By Rachell Newburn
Employee retention is always a hot topic for the leaders and managers who strive to create a satisfying workplace for their employees. At The Central Coast Business Symposium, an annual event for local leaders to find ways to improve our businesses and our community, speaker Sharon Jordan-Evans, provided valuable insight into engaging and retaining talent in her “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Engaging and Retaining Talent” presentation, based on her bestselling book of the same name.
Jordan-Evans stressed that engagement and retention are perennial issues, at the forefront of managers’ minds as they work to solve their specific personnel issues. She stressed that employee compensation is not the main reason for retention and that an employee will stay — or leave — for a number of reasons. The main takeaway here is to stop simply throwing money at the problem and take a hard look at your company’s culture. Evaluate the attitudes of your employees to determine other ways to improve the work experience. In fact, everyone, from employee to manager to senior leaders to human resources, has a role to play in improving employee retention.
As employee attitudes shift and new job search methods become easier and easier to uncover, it’s integral to find innovative ways to engage your employees. The cost of losing talent is high, according to Jordan-Evans; in fact, you may find you spend four to five times the annual salary of a platinum employee in searching for a new one to fill the void.
To combat employee loss, don’t rely on exit interviews to fill you in on the problems your company faces. Instead, Jordan-Evans recommends a proactive approach. Conduct a “Stay Interview” instead of an exit interview to determine how you can improve an employee’s experience. Ask:
- What keeps you?
- What would entice you away?
- What do you want to learn this year?
- How could I support you?
Along those same lines, Collaboration uses a “90-Day Check-In” tool for our clients and leaders who manage employees, to use during their quarterly one-on-one meetings. By asking seven simple questions of your employees every 90 days, you’re receiving valuable real-time feedback to gauge their satisfaction. This information includes:
- Finding patterns for success and learning what motivates your team members
- Identifying problem areas and reflecting on and learning from mistakes
- Engaging employees to recognize their own performance
- Determining what drives loyalty
- Finding out what an employee values
- Problem-solving issues before they become too big to manage
- Building strong relationships
To find out more about this check–in tool and conducting quarterly one-on-ones with your team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee retention is always going to be an issue at some point or another in your business’ life cycle. By proactively working to ensure employee happiness and engagement, you will minimize excessive employee turnover and create a workplace where employees feel like their voices are heard.