Employee turnover can be a serious problem for businesses of all sizes, but really understanding why employees are leaving is an even bigger challenge. In 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 3.5 million people – or 2.3% of the total workforce – left their jobs voluntarily in October which increased from the year prior. We want to touch on three cost-effective things that your company can do today to retain employees and achieve success.
Providing employees with an opportunity to advance within the company is one of the biggest drivers to keeping employees happy and engaged. Setting a career path is both beneficial for the employee and company ‒ here’s why:
It gives employees motivation to work harder to reach goals, while at the same time promoting peace of mind, knowing they have a future at the company. By providing a clear path for employees and purposely advancing them through roles on a regular time frame, it allows gaps to be filled within the organization and incentivizes top performance in current roles (ie; if you want to be considered for a future promotion, you can’t be a slacker now). Another great benefit for companies is actually the monetary savings. According to a Harvard Business Review article, replacing an employee who quits costs, on average, 21% of their annual pay. Building clear career paths for employees, increases worker satisfaction, drives people to their best performance levels, and creates a succession plan while maintaining tribal knowledge.
Professional Development & Continued Learning
87% of millennials say Professional Development is important to them, according to a Forbes article. Employees with the opportunity to continue their learning will help grow organizations. For example, Amazon has an intensive, month-long training and leadership program prior to hire. Amazon also prepays 95% of tuition for their fulfillment center employees to take courses in in-demand fields, and they have a “Virtual Contact Center” that trains employees to work from home. Understanding that we can’t all be Amazon, we CAN all deploy programs that will allow employees to feel more confident and competent to boost performance and satisfaction in their current role.
Professional Development doesn’t always have to be in the form of formal education or certification classes. Giving employees access to a leadership coach, pairing employees with a mentor at a higher level in the organization, providing opportunities to shadow or join project teams in other areas, are all alternatives that support professional development that will not break the bank.
Voice Heard → Take Action
At times it can be hard to voice your opinion, and even more difficult to convey it in a way that resonates with multiple parties. It is important for engagement to foster an environment where employees are able to professionally express their thoughts. Too often we speak with candidates who are unhappy in their careers because they aren’t able to impact change. Disallowing employees to share thoughts and ideas is, in most cases, underutilizing an employee’s strengths AND a company’s [free] resources.
Here’s the catch ‒ in order to continually cultivate an environment where employees are able to express their ideas, a company needs to show that they are giving the employees’ suggestions true, thorough consideration and that suggestions regularly result in new company initiatives.
No matter the size or stage of your organization, losing employees is rarely a good thing. If you see the value in avoiding this negativity downcycle, try incorporating these ideas into your day-to-day company culture – the changes you’ll see in your employees might surprise you!