Long-term employees contribute with stability as well as valuable and oftentimes specialised knowledge. This blog article discusses how you can retain your employees.
When an employee leaves a place of work, it isn’t just that single person that leaves. A leaving employee often also entails a decrease in optimised work routines, valuable know-how and maybe even also customers or clients. Adding to this, there are also increased recruitment costs in relation to finding, hiring, and onboarding new employees.
Keeping the economy, the stability, and the cohesion in mind, there are lots of reasons to focus on long-term retainment of employees. In this blog article we have gathered a number of determining factors that help with exactly that.
1. Invest in your employees
In order to stay in a company, the employee also has to be able to envision a future in that company. That future is based on development opportunities. So invest in your employees’ professional development; offer courses and continuing education and give them a role that allows for them to grow. You can formalise the process by developing career plans for individual departments, which makes it easier for the employees to envision future development in that department and therefore in the company at large.
However, please be aware that it isn’t always about getting a new job title. It is about having the feeling that the company invests in each of its employees or in the employees in general. And it is about recognition. Most bosses love the ambitious employees who perform better than expected, but don’t forget about the employees who are stable, reliable, and loyal. These types of employees aren’t always that visible – they will probably not demand your attention, and this is why they can be quite easy to overlook. As a manager it is a good idea to make an extra effort to see these employees and maybe also give them more than what they are asking for.
“We all love skilled and committed employees, but it is important to remember those employees who are stable, loyal, and reliable.”
2. Gather feedback and listen
As a manager, listening is important. One aspect that many companies can get better at working with actively is gathering feedback from employees on a continuous basis. It is relevant in relation to optimising workflows, employee well-being, and prospects for the future. Oftentimes, the employees have good ideas – after all it is them who perform the tasks on a daily basis.
One tool you can use to gather feedback with is our own system called Weekli. It provides your employees with the opportunity to express their opinions, share their thoughts, and give feedback anonymously on a weekly basis. Feedback gathered in this way gives the management team a stronger foundation on which to base their decisions.
A system like that can also be a way to handle potential conflicts proactively. Weekli comes with a feature called Speak Up, which is compliant with the EU directive regarding the protection of whistle-blowers. Speak Up handles all reports anonymously and safely. By using a system like this, you can thereby take care of dissatisfaction in its early stage, before it grows into potential conflicts and results in one or more employees leaving the company.
3. Strengthen your efforts within reboarding and cross-boarding
The number of people who are employed long-term without any interruptions or replacements is limited. This is why optimising your recruitment and other HR processes is important. The optimisation is relevant for employees stepping into a new work role as well as for employees who return after a longer absence period. It is very time-consuming to get back into one’s work routine or be completely at home in one’s new role, if one has switched to a new team.
When an employee is reboarded – i.e. returns to the place of work after for example maternity of paternity leave or long-term vacation leave (e.g. sabbatical) – it can be a good idea to get them eased back into the loop gradually. This can for example be done by sending them information spread out over a period of time or by making resources available that they can review and interpret at their own pace.
In terms of cross-boarding – i.e. when an employee takes on a new role in the company – it is also very important to have an introduction phase prior to the first day of work in the new role. This can for example be that the person who was previously responsible makes sure to give a thorough hand-over in the form of a guide to the work assignments, or it can be in the form of a social gathering where the new employee meets their team.
These efforts will make the transition easier for the involved employees, reduce wasted time, and increase productivity. In both cases (reboarding and cross-boarding), it is important that you, as a manager, check in and make sure that the new employee feels comfortable in their new team.
“Many companies are very concerned with finding talent and recruiting new employees, but it is just as important to care for and develop the employees who are already working at the company.”
4. Flexibility is an advantage
Many employees value flexibility in the workflow. It is therefore important for the well-being that the employee is empowered in a way so they can influence how the work is performed.
Please note, however, that workers are different. Some employees value the opportunity to decide how their work week is scheduled and thereby put a big emphasis on self-determination regarding planning, while others need an established framework and a structured work life. The important thing here is the co-determination – that the employee can choose what to do or what not to do, as well as when and so on.
5. Strengthen the team spirit with social gatherings
The modern company isn’t just a place of work – it is also a working community. Many people stay in their job because of the social relations that are tied to their workplace, and a strong social unity at the place of work is proven to increase job satisfaction and productivity. Therefore, there is a strong incentive to plan social gatherings, so the employees can get to know one another in a more informal way outside of working hours.
6. Set up boundaries for the work – and enforce them
In a world where you are constantly online, and where the work can easily be continued from the phone, after you have come home from work, it can be hard to go offline. But to many people, the feeling that you are never off from work leads to stress and dissatisfaction and thereby a decreased job satisfaction.
The fusion of work and private life has moreover gained more focus and a bigger significance after two years of COVID-19 and a bigger degree of working from home. According to an article posted on businessleader.co.uk, the two work-related aspects – salary and work-life balance – have changed places now compared to 2019 before the pandemic. In 2019, 41.02 % stated that the salary was more important to them than work-life balance which scored 40.97 %. A few years later, in September 2022 when the article was published, the ranking of those two parameters had changed. Work-life balance had taken the lead with 41 %, and salary scored 36 %. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 state that workplace benefits other than salary has a positive effect on their general happiness.
What is most important when looking for a new job – or choosing to stay in one – depends greatly on the line of business and the company in question, but if you want to take care of your employees’ well-being, you can – as the manager – set up a clear framework for the working hours, so that the employees actually take the time outside of their working hours off instead of bringing their work home with them. In this way, you increase the job satisfaction as well as the retainment of your employees in the long-term.
Are you ready to improve the retainment of your employees? Then Talentech can help you!