It can be awfully tempting to view employees solely as financial liabilities, especially around payday. Obviously, the individuals cashing those paychecks are what make your business hum.
In today’s crowded marketplace, employees are often spoiled with options as to where to spend their time in exchange for a salary. Gone are the halcyon days where employees worked at the same company for their entire career.
With the high cost of training and onboarding, how can you ensure that employees not only stay but also stay engaged? Below are some things to consider to help retain your most valuable assets.
Set a High Standard from the Start
First and foremost, you must start with the right people in the right positions. Before you begin recruiting, decide what attributes you are searching for and what the ideal candidate will embody.
Don’t place this responsibility solely on the shoulders of one individual, or even just the kind folks in human resources. Many companies are seeing the benefit of including potential peers, team members, and subordinates in the hiring process. Doing so affords those who would work with the candidate an opportunity to scrutinize, review, and weigh-in on the newest members of the workplace.
Remember, the time you spend interviewing and evaluating candidates is an opportunity to create a team. Each new member of the team will need to work together and jointly they will form the culture of your company.
Don’t Just Mentor
Most companies have discovered the value of managers mentoring their employees. A strong mentoring program is an essential part of keeping employees engaged, building their skills, and learning how to help them individually to become the next leaders in your organization.
However, mentoring isn’t only useful from the top down. “Upward mentoring” is becoming increasingly popular as it allows employees the opportunity to interact with their manager in a new and intriguing way while simultaneously providing the more senior members of the team training or insight into areas they may not be familiar with.
Focus on Culture
Perhaps at one time it was true that employees should just be grateful to have a job (although I am not entirely convinced that it was ever really true). If you want your employees to stay with you for years to come, you must create a culture where they feel engaged, respected, empowered, and valued.
Of course, your company’s culture must be actively nurtured. It is not enough to give lip service to the concept of a culture or to continuously declare your company to be laid-back and easy-going. It takes more than a ping-pong table and sporadic parties to form an engaging workplace.
The good news is that employees don’t expect constant laughter or pie eating contests. Instead, what they really want is freedom to pursue ideas, praise for a job well done, and the knowledge that their contribution is meaningful. The time spent doing those things is invaluable. It won’t always come easy, and it will often be inconvenient, but the reward far outweighs the risk.
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