Don’t fall into the trap of believing that only start-up technology firms in the Silicon Valley have great employee retention and engagement levels. Any organization, anywhere, at any time can create a culture of employee engagement that leads to long-term retention. If your employees are not engaged at work, they will hop from job to job until they find what they’re looking for and they are likely going to your competitors who already have an engaging workforce.
Employee burnout seems to be at an all time high, leaving many managers and HR professionals wondering what went wrong. Burnout leads to low productivity, high turnover, and loss of talent. If you’ve noticed these things happening in your office, take note of the following 7 tips that will foster an engaging atmosphere and lead to higher retention rates.
#1 Hire For Talent, Train For Skill
Employee retention begins before the employee is even hired through better screening and interviewing techniques. When you’re interviewing potential candidates, try to focus on hiring for talent and for someone who fits your company’s culture. Aspects of the role can be taught if they are a smart, capable, and a willing potential candidate. There’s always a learning curve in the beginning of any new job, regardless of how much experience in the field they have. New employees have to learn the culture, technologies, and processes that your company employs.
When you’re hiring, cast a wide net into the pool of potential candidates. By interviewing more people, you are ensuring that you will pick the one best for the job. Lower candidates’ stress by telling them what kind of questions you will be asking. Job interviews are always a mutual screening process, so when you find someone who is a good fit, spend the second half of the interview selling the job and your company to them.
#2 Keep An Open-door Policy
By keeping an open-door policy, your employees will feel comfortable knowing that they can approach you. An open-door can dismantle strict hierarchy in the workplace and in turn create an open, collaborative environment.
Along the same lines as an open-door policy is encouraging two-way communication. If you never listen to your employees, they will quickly feel disconnected. As an employer, practice active listening by nodding, making eye contact, and not interrupting. Your employees will then realize that you truly value their presence and what they contribute to the company.
Two-way communication will help your company avoid employee burnout, which takes effort from managers AND employees. Employees can’t be afraid to ask for what they need and managers need to create an environment that fosters open and honest communication and lead by example. When managers lead by example, it will leave employees with little to no questions about how things should run.
#3 Create A Reward System
A good reward system will drive employee engagement and increase employees’ feelings of satisfaction and loyalty. Every employee wants to feel needed and successful, so never underestimate how far acknowledging their dedication, successes, and what they bring to the table will go. When your employees win, the company wins.
Begin with finding out what motivates your team most by talking with them to see how they would like to be rewarded. Rewards can be gift cards or days off, but find out firsthand from your team on what they want. You can also tie rewards to specific company-wide goals and together work towards a reward that benefits the whole company, such as more company outings, specialty items around the office, or days off. Whatever reward system you decide on, just remember to keep the rewards fair and consistent.
#4 Be Transparent
Transparency builds trust and is something that all employees, regardless of age, seek in a place of employment. Transparency creates clear expectations. Just as you, a business owner or executive, expect and strive for your clients to be transparent with you, your employees expect the same from management. You must have complete transparency. You don’t necessarily have to go as far as Elon Musk did when he released Tesla’s patents, but you get the idea.
#5 Utilize Employee Surveys
Consider an annual, semi-annual, or even quarterly communication strategy or employee engagement survey. The most important thing to keep in mind is giving your employees consistent opportunities to provide feedback. This will allow you to gain invaluable insight into engagement levels and employee satisfaction.
#6 Play Off Strengths
It’s important for employees to look forward to coming into the office. A lot of that has to do with specific job titles and duties and how well those align with the person’s strengths and experience. An excellent resource for companies is The Strengths Finder book, which provides an access code to a quiz that determines a person’s top 5 strengths. Knowing and capitalizing on the strengths of the leaders and their employees will undoubtedly lead to better workflow, productivity, and communication.
#7 Invest In Your Employee’s Experience
There are a lot of things that your company can exist without, but your employees are crucial to your business. Invest in them and they will invest in the company.
To create a great experience for your employees, try implementing perks that work well with your company culture and regulations, such as having flexible hours, remote days when possible, and regular team lunches to have consistent downtime with coworkers and foster friendship outside of just work.
The bottom line is that your communication practices definitely impact your office’s culture and employee engagement levels. By implementing the above tips, you will quickly see a shift in employee engagement and long-term satisfaction as well as productivity levels. ActionCOACH is here to help in all your business endeavors. We offer eight programs to build you as a leader so you can create an engaging atmosphere for your employees. When you are ready to have a more engaged workforce, contact us or attend one of our upcoming events.