How much of your precious time and money do you spend looking for new employees? Does your employee churn resemble something like that of Mass Mutual Life Insurance, viz. awful?
Turning your employees over as rapidly as Amazon isn’t favorable to your bottom line, with experts estimating that it can cost up to as much as twice an employee’s salary to contract and train up a replacement. And that’s not taking into account the damage it can do to the moral of the rest of the team, which if not properly controlled can escalate into a devastating domino effect. So long employees!
We are far from a large team at ClubKviar with a headcount of just over 20 but we have managed to keep our employee churn at as little as 10% over the last 4 years. We don’t use any principals long lost to man but a simple set of procedures that help us maintain the ‘family unit’ and which aid in our attempt to reduce employee turnover. Here we go with those 5 strategies to reduce your employee churn:
Clearly defined professional development
Before your begin by bringing on a new hire, you should be asking certain questions to help ascertain what your new employee wants; what is their professional plan? What skill sets do they want to learn? What possibilities exist for them within your organization in the future?
Whether in an early stage startup or a more established business, it’s imperative to be transparent with your new hires (don’t blow so much smoke!) regarding their possible growth trajectory. Sit down with them and clearly map out potential growth opportunities over the coming years.
Invariably these needs will change over time which is why you should make an effort to sit down on a regular basis with your team to ensure they are happy and getting the development and training they need. If they aren’t picking up those new skills sets they want then make a change. Get that wand out and make some magic. A lack of professional development is a key factor in increasing ones fear of failure and a powerful reason for your employees to jump ship and look for new opportunities elsewhere.
Give credit where credit’s due
It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting 100% percent out of your employees without giving them praise on a regular basis. We come to expect certain levels of performance from our teams and when that become the norm, it can become easy to forget that this in itself requires recognition. Positive recognition, just so happens to be one of the most powerful, free and effective tools to maintain a happy and motivated workforce. As the old saying goes, people always remember the way you make them feel so a little recognition and respect goes a long way.
This doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple email or public recognition praising an employee or the team on an objective achieved, a contract signed or a positive comment from one of your vendor/clients.Whatever it may be, these kind words will have an extremely beneficial effect. If you have the opportunity to include your investors (if it’s a venture backed business), the rest of the team or people higher up the chain of the command in copy then it usually will amplify the affect.
Also when it comes to rewards and bonuses for employees, it’s wise to not always focus on the individual. Team goals and objectives can help to contribute to building a stronger bond between individuals and ultimately result in improved performance. Creating goals that help teams socially engage has also been a winner for us, such as group dinners, events or weekend getaways for hitting certain objectives as a unit.
A few years ago I also read about Prosocial bonuses for employees and have found them to be pretty effective too. It ultimately depends on the individual which is why the next point is so critical.
Hire people that mold with your culture
Probably the most important and shortest point on the list, which is why it’s coming in at number 3! In a nutshell, hire people that fit into your company culture. If you don’t think a potential hire will fit in then trust your gut and say no.
Illuminate the way
Employees need to respect you, if not, why will they work for you? Leading by example is an extremely effective engagement strategy that will work wonders. if you are asking your employees to act a certain way, then you should exemplify these characteristics yourself.
Think about when you have left a job before. Have you left because of the manager or the actual job itself? Whether it’s you or your executive team, it’s important to ensure that you exhibit the traits that your employees expect to see and that you are someone that they respect and want to work for.
Finally, be a leader, or at least have an executive team that your employees feels comfortable approaching. Just because you are the boss that doesn’t mean there needs to exist a degree of separation between you and everyone else. Your employees need to see you as approachable and accessible for questions or even possible mentorship roles.
Many people spend all day slaving away without any coherent idea of how their daily actions are positively impacting the company. It makes sense then to explain in detail how their daily tasks are positively contributing to your bottom line. Being transparent has a direct correlation team happiness, creating for your employees a deeper feeling of investment in the company and helping their motivation and drive.
Although the above points might help increase the changes of a long-term commitment from your employees, it’s important to be remember that effort is needed on both sides. Hiring the right people who fit in to your culture and who can best adopt your philosophy is in my opinion one of the most important measures to reduce employee churn. That said you can’t expect if left to their own methods will find the right path. As a leader, you must be present to support their continued development and growth.
How do you keep your employees happy?
Project team via Shutterstock
Team via Shutterstock