High employee turnover can impact your bottom line. The added expenses of training and hiring bonuses, combined with lost work hours that can add stress to the rest of the team, can turn into a big disaster. Improving your employee retention rate will supply long term benefits for your business, your staff and customers.
Retention begins before the first interview. Although it’s tempting to take the easy way and just accept a resume at face value, you need to do more research on job candidates than just calling a couple of references.
First, every HR manager knows that many references are useless. Candidates will naturally include those most likely to give glowing reviews, and past employers may be bound by legalities to sugar coat their experience with the candidate. Instead, take the time to research verifiable nuggets from the candidates past. For example, pick candidates that have completed their higher education. Whether it’s master’s degree in economics or an applied behavior analyst certification, it shows the employees is dedicated and hard-working. The ability to stick through college through graduation, especially if advanced degrees were earned, shows they are less likely to quit during difficult times.
Next, check out their degree. Candidates with a unrelated degree, or those with more education than the job needs, may not be looking for long term employment in your company. Unless you can offer them an opportunity to advance to their skill level or field, they may move on quickly.
You should also verify past employment. If you see short stints with a company, find out the reason. If it was a short-term project or during the education years, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. If you see a pattern of job-hopping, especially if the new positions aren’t a step up from the last one, you may have a retention problem.
Stay Competitive and Provide the Right Motivation
Employers know that a competitive wage and benefits package can woo the perfect candidates, but is it enough to keep them? Not if you don’t reassess pay and benefits annually. What was competitive five years ago could be woefully inadequate now, depending on the industry. Keep up to date on what others in your field offer new hires and current employees, and make adjustments to stay on top.
The right motivation is also key. You need to know what makes your employees tick. If most of them value time off, increased pay may not keep them if it also comes with increased hours. They may be more motivated to stay if you can offer flexible time off benefits, such as a vacation bank, rather than a bump in income. Getting to know your employees personally, or using targeted surveys, can help you find the right balance of motivation and benefits to keep your best on board.
Practice Face Time
Finally, don’t depend on those below you on the management chain to keep employees satisfied and happy. Your employees are more likely to respect the company if they see upper management working just as hard as they do, so it’s important to be seen. Don’t lock yourself in your office, and take the time to schedule frequent site visits. This also gives you a chance to check out the atmosphere in the trenches, so you can make any changes quickly so the work environment doesn’t turn toxic.
You may never achieve zero-turnover, but you can up your retention rate so the best employees are in it for the long haul. Happy employees will also give your business glowing reviews, even after moving on, which will make it easier to attract the best new hires.