Engaging your current employees

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You put in the work of seeking and hiring good employees. Then what? How do you make sure employees want to stay with you for the long haul? We put such a focus on onboarding new employees. How do we continue that level of development, motivation, and encouragement throughout an employee’s journey with your organization? It would be impossible to sustain the same level of engagement as onboarding, but we can likely do more to intentionally keep our employees.

I won’t make you roll your eyes by bringing up The Great Resig******… We all know turnover levels have been unreasonably high since 2020, with 57% of employees open to looking for new jobs. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, as only 32% of employees are satisfied with their work and 74% of employees are experiencing job-related burnout.

We can combat employee attrition by better engaging current employees. Here are 5 tips you may want to consider if you would like to keep your good employees (which I think we can all agree this should be a top priority):

  1. Ask employees what they want and need
  2. Support professional development and growth
  3. Reevaluate employee compensation
  4. Develop guidelines for flexibility and remote work
  5. Periodically “re-onboard” current employees

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Ask employees what they want and need

Employees’ wants and needs differ from one another, whether or not you care to acknowledge that. When it comes to employee motivation and satisfaction, Janet in IT needs something completely different than James in Sales. The best way to retain your good employees is to acknowledge and respect their differences.

As a leader, you could hold stay interviews with your employees and have honest conversations about what it will take for them to stay. You will then have what you need to act and give your employees what they need (within reason). Other ways you can receive honest feedback is through occasional reviews and surveys.

Support professional development and growth

As humans, we have a natural desire to develop and grow, striving to reach our potential and maximize our talents and strengths. When an employee is first hired, they need to know they will have the opportunity to develop and progress in their careers. Ideally, you can provide that opportunity within your organization, otherwise they will eventually look elsewhere to fill that void.

If you haven’t done so already, have a conversation with your employees to uncover goals, development, and future opportunities. Create employee development plans aligned with personal and organizational goals, with quarterly progress checks. Doing something as simple as this will show your employees they are valued and heard.  

Reevaluate employee compensation

Speaking of value… money needs to be brought up as one of the top ways to help you keep your good employees. Hiring right now is more competitive than ever. Employees can head across the street and do their same exact job for $20K/year more. From an employer’s/leader’s perspective, this is NOT ideal.

Take some time to revisit and reevaluate compensation, adjusting as needed to stay competitive in the current market. Although you might not feel comfortable increasing salaries, it will be much cheaper in the long run than dealing with high turnover. Did you know it can cost up to 2x an employee’s salary to replace a position?

If increasing salaries isn’t currently an option, show employees they are valued by focusing on building your culture. People want to be fairly compensated for their work, but a good workplace culture will make the money a little less important because employees will actually be happy at work.

Develop guidelines for flexibility and remote work

The pandemic has sparked a demand and desire for more flexibility at work, whether it be with time or location. Most employees who have had the ability to be remote all or some of the time will demand that same flexibility in the future.  Forty two percent of remote workers said if their current organization discontinues remote work options long term, they will look for a job at an organization that allows remote work.

The amount of flexibility you offer employees is ultimately up to you, but make sure you have guidelines in place so expectations are clear. If you want 40 hours out of your employees each week, no matter when/where they work those 40 hours, make that known. If you want your employees in the office at least 3 days a week from 9-5, make that known. You can’t make everybody happy, so do what you think is best and develop clear guidelines.

Periodically “re-onboard” current employees

We know the importance of onboarding employees, but it might be time to consider re-onboarding employees. As we figure out what the new normal looks like, it will be beneficial to bring employees together for re-onboarding. Guide them through policies, compliance, and culture, creating a space for them to reestablish connections with colleagues and build connections with new employees. You might find this provides enough value to continue yearly.

Re-onboarding will motivate and excite employees, emphasizing an importance of community within your organization. To find organizational success, there must be alignment on all levels. Alignment of mission, vision, values, and culture. Re-onboarding will ease any anxiety and uncertainty employees might be feeling these days, ultimately improving productivity and loyalty.

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Put your people first and nurture a culture of community between all employees. You can build your team into a strong, resilient, and collaborative units with some intentionality and guidance. If you’re ready to get started on this journey, set up a free strategy session with a consultant!

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