One of the most important factors in encouraging employee retention is maintaining excellent leadership. Frequent employee turnover can have a disastrous impact on a company by spending both time and resources on finding new employees. These resources would better be spent developing existing staff.
Business leaders help companies develop and maintain supportive cultures and ensure that employees feel fulfilled and challenged in their positions. Great leaders motivate employees to go above and beyond. Those whose skills fall short can alienate individuals and cause them to look for new opportunities. Some tips for leaders seeking to improve employee retention include:
Place value on innovation.
Leaders who place an emphasis on innovation improve employee retention through two distinct mechanisms. On the one hand, these leaders give employees the opportunity to implement their own suggestions. Respecting employee ideas and allowing them time to explore their own solutions increases feelings of empowerment. This makes employees feel like they can have a real impact on the future of the company.
On the other hand, leaders who understand the importance of innovation will ensure that the company keeps up with today’s fast-paced business environment, which provides a degree of job security. When employees sense that their employers are unwilling to change their processes to keep up with competition, they may begin seeking positions with competitors.
Create mentorship opportunities.
A study conducted’s in 2013 found that mentorship programs can increase employee retention by 72 percent. Moreover, another study showed that employees who act as mentors report greater job satisfaction and rate their loyalty to their employers higher. In other words, mentorship programs benefit both the mentor and the mentee.
Furthermore, these sorts of programs facilitate sharing skills across generations and even departments. This can result in staff members who are better equipped to deal with crises and respond quickly to changes in the market. Mentorship programs can also help solidify the culture of a company and pass on corporate values between different generations of employees.
Pay attention to engagement.
Too often, leaders implement changes meant to minimize employee turnover and then never collect the data that they need to determine the efficacy of those programs. Any strategy needs to look at the impact that it has had among employees.
One of the best ways to measure overall morale and likelihood to stay with the company is to look at employee engagement. For some companies, this may mean creating online feedback forms, while others may refer to have in-person conversations.
An anonymous means of providing feedback should always be offered. This feedback can help guide future decisions and programs. Also, leaders should be sure to keep track of turnover rates as measured by human resources teams.
Shape the office culture.
Sometimes, even when employees enjoy their work and feel engaged at the company, the culture of the office causes them to seek positions elsewhere. Leaders have a responsibility to shape the culture and ensure that a healthy work environment is maintained.
For example, bullying should never be tolerated at the office. Addressing it when it happens will make people feel safe and secure. Doing so also helps build trust and shows employees that the company has their backs.
Much of culture pertains to how leaders handle everyday situations and how openly they communicate. When leaders are willing to have the difficult conversations, they show their commitment to employee wellbeing.
Check in with employees.
Even after employees start to become disgruntled, there is still time for a leader to intervene and reengage them in the work of the company. However, this can only happen when leaders know that people are becoming unhappy.
To gather this information, leaders should make it a point to check in with their staff regularly. Of course, employees may not always feel comfortable being completely honest. Over time, trust will build when leaders demonstrate genuine interest in how their employees are doing.
This trust encourages individuals to share their frustrations, which gives leaders the opportunity to respond. Failure to take any action will further alienate the employee but taking some steps to improve the situation may actually convince the person to stay.
Keep an eye on other leaders.
Some managers do not understand how their actions affect their employees. Great leaders notice problematic behaviors, help others realize the effect they have, and encourage them to change. No one person has all the answers to business leadership. This means it is important that all employees share their insights and help each other when necessary.
When leaders notice a common management issue, they may want to institute a new training program or some other intervention that will lead to better behaviors. This step ensures that everyone, including managers, perform at their peak and helps avoid losing talented and dedicated employees.