Quality talent is at a deficit in the modern business landscape. Headhunting was already a normal activity before the pandemic spurred countless employees to up and leave their positions in search of better.
This combination has put a unique strain on business owners. Finding good hires is no longer enough. A company must invest in retaining its top talent, as well. This starts right from day one.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your new hires don’t bounce on you at the first opportunity.
1. Cover the Basics …Well
It may sound simple, but ground zero for employee retention is, well, managing your company well. This doesn’t just mean remaining profitable or having a great customer experience. It includes creating a company that treats its employees well, too.
This starts with your infrastructure. Do you have the right tools in place to help your team operate in an efficient and productive manner? What trainers, guidelines, and documentation do you have in place? How do they help new hires learn the ropes and feel mentored and comfortable in their new workspace?
One area to really make sure you address is having a solid compensation process in place. If there are any hitches in getting paid, it will undermine a new hire’s confidence in your operation.
If your company has fewer employees, there are still plenty of good payroll software for small businesses, such as a SaaS solution from Gusto. These can ensure that you pay your employees in full, on time, and even with several attractive flourishes, like employee self-service options.
2. Invest in Thoughtful Benefits and Perks
Along with basic elements like training, codified business processes, and dependable payroll, you also want to consider what benefits and perks you’re offering. This shouldn’t be a quick decision. Nor should it happen once and then go on auto-pilot.
If you want your new hires (and your old ones, for that matter) to feel cared for, you need to show them. Benefits are a great way to do that in a way that offers direct, measurable value — or, at least, it can do that.
The thing is, you have to choose benefits that genuinely meet your employee’s needs. There are obvious candidates, like a comprehensive small business 401(k) program or good healthcare benefits.
Don’t stop there, though. Look for other ways that you can show appreciation to your employees.
For example, if you’re working in person, you could set up a pour-over coffee station right in your office. If you’re remote or hybrid, you can also sign your off-site workers up for coffee subscriptions. These little details (backed up by basic benefits and a solid infrastructure) can do wonders in making a good impression on new hires.
3. Create Continual Learning Opportunities
As an organization, you want to create a team that serves your needs and builds your company. However, if that comes at the expense of your employees’ careers, they’re going to move on sooner or later.
That’s why, if you want to encourage talent to stick with you over time, you need to be willing to invest in continual learning. This can seem counterintuitive at times. After all, if you sharpen an employee’s skill set and they end up leaving you for another position, it can be tough in the short term. And don’t be mistaken, that kind of stuff will happen from time to time.
However, the trade-off is well worth it. Why? Because we live in a growth-oriented world. A single skillset is no longer enough over the long term. Tech, processes, and every other area of business are constantly evolving. This doesn’t just impact you, the employee, either. If employees feel left behind or stunted by their work environment, they aren’t going to stick around.
In response, you need to help your staff embrace a growth mindset. Give them consistent professional development opportunities. This will help them feel personally fulfilled in their career paths. It will also, by extension, develop a sense of loyalty toward your brand. The fact that they will also become more skilled and effective employees in the process is a huge benefit, too.
4. Embrace an Employee-First Culture
Finally, your company culture is a critical aspect that you can’t afford to overlook. This goes hand-in-hand with continual learning. There are many aspects that go into a solid company culture, from morals and ethics to standards and procedures. When it comes to employee retention, in particular, you must focus on empowerment.
This often comes from the little things. For example, encouraging personal responsibility and avoiding micromanaging are great cultural norms for any enterprise — especially in a remote-work world.
In addition, maintaining a fair and equitable workspace that invites participation and the voicing of opinions can help your employees feel heard. Once again, this validates them and helps them feel invested in their work on a personal level.
From a solid operating infrastructure to targeted benefits and perks to growth-oriented development and healthy company culture, there are many ways to prevent new hires from bouncing. The important thing to realize is that you aren’t bribing new employees or paying them to like you more than the competition. Instead, you’re building a business that is, in and of itself, a worthwhile and attractive place to work. To invoke the oft-stated, classic quote, “if you build it, they will come…”