Employee Retention Strategies

Seven Employee Retention Strategies
to Improve Your Bottom Line

“Over 70% of people leave their jobs because of the way they are led.”

~ Norman Drummond, Motivational Speaker ~

Client George asks: I staff a large organization in the tourism industry. There is a constant shuffle of employees coming and going. I need to know what a manager can do.  Can you give me some employee retention strategies?

Coach Joel Answers: Maintaining a stable workforce is a key management issue and a strategy worthy of taking time to learn and implement.

There are many reasons employees leave a job. Some are out of your control, but you can influence many of the reasons. Here are seven problems and the solutions you can implement:

1. Lack of job satisfaction.Employees leave jobs because they are unrewarding.

Solution: Do a better job of hiring for the job. Make sure the individual will be happy in that particular position. Their skills, personality, and abilities need to match the job. Also, keep tabs on your employees with regular feedback. Be the kind of manager they can talk to so they will express their dissatisfaction early enough that you can implement changes.

2. Lack of Job Training. When employees don’t know their job or feel comfortable with it they tend to do a poor job. That leads to poor job satisfaction on the part of the employee and the manager.

Solution: Train your new hires.Evaluate the skills needed in all your employees and make sure they are proficient.  Hire coaches. Find mentors.Studies show there is better job satisfaction and employee retention when your workers are well trained.

3. An organizational culture that expects long hours. In the tourism industry especially, there’s a culture of “Presenteeism” where hotel managers are expected to always be there. In other companies, the boss may be a workaholic and have his desk right beside the door. He knows exactly when each person leaves.

Solution: Set clear and reasonable expectations for your workers. Let them know what’s required of them. Watch for those putting in too many hours and find out why it’s happening.

4. Life-Work Conflicts. Each employee has unique needs and demands on his or her time. What may be a normal work load for one might create a crushing conflict for another.

Solution: Be aware of each employee and their needs. Consider flex time or other options. Just having an employee know that the management is aware of their situation and needs and is willing to make concessions is a valuable employee retention strategy.

5. Burnout.  This is partly an emotional state of mind from too much pressure and too many demands.

Solution: Make sure your company is not cutting corners by deliberately understaffing. It creates resentment in your workers. Also evaluate whether you are creating unrealistic expectations for your workers. If your employees always feel behind and unable to keep up, they will leave.

6. Company policy duplicity. If employees think the company has different standards for different people. If the company says one thing and does another, it creates cynicism, resentment and high turnover.

Solution: Evaluate your company for its ethics. Is there favoritism? Are you promoting safe standards in training meetings and encouraging workers to violate them in practice? Create an ethical, fair company standard to keep your workers happy.

7. No Future. If employees feel they have no way to progress in a company, they’ll move.

Solution: Show each employee potential paths for advancement. Help them see this job as a career and a profession.Give them training and opportunities so they can step up. When you take an interest in their careers, you will retain your workers.

George, you are correct to be concerned about employee retention strategies. You can make a profound difference in the lives and wellbeing of your employees. They will thank you by staying with you and helping your company succeed.

For more recommendations with your specific company on how to retain your key employees contact Joel.

Talkback: What strategies have you used for employee retention?  What has been most effective?

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