I QUIT! How To Keep Your Employees Happy
It may seem a little bit ironic in a period of uncertain economic times that any company would be worried about retention. Conventional wisdom suggests that people will hang onto their jobs hoping for better times to come later. Nevertheless, retention is a serious concern and employers have to find ways to deal with it. The major reason why is that the day of assembly-line manufacturing is gone. What is needed now from the workforce are intellectual skills, such as programming or statistical analysis. These type of skills are not easy to acquire and companies need to hold onto those who have them. Losing a programmer or social media analyst can cause a dip in productivity. Management does not want that to happen. Consequently, strategies have to be developed that will convince a person to stay.
Trying a Different Approach
Management has to give employees a reason to continue the working relationship. Strong retention strategies have to include a variety of characteristics to accomplish that. The traditional means of keeping people are wages and benefits. These are the golden chains that convince a person to remain a little bit longer with the organization. It seems to make sense because some benefits are highly attractive especially to somebody who has a family. The benefits can be a little different than the standard insurance. The March 16, 2016 edition of Fortune Magazine listed the 100 best companies to work for. While you can’t follow each one letter perfect, these companies give some ideas about retention which will convince an employee to stay a bit longer. Here are some ideas.
Invest in Their Future
Educational assistance is more than just a nice benefit. It is a financial pledge on the part of management to help employees increase their skill set. One way to fine-tune educational assistance is to pay a percentage up front, with the final portion paid later on. For example, management could agree to pay 75% of tuition fees for a given course and then pay the remaining 25% two or three years later.
Commit to the Community
It is no secret that employees want to make a difference within their community. There needs to be opportunities for this to be realized. Nationwide Mutual Insurance goes the distance in helping employees give back to the community. This includes the Nationwide Foundation, a partnership with Feeding America, and Nationwide Volunteer Network. The Fortune Magazine list article notes that in the past year this insurance giant gave over $9 million to match donations given to charity by their employees.
Benefits Outside of the Box
Sometimes a company has to go beyond the standard and traditional benefits to keep employees. Adobe will allow employees a paid sabbatical every four years. Quicken Loans helps employees by granting financial incentives to those who rent a home in the Detroit area, and offer $20,000 in forgivable loans for a home purchase in the Motor City with additional money for home improvements. Robert W Baird, a financial services company, offers assistance to transgender employees that includes financial assistance for gender reassignment surgery. These are all in addition to corporate health facilities, on-site massage and dry-clean services, and other incentives companies use to make coming to work a delight instead of a chore.
Tuition reimbursement is a great benefit but there are other situations where employees desperately need help. Highly skilled workers may be getting very nice paychecks but that does not mean they are financially secure. Many of them carry substantial college loan debt which needs to be paid. Others may have serious trouble with their credit card accumulations. Having a financial wellness program for employees is something these people will definitely appreciate. This benefit provides the assistance of professional counselors in developing budgets, dealing with college loan payments, and handling credit card debt. It is the kind of help that relieves stress on the paycheck.
We live in a society that is obsessed with legal documents. These go beyond last will and testament, and can include help with writing a consumer protection complaint and dealing with the public bureaucracy. Group legal plans are starting to become more popular and they provide services such as help with warranties and protection from ID theft. Both the financial wellness programs and group legal plans reduce considerable anxiety and are appreciated. They are solid reasons for staying with an employer.
Value Your Employees
Talent management professionals continually remind their clients of the need to let employees know how important they, the dedicated staffers, are. This is not just idle chat. Google has been on the Fortune Magazine list for the last 10 years, and is not just because of various corporate perks or pay. The culture at Google lets employees know they are respected and valued for the work that they do. Feedback is continuous and HR analytics is embraced in order to really understand their workforce of tens of thousands and better understand their strengths and weaknesses and put them on a path to success. This is something that millennials in particular are looking for in an employer. They want to be more than just a warm body in a cold cubicle subject to one size fits all rules.
The Fortune Magazine list is full of companies whose management has gone out of its way to let employees know that their presence matters. This is above and beyond stock options and financial incentives. Examples gleaned from the list include:
- • Continual, informal feedback;
• Town hall meetings where employees are encouraged to provide feedback to executive management;
- • Advancement opportunities for minorities with an absence of a glass ceiling;
• Flexible work schedules to better accommodate family needs;
• Telecommuting from home opportunities;
• Formal mentoring programs;
• Firm commitment to in-house promotions;
• Permitting employees to work on their own ideas.
• It has to be understood that not every idea is going to fit into a given company. The corporate culture may prohibit some, while the nature of the market being served can hinder other possibilities. Nevertheless, successful retention strategies are geared to make the workplace more inviting, as well as providing opportunities for skill enrichment and advancement.
What further has to be understood is that turnover is a given in the corporate world. For all the best efforts there will still be employees who move on for other opportunities. Nevertheless, going the extra mile with solid retention strategies can persuade the employees to stay a little bit longer. The retention efforts also generate a workplace full of positive energy. The benefits derived from that is increased productivity; something that every sensible employer wants to see happen.