Employee retention has long been a source of anxiety for managers looking to establish long term success and reliable performance. There are numerous factors that can lead to shorter than ideal employment cycles, many of which dealing with intangibles not readily apparent to most managers. But there are some key practices that can aid in elevating staff retention rates that will enhance company performance and goal achievement.
Employee satisfaction is one of the more overlooked indicators of poor staff retention rates and, yet, it is an extremely simple area to address. Many supervisors believe workforce satisfaction should be exclusively tied to monetary benefits, which, in today’s economy, are often less than pleasing. However, more often than not employees are displeased with their work environment due to factors such as recurring perceived failures, lack of promotion opportunities, and poor rewards. These issues can be remedied by setting attainable goals for both the short and long-term, communicating company verticals, ensuring employee reviews are detailed and thoughtful, or implementing flexible scheduling for top performers.
Excessive stress in the workplace is one of the leading detractors in staff retention. Some of the biggest culprits in raising stress levels and lowering retention rates include inter-employee conflicts, role ambiguity, and poor relationships with management. These stressors can be mitigated by better defining employees’ responsibilities and providing thorough job descriptions, reducing or reassigning tasks to reduce task overload burden, and implementing structured communication protocols with management to provide comfortable venues for airing grievances and venting frustrations. A more extreme measure is to bring in an outside consultant or mediator to get to the bottom of stressful issues and implement relationship building initiatives.
Under-motivated employees tend to become under performing employees and staff retention rates suffer accordingly. Poor economic conditions can exacerbate the situation by leading workers to believe success is not attainable or that their future with the company is limited or short-sighted. Improving motivation in the workforce and the corresponding staff retention can be accomplished through some relatively simple steps. First, take steps to communicate company goals and planning. This will demonstrate that employees have important roles in company success and future growth opportunities. As mentioned previously, good goal setting practices can also aid in motivation. Adding non-monetary benefits such as prizes for top performers or employee enrichment programs can also improve motivation and, thus, enhance staff retention.
Good Hiring and Training Practices
Another overlooked factor in poor staff retention is in the improper placement or lack of training for employees, leading to poor performance and short employment cycles. By hiring candidates well suited for positions and implementing quality training protocols employees can establish early and on-going success, which correspond directly staff retention rates.