Employee loyalty is a valuable asset for any growing company. Without the full support of your time, you will be hard pressed to continue growing your company at the rate it currently is.
And frequently hiring new employees is a costly endeavor. Additionally, overlooking your veteran employees can potentially threaten turnover rates.
But once you’ve spotted your best employees, how do you retain them in an overturning economy that’s becoming increasingly more competitive?
Although performance reviews provide insightful information, they usually contribute better to attrition rather than retention rates. Here are four things you can try to retain your best employees before reaching the performance review or exit interview stage.
1. Stay Interviews
Stay interviews can be thought of as “pre-exit” interviews as they are given before there is any indication an employee will leave their position.
While you might be completely unaware of the fact, you could be inadvertently creating a challenging work environment – or causing your best employees to resent you.
By conducting non-imposing stay interviews, you’ll have to opportunity to ask your currently excelling employees what they like – and dislike – about the current work environment. After all, they’re the ones in the trenches who are actually carrying out your directives.
Make it a priority to carry out short – but recurring – stay interviews. By asking certain important questions, you might be amazed at some of the problems your employees would like to see addressed within the company – and what they most like about their position.
This will give you insight into factors that will help you retain current employees, as well as minimize any triggers that might cause at-risk-of-leaving employees to leave.
2. Avoid Common Solutions
Accommodating your employees’ individual needs can also aid in retention. The same incentives don’t motivate all employees.
Some might request to work from home a set number of hours per week. Others might need a later start time so they can get their children off to school. Still others might need assistance or additional guidance with larger projects.
For large companies, employee experience surveys have offered empirical insights into individual employee satisfaction, peer perceptions and potential level of commitment.
Some common ways to conduct an employee experience survey is with a series of statements. The employee must pick whether they agree or disagree – at varying levels of decisiveness (e.g., mostly agree, partly disagree).
Sometimes common solutions – like an increase in pay – are of little interest to stellar employees. In one case study, employee experience survey data provided actionable data that helped one retailer address problems that they were previously oblivious to. Blanketed solutions would have been less effective.
3. Don’t Skimp on Skills Development
In a survey conducted by Answers.com in 2014, 88 percent of American participants who intended to remain with their employer had received job-related skills development. Conversely, 30 percent of those with less intention to stay had not received any skills development opportunities.
Employee skills preparation is one component of your company forecast. Your best employees want to not only know in which direction the company is going, but they also desire to be prepared to proficiently contribute to company growth.
Some skills areas to develop for your employees include:
- Critical-thinking skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Communication skills
- Creativity and innovation skills
- Collaborative skills
4. Supportive Supervision and Company Leadership
Fostering a trusting relationship with your best employees through acknowledgement, consistency, solid guidance and fairness, has also been shown to retain them.
In a WeSpire white paper from July 2015, managers set department tone regarding employee involvement. Managers had influence on an employee’s level of engagement based on their own level of commitment.
Due to managers’ more direct involvement with employees, they can build trusting relationships with them and enact subtle changes that support employees’ individual strengths. This makes the employee feel more valued as an individual, and will hopefully help with employee retention.
Retain the Best
It doesn’t take exhaustive resources to retain your best employees and nurture new employees to stick around.
By implementing stay interviews and avoiding common solutions – like incentives, you can get a feel of what exactly is motivating your employees to excel in the company.
And if you provide skills development and training to help them become better at their job, retention will remain high. Especially with supportive supervision on your part.
Now over to you, how do you retain your best employees?