking for excuses not to make an appearance, it means something is terribly amiss.
Addressing the issue of communication is complex indeed but by no means rocket science. Anonymous feedback is a good starting point. The easiest way to pinpoint the issue is by asking the employees to voice their opinion.
Some companies stage daily briefings. Some companies stage company updates. Some companies stage meetings after certain milestones. Some companies combine all of the above. What your approach will be depends on the actual range of operations, the number of people in the team and company goals.
Don’t overdo it, though. Frequent large-scale meetings are not only unnecessary but also cumbersome. Rather than this practice, it is better to ensure that every employee knows how to address the manager whenever it is needed.
4. Provide Tools for Success
Closely linked to the matter of communication (but also to a myriad of other aspects) is the choice of apps and tools. I.e., business email is a common way to keep communication alive and efficient, but it is also the most disconcerting factor.
Email notifications are the single most detrimental element of the daily work routine. Constant interruptions delay projects at hand, and employees have difficulties with multitasking.
Luckily, there are various ways to address this issue. One good example is kanban boards, which convert any conversation into a task card simultaneously managing visually inboxes and projects.
Next on, choose proper apps for any kind of task. Some popular ones include:
- Task-management tools (e.g., Asana and Trello)
- Communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Slack, Skype, Google Meet, and MS Team)
- Document management tools (e.g., One Drive and Google Drive)
There is a rich offer of apps and tools for any kind of task, so make sure to keep informed and arrange proper training for the employees for best results.
Employee retention is a huge issue, but there are various ways to address it. Chiefly, the new technologies have provided us with a slew of tools that can be utilized to suit everyone’s needs.
However, remember that communication is the key to attaining a happy workplace for everyone. Encourage your employees to voice their concerns and inspire them to come up with their own ideas. Above all, pay attention to anonymous feedback. It’s the key to long-term success.