Training, company culture, employee retention, employee recognition; these are just some of the many terms that are swamping around the concept of employee engagement. Many sources out there will try to sell you information and tell you that employee engagement is a mysterious space that requires a lot of knowledge and attention. I’m not here to feed you a shameless plug. I’m here to tell you that a significant portion of the information out there is complete garbage and that you can improve your employee retention strategies with little to no investment(s). The best part is, you can start implementing these tips today.
The word “engagement” can represent a broad spectrum of entities. But what does it really mean to get your employees engaged, and how do you even go about retaining them? There’s no need to overcomplicate this simple concept. Let me show you how you can optimize you employee retention strategies through what I’ve seen work, and even from my personal experiences.
1. Create the Right Culture
Far too often I see many workplaces that consist of individuals that show up to work for 8 hours and then go home without saying a single word to their colleagues. Having fun and business don’t have to be equally exclusive. From experience, whenever a company can establish the right culture, work doesn’t feel like “work.” For as long as your employees feel like the office is a second home, you’ll never have to worry about retaining employees. If you’re an employer, make a conscious effort to interact and oversee what every single one of your employees is working on. Show them that they can have fun at work by going outfor lunch as a team, sharing each other’s personal childhood stories, or even going out to a bar together after work. Show your employees that you, and everyone else, are still human. Introduce them to the concept of empathy. Empathy isn’t something that can easily be taught, but you can influence it upon people. Develop your company culture around empathy, and pretty soon your colleagues will become your best friends.
2. Be Flexible
If allowed, give your employees the opportunity to work from home, or alter their hours according to their schedules. Obviously, don’t let your employees take advantage of this, but give them small windows of opportunity to do so. Take this scenario for example; imagine if you, as an employee, wanted to spend a Wednesday morning working from home so you could spend more time with your family. As an employer, imagine how happy that would make your employees. Your employees will begin to think that the company they work for actually cares about their life outside of the office. In return, your employees will be more likely to help you finish tasks even at less opportune times. This is because the more you give to your employees (in this case with flexible schedules) the more likely they are to be flexible for you. Give to your employees, and they’ll give back to you.
3. Recognize Great Work
When it comes to developing proper employee retention strategies, understand that people love to feel valued. In fact, 93% of employees like to receive recognition from superiors at least once every quarter. Take this fact and run with it. You don’t have to plan a fancy event for your employees, although it would be a good idea to do so annually. All you really need to do is offer informal recognition here and there. Don’t overdo it because your employees will begin to think you don’t mean what you say. But genuinely tell them what they’re doing well. A small compliment can completely alter your employees’ mood and productivity.
4. Invest in Onboarding
When you hire a new employee, don’t just tell them what to do or who to go talk to. Take the time to know them. Woo them over and make them fall in love with you and your personality. This, in turn, will offer you a lot more respect from your employees, and will psychologically make them more likely to stick around and work with you. Think of it as another tool in your arsenal of employee retention strategies. However, as already mentioned, don’t overdo it. Be transparent with your new hires. Invest your time and money into making your new employees feel like they’re stepping into an opportunity of a lifetime. In fact, according to TalentWise, companies that engage in proper onboarding strategies preserve 91% of their first-year employees, compared to 30% retention rates of those that don’t have proper onboarding strategies. Small investments can go a long way, especially when it comes to supporting your greatest asset. I can even say this from personal experience. One company I worked for offered no onboarding plan and did not invest their time in me as an employee. It wasn’t too long until I felt due to poor business practices. Don’t be that company that is known for not caring for their employees. Instead, establish suitable employee retention strategies to upsurge the overall health of your workplace.
5. Engaging Through Volunteerism
Last but not least, find ways to work as a team outside of the office. What better way to get employees engaged, and feeling good about themselves, than giving back to the community together. Find events related to your employees’ interests and offer various opportunities where employees can interact with each other on a different level. This ties back into company culture because it allows for employees to better know one another. Not only will your employees feel good for volunteering, but they’ll have more face-to-face human interaction with each other. Giving your employees the opportunity to become close friends is a powerful tool. This tip is a very crucial one because most companies aren’t taking advantage of this simple, yet potent, concept. Give your employees the opportunity to go out, have fun and learn more about each other. Your employees are your greatest asset, so treat them as one. Implement these steps into your employee retention strategies, and I promise you’ll see a positive ROI.
Find out how InvolveSoft is helping various companies establish proper employee retention strategies through volunteerism by starting a free trial.