If you run a business or are part of a management team, you’ll know how important workplace retention is. Recruitment on its own can be a long and arduous process, and once you’ve found the right person, you’ll want to make sure they stick around.
Retaining workers is not simply a case of offering raises and promotions. While these things help workers to feel their work is recognised, they can’t be offered to everyone. It’s important to foster more day-to-day practices that make your staff feel comfortable and happy in the work environment.
The fact is that the more valued a team member feels, the more likely they are to stay with your company. You can show your appreciation to your staff in many different ways beyond pay raises and promotions.
So how do we inspire loyalty in our staff? You can start by calling them a “crew member” or team member to build their personal relationship with your company. As business owners and managers, we need to think about how we treat a team member and how we would like to be trained and treated.
Workplace retention can be broken down into three areas to work on:
Getting Crew Members Invested in Your Company
If a staff member feels invested in the company, they are more likely to promote the company’s well being and take personal pride in its success.
A key strategy is to involve them in the direction of the business. In working for your business, they will have likely gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience, and are best placed to tell you what works and what does not. Tap into this knowledge; it’s one of your biggest assets!
Consult team members about new strategies you intend to implement, and be open to their feedback and advice. Not only will they feel respected and acknowledged, but if they see their advice implemented, they will feel personally involved and are more likely to support that measure. Furthermore, they might feel more inclined to be open and helpful in the future, and might raise things you never thought of yourself.
If you are not comfortable allowing your workers insight into your business, asking for feedback is a brilliant way to improve your business, while also valuing your employees. Following through on requests and suggestions - especially as they relate to health and safety - shows employees that they are listened to and respected. An employee who feels appreciated is less likely to want to leave.
Education and Development
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, providing your employees with skills that make them more employable and attractive to other companies is a great way to retain them.
At Paintball Corp, we understand that due to the part-time nature of the work, our biggest pool of job candidates are secondary and tertiary students who often move on very quickly.
In order to attract high-calibre candidates and keep them in our ranks, we offer all of our employees education and developmental opportunities that make them feel like their time at Paintball Corp is well spent. This includes company sponsored sign-language and Te Reo classes, networking opportunities, compulsory first-aid courses, and experience with business, marketing, brand development and sales.
The effect of this is that while we up-skill our team, we are also strengthening their belief in our core values, and helping them represent the company in a way that matches our messaging to the public. When their time with Paintball Corp is over, they still have transferable skills that they can take with them into the workforce.
Build Relationships that Create Loyalty
Relationships are key when it comes to retaining quality members of your team. As a business owner, you might be the chief guide for your employees, but it doesn’t make sense for you to be the closest person to them within the team. Fostering interpersonal relationships between team members is a great way to encourage their loyalty to your business or brand. Here are a few ways that you can do this:
Foster Relationships Within the Team
Fostering interpersonal relationships is perhaps the most effective thing you can do to add value to your employees’ experience at your company. Take a genuine interest in your team’s well-being, encourage idle conversation, and offer opportunities for socialising outside of work. The team that plays together stays together!
Thank your team, let them know you are grateful for what they do for the company. Give timely and positive feedback. Keep in mind that 66% of employees quit if they feel under appreciated, irrespective of how much they are paid.
Provide Opportunities to Improve
Give honest praise for things that are important to you, and genuinely constructive criticism regarding areas that need work. It can be stressful when employees feel like they are under-performing but are too afraid or intimidated to ask for help. Be supportive when you identify areas of weakness, and give them the time, tools and training they need to improve.
Have Some Fun
Workplace events don’t have to be limited to the annual Christmas do. Simple, regular team building activities help build a stronger, more coherent team, and will keep them engaged in the company. Make team building events an important part of your business - just make sure they’re the right kind of team building exercises.
Employee retention is valuable for any company, at any stage in their development. The less time we spend training new staff, the more we save. The more experienced our staff, the better and more smoothly our company runs. A company’s reputation is also bolstered by having the same, familiar faces dealing with valued customers; if staff turnover is low, customers assume, the company must be a well-run, positive workplace. The positive aspects of staff retention far outweigh the effort involved in retaining staff. There is no reason not to focus on this area.
Let your staff become one of your biggest assets, and watch your company reap the rewards.