One of the hottest trends in business right now is the topic of employee retention and satisfaction.
Business owners and managers are seeing their top employees “make the jump” every four years, on average—much more often than previous generations. And every time one of these top employees walks out the door it costs the business in terms of money and morale.
More often than not, there is something that can be done about it. Business owners and managers need to be proactive from day one in their efforts to retain top employees and keep them satisfied.
Here are five employee retention strategies that will keep your best employees around for a long time.
1. Make your company more than “perks”
Sure, in-office massages and unlimited snacks in the break room are great and can lead to a small increase in employee happiness, but company “perks” are not what are going to keep your best employees around for the long haul.
When people start to feel unsatisfied at a job, it’s because they’re part of a static culture instead of a culture invested in career growth.
Studies show that employees who are most happy with their current career status are the ones that believe that can grow and make a difference in an organization.
Provide real growth opportunities for employees in their area of expertise and allow them to experiment within their field. Trust your employees and nurture them, and it will pay off big time for your business.
2. Understand what motivates your top employees
All too often business owners and managers take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to retaining their employees. They think that what works for one generation will surely work for another, because well, that’s the way they’ve always done it.
Nothing could be further from the truth in today’s workforce. Today, workplaces span across four generations—baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z.
Get to know the motivations of each generation and how it may affect their view of workplace satisfaction. Also, understand that generational differences among employees may cause tension. Create a work environment where different generations of employees can utilize their individual skills to come together on one common goal.
3. Invest in and challenge your employees
The absolute best retention strategies always include a plan to focus on employee skill development. This can be through structured courses, mentoring, in-person conferences, or new job assignments—the possibilities are endless.
Providing skill development opportunities to employees challenges themselves and motivates them to push beyond their normal work and mental capacity. It also shows the employee that you trust them and are investing their future at the company.
As a business leader, it’s important to make the commitment to foster top employees’ capabilities and make what they want to achieve at your company a top priority.
4. Provide flexibility and autonomy
As we enter 2016, work flexibility and autonomy will continue to become a central component of employee retention and satisfaction. Long gone are the days of sitting at a cubicle for eight or nine hours per day. Technology has evolved tremendously to allow employees to be productive just about anywhere in the world.
This is especially important for young hires, as they are incredibly attracted to the idea of flexibility and autonomy. Experiment with allowing employees to work from home a few days a week, or, allow them to create their own work schedule that fits their lifestyle. For example, maybe they would be more productive with a two-hour lunch break so that they can exercise in the middle of the day.
A small change in your outlook on what it means to be productive can go a long way with employees in today’s workforce. Trust them, and they’ll work harder for you.
5. Jump on the work-life wagon
The idea of creating a company culture that revolves around both work and life is showing up in companies everywhere.
Why? Because employees are constantly blurring the line between their “work life” and their “personal life.”
Just as with providing autonomy and flexibility, providing a company culture where work and life become one is essential to employee retention and satisfaction.
“People don’t see their careers as purely linear paths anymore and expect to make many twists and turns along the way. As such, they have multiple interests and like the ability to be able to do everything,” said Chris Gobalakrishna, the CFO of WorkStride.
Talk to your employees and really listen to what would make them more productive and happy throughout the day. Then, make changes based on their feedback.
You’ll notice that the tips above all revolve around the idea of company culture. Focusing on the improvement of this aspect of your business in 2016 and beyond will help you to retain your best employees and keep them satisfied.
This article was written by Nick Lucs from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.