Strategies to Retain Employees

Strategies to Retain Employees

One of every manager’s nightmares is to have one of their best workers resign out of the blue – and without serving a notice period.  This leaves the manager up against a whole new set of problems, from finding an equally talented replacement right away to making sure that the daily responsibilities of that employee are met successfully by other employees until a replacement is found. And most importantly, the manager has to monitor the impact of that employee’s departure on the rest of the staff.

When a coworker resigns, other staff members often wonder if they should also look for a new job. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that job satisfaction and employee retention are high on every organization’s priority list. Your employees are your most important asset. Losing a trained and skilled employee is a huge loss. Instead, good managers devise employee retention strategies.

Before sharing effective strategies to retain employees, it is vital to understand that management must look above and beyond the typical employee incentives/bonus system to motivate employees. The truth is, most of the time, these plans are either inconsistent or set benchmarks too high, which employees find discouraging; thus, they get de-motivated instead of motivated. Most employees find typical bonus plans unfair because they don’t have enough control over the factors that lead to their bonuses. This is compounded when management sets benchmarks without considering unforeseen circumstances and market fluctuations.

If you want to implement plans to increase motivation and retention, it is best to integrate a combination of strategies for improved employee satisfaction instead of relying on one. Here’s a quick overview to help you get started:

Bonus Plan Should be Process Driven Not Outcome Driven

Instead of rewarding employees on delivery of the process, focus on improving the process. As you improve the process, you will see how it positively impacts both your employees and the outcome.

For example, suppose a process includes six to seven tasks. Focus on rewarding employees for improving the execution of their specific tasks, ensuring that the tasks are completed with consistency and at par with the quality standards. This will improve both the process and the performance of the employee, as they will be rewarded on what is in their control, thus delivering the best results.

Invest in Training and Professional Development

Interlinked with the first strategy, investing in training and professional development will increase employee performance and process efficiency. This helps in shaping employee growth and development. Research shows that employees are more motivated to work with an organization if they feel they are growing in their profession. Indirectly it helps employees achieve their short and long-term goals.

To implement this, design in-house training programs for employees to advance their professional development. Other professional development methods are to pay them to attend conferences, industry events, etc.

Promote Open Communication

Employees in a work environment where they feel they can express their viewpoints and opinions freely have higher job satisfaction. Simply put, promote and encourage open communication. Try to create an environment where everyone can ask questions and voice their concerns to the leaders.

An “open-door-policy” is a great way to establish a culture of open communication. When you allow employees to speak what is on their mind and ensure that they are heard, they will feel motivated because they feel valued.

Provide Better Benefits

Did you know that fifty percent of employees would leave their jobs for better benefits? So, to increase employee retention, meeting their needs is key. Benefits that encourage retention go beyond the typical vacation and sick leave.

Retirement savings, sabbaticals, life insurance, and similar are effective for many employees. But you can go further with company fishing trips or other activities that promote a positive work culture. Get creative!

Appreciate and Recognize Workers

Everybody wants their hard work to be recognized. Recognizing and appreciating employees for their achievements and efforts is more effective than many realize.

It doesn’t always have to be in the form of a financial reward, either. You can appreciate their work and efforts through appreciation letters, social recognition programs, and more. This encourages them to excel and contribute even more.

Moreover, when employees fulfill their goals, reward their efforts with a gift or performance award. Appreciation is the best way to retain quality employees.

Keep Employees Informed

Good leaders consistently keep their workers well-informed from the time they are hired through their entire journey with the company. This includes orientation programs to clearly explain to employees the company’s policies, culture, values, and expectations, continued communication of any changes and ongoing evaluations. Employee orientation programs are a helpful tool in helping employees understand how they can add value to the company.

Develop a Positive Work Environment

In a positive business culture, peers work in teams, working together to achieve common goals. This is also an environment where failures are viewed as opportunities to learn and grow. Make use of a journal or log book to document problems as they occur and find ways to overcome them. Address failures as ways to learn and grow. And how processes can be made better.

For more information on employee retention or to learn how to implement strategies to retain employees in your company, contact one of the Elite Body Shop Mentors to guide you. Skip the headache of employee turnover and ensure that your talented staff is happy and continues to be with your company for years to come.

About the Author:

Dave shares his experience from over 30 years as a collision repair industry leader in leadership, lean and Theory of Constraints. Once the owner of a body shop himself, Dave draws on the realities of a real world collision repair shop in his consulting, writing and keynote speeches.

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