Replacing an employee is a headache no manager wants. It’s costly, slows down production, and let’s face it, is just a huge inconvenience we could all do without (just the thought of reading through hundreds of resumes is probably enough to make your head hurt).
No business owner or manager enters the role expecting that every employee they hire will be with them for the long haul. Life happens, people move, needs change. Those are obstacles that no business owner can prevent. But there are common factors that can drive employees away, and avoiding those missteps is preventable. We’ve gathered six tips that can help you reduce employee turnover and build a strong – and lasting – office team.
1. Culture first, CV second
You’ve probably invested considerable time and energy into creating the job listing you’ve just posted. You thought about the skills needed, carefully worded the responsibilities expected. But how much consideration have you given to your corporate culture – the vision, values, practices, people, stories and physical space that go beyond your products or services to define your business? Salary and benefits alone simply aren’t enough to keep someone happy for the long haul. They must also enjoy being part of your team, and fit in well with the way you do business.
Knowing what your company is all about and finding people who fit in with your business values and mentality is equally important as finding someone who can handle the job duties required. Every candidate has different expectations from an office environment, and if you can find someone whose expectations meet your reality, you’re much more likely to find yourself a long-term team member who will be fully engaged, productive and satisfied.
Here are a few tips to help you determine whether the candidate you’re meeting with is a good fit for your office:
- Ask the Right Questions. Going beyond work experience to learn about the sort of characteristics they’re looking for in a boss, or what management style makes them the most effective is a good way to learn about the culture your candidate is looking for.
- Body Language. Are you seeing excitement or enthusiasm from your candidate? What topics make them light up or grow animated?
- Sharing. Ask them about their passions and interests outside the office to get a sense of who they are while still remaining professional.
2. Offer a Strong Package
Compensation alone won’t keep someone happy in a position that isn’t a good fit. Conversely, no matter how much someone enjoys their office environment, if they aren’t being fairly compensated for their efforts – valued for the role they play in the team and in the position – they are bound to leave when a better opportunity comes along. So how do you know whether you’re offering a competitive package that will be attractive to the right candidate – or secure the team members you have?
Simple market research can help you determine where you stand versus other companies of your size and industry. Tools like this one can help you establish a competitive salary range based on similar jobs in your area.
But paychecks are just one part of a strong offering package. Competitive benefits can be as powerful as a good salary when it comes to attracting and retaining employees. In this day and age, affordable or high-quality healthcare is always attractive, if not always easy to offer. But rather than guessing what benefits to offer, ask your employees what they want. Health benefits? More paid leave? Better or different office amenities? Find out what they value, and do your best to build your package using that feedback.
3. Encourage and Appreciate
This one should go without saying (and if you’re proactive enough to be reading this post, it probably does). Everyone wants to feel seen and to be recognized for their contributions. Encourage the behavior, accomplishments or contributions you value and you’ll see more of them – and keep the valuable people who make them happen.
A few kind words can go a long way toward showing your employees that you appreciate them, but we also have a few tips for recognizing and rewarding your team members – without blowing the budget.
4. Move them Up the Ladder
When tour employees are succeeding in their roles and enjoying their work, it may not occur to you that they want more from their careers than the position they are in. No matter how happy or satisfied they may be, every employee has ambitions, and smart business owners recognize that and act on it. If your team members can’t advance within your organization, they’ll find someplace that they can.
Even when a move isn’t immediately possible, you can foster your employees’ ambitions with mentoring, ongoing skills training, and by offering them new or additional responsibilities (with commensurate compensation) in their current role.
5. Embrace Flexible Work
Businesses of all sizes are increasingly embracing the idea of flexible work schedules and virtual offices. Early evidence shows that remote work arrangements benefit both workers and business owners. Embracing unique arrangements like flexible and remote work is a great way to boost employee morale and give your teams the kind of flexibility that can help you retain them for the long haul.
It may sound daunting at first, and it’s easy to be skeptical, especially when arrangements like these feel so unfamiliar. But departing from the traditional office arrangement isn’t as scary as it sounds. It isn’t as difficult, either. These simple tips can help you manage your remote employees successfully. We also have tips for setting up the perfect home office, and a guideline for helping you understand exactly what your remote teams need.
6. Work Better
Two simple words, but a complicated task. Or so you’d think. But we’ve got two more words that can help you improve the way you get the job done without a lot of effort on your part.
Document management is helping businesses of all sizes cut costs and improve productivity, and it can make your office a more pleasant place to work. Digitizing documents has far-reaching benefits for businesses across all industries, and it can work for you too. Digitization enhances collaboration and makes it easier to enable a virtual workforce too. You’ll also reduce the amount of time you’re currently spending on paper processes, which makes it easier for everyone to get their job done, making for a more productive office, and a happier team.
Millennials in particular value up to date technology and better ways to work, so if you’re looking to secure employees in this demographic – and you should be – consider reaching out to a Xerox channel partner in your area to help set you on the path to digital bliss.
There isn’t an exact formula that can help you keep every employee happy all the time, but these simple to follow tips can help you minimize turnover, and make your office a better place to work for everyone from the top on down.
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