Retaining Quality Employees – Hire ‘em and keep ‘em

“It is so hard to find good help and to keep good people on staff.” This is the most common challenge I hear from contractors around the country.   The unemployment rate is at the lowest levels in decades.   As a result, employees and sub-contractors move from one company to the next at gypsy-like pace and contractors remain in a search for quality employees to bring on board. Are their ways to attract quality employees and retain their services for years to come?

Take a look at the top ten reasons that employees stay in a company.   This will give you insight to keep your quality employees.

  1. Clearly define expectations and outcomes. The most satisfied employees know exactly what is expected of them and what the ultimate outcome is of a particular project or job description. In other words, they know what the big picture is for their position. Most importantly, they have managers or employers that allow them to find their own route toward those outcomes. The best employers know and understand the differences between employee styles and allow individuals to use their strengths to their fullest potential.
  2. Encourage continuing development. The innate yearning to learn and grow is natural to human beings. Employees who are encouraged to expand their personal and professional development appreciate their jobs even more. A quality employer can set up a personal development library, even if this means the top of a credenza in the office. Seminars and ongoing certification programs for your employees feed their personal development appetite. Many corporations hire personal coaches for their employees to continue to give them the edge.   These ongoing training ideas nurture your employees and expand their employable talents.
  3. Extend recognition and praise. These are essential building blocks for employee retention. There is nothing complicated about recognition, but it continues to be one of the highest needs on employee’s lists.   Recognition can be received by way of verbal praise, with awards presentations, implementing an employee’s suggestion (and giving them credit for it), and many other ways.   The point is to extend praise regularly.   Employees say they need a pat on the back at least every seven days.   What a concept.
  4. Genuinely care about your employees. Here is another bit of nuclear physics knowledge.   Employees say this is at the top of their list for job satisfaction.   When someone at work, either the employer or the manager, sincerely cares about them as a person, they tend to stay longer and have a much higher level of productivity.   Employees that are treated as individuals and whose personal talents are respected are much more content to stay with your company.
  5. Salary and benefits are not the number one reason people stay at a company. Surprised?   The fact is that employees say it is actually fifth on their list of top ten reasons to stay at a company.   Other factors seem much more important.   Work environment, people issues, and growth opportunities rate much higher than money and benefits.   A good compensation package is necessary in combination with these other factors.
  6. Offer regular, quality feedback. A great manager or employer must have an understanding of the talents each employee possesses. Regular performance evaluations help the employee stay focused on their productivity. Objective feedback helps the employee continue to understand his role.   Emphasis should be placed on their strengths and how best to use them. This will help the employee gain self-understanding and knowledge about the talents they possess and how they are applied every day at work.
  7. Nurture friendships at the office. Human beings are very social by nature.  Work is a place where long-term friendships are often developed.  This evolution of quality relationships between people is very normal and it is a part of a healthy workplace.   Employers understand that loyalties between their personnel can foster company loyalty. Set up an environment in which, friendships can be developed and are able to grow. Company functions and team projects are a good way to make this happen.
  8. Provide the right tools. Having the right resources and equipment for your people is essential.   This allows them to do the best job with the latest tools.   Simple things like adequate lighting, ergonomic furniture, product information guides, and computers that are networked together allow your people to do their job right.
  9. Include them in the decision making process. Great employers consult with employees regularly to make sure their ideas and instincts are recognized.   Especially when decisions are made that affect an employee’s position, it is most important to make them a part of the process.     In doing this, you acknowledge the intelligence and value of the employee.   When their opinions count and credit is given to them for good ideas, they tend to stay in your employ.
  10. Allow them to make a difference. When they feel a sense of mission and purpose, their job has meaning and significance.   They want to know they are contributing to an important endeavor.   The best workplaces give their employees a sense of purpose, help them feel they belong, and enable them to make a difference.

The overwhelming message is…”Employees do not leave companies, they leave managers and supervisors”.   The work atmosphere, the commraderie of fellow employees and their managers, and the continuing personal development opportunities are the primary reasons employees remain at a company.   When these innate needs are met, employees tend to be much more productive, profits increase and there is a greater level of customer satisfaction.

Until we have the honor to meet in person, remember, “Success is YOUR choice, choose well.”

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