These days, the idea of a loyal employee who will stay with you for more than three months, let alone 1 or 5 years, seems blue-sky thinking. This is even more highlighted with today’s millennial mindset that has caused huge shifts in the working world. To overcome this and build a loyal staff, you want to be seen as more than just a good employer. You want to be seen as a great employer!
Yet the Glassdoors of this world and human instinct to act on reviews make it easy for your company’s name to be dragged through the mud and deter future prospective employees if you get any bad reviews.
Additionally, technology disruption, abundance, and global opportunities enable people from all walks of life to own more of a ‘free spirit’ lifestyle, to explore, to move on and to be their best selves. Great for humanity, but you also need to make sure your company accommodates this and encourages your employees to stay with you, especially the talented ones. This will allow you to keep your talent retention high.
In the words of Richard Branson, ‘Train people well enough so they can leave. Train them so they don’t want to.’ Except in this instance, I think we swap the word TRAIN with TREAT.
If you treat your employees well, there are studies to prove that onboarding them, training them, engaging them, rewarding them, motivating them affects their productivity, contributions and ultimately your bottom line.
So what can you do to become a GREAT employer?
It isn’t always about the perks such as offering a great gym membership, having nap pods ‘a La Google offices, or ping-pong tables in the breakout area (though I won’t lie – they add to the appeal!); but rather a consistent dedication to an employee’s purpose, growth, and development.
Here are 5 ways you can work towards becoming a 5-star employer:
1. Always onboard them
Make sure both you’re employees (both new and existing) are not in the dark. If they are familiar with the tools, processes, and ways around doing their job better, they will always perform better, especially if they’re equipped well. Employee onboarding can make all the difference in how quickly a new hire becomes productive or how long they choose to say. If they feel neglected, they’re more likely to leave sooner than you think.
According to research, the top reasons for an employee leaving were a poor onboarding experience, a lack of clarity surrounding job duties and expectations, or a less than a stellar boss.
2. Always have an open door policy with feedback
If you’re not sure about their personal development, how they’re getting on, what they’re thinking/feeling etc, ask them! It’s about time you check on each individual and team, what can you do more to help support their role? What tools do they need? Does anything need to be improved or changed? Are they happy with their manager? How is the current project going? Do they feel like the company is open with a flat structure and not bureaucratic? Do they feel like they have the freedom to develop or do they feel limited etc?
You need to make sure your company collects feedback in an efficient and effective manner where you can address issues head-on, avoid grievances, high turnover, and a bad reputation. Keeping an open dialogue with your team can provide priceless insights into their collective engagement and the engagement levels of individual members.
AI revolutionizes things. But humans still work for your company. And they have lives. So treat them as humans. Some of the greatest employers offer more than the mandatory maternity leave time for example, as well as equal rights for paternity leave. Or they offer part-time/ ad-hoc remote working arrangements so people can attend to their family matters more, health, sabbaticals, etc.
It doesn’t have to be these specifically that you offer, but you can be creative and work/life balance is ever more important for employees and gaining their trust/respect, will give you a more productive employee who WANTS to work hard for your company.
4. Meaningful work
The purpose of life. Ah, that is a question indeed. Okay, while a company cannot promise to offer purpose to an employee’s life, it certainly can offer part of it. After all, they’re spending at least 8 hours of their life per day there. So to make them feel valued and continually motivated, provide continuous training and development. Help them feel worth it, keep their skills sharp and at the end of the day your company will also reap the rewards. Not only should they be exposed to great training opportunities, but they should so be offered varied and stimulating tasks. Assignments that will allow them to make a real difference to the company. At the end of the day, no one wants a dead-end job or feel as if their creativity is being stifled.
To understand what all of this and how they’re feeling, employee feedback in point 2 will help you assess and address this.
5. Train, train, train and goals, goals goals
Like Branson’s infamous quote, training is key. Being stagnant and complacent is dangerous for anyone. Being in a comfort zone doesn’t allow anyone to grow, sharpen their skills or build on what they’re already great at. By investing in your employee’s personal growth and development, your company will be seen as a generous employer with integrity and good intentions. It will also provide huge returns for your company’s bottom line.
By giving people as much knowledge and training as you can, they will, once again, feel important, valued and rewarded. And they’re more likely to stay loyal. Likewise, goals are key for employees.
By not having a clear grasp of their job duties, company policies, and the performance metrics by which they’ll be evaluated, it can be tremendously frustrating and damage morale to the point that employees may be tempted to look for employment elsewhere.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: communicate with employees to ensure they have a crystal-clear understanding of their job duties, company policies, and so on. Also, remember to get feedback as per point 2!
About the Author: Vedran Ismaili is the founder and CEO of Typelane, a platform that helps companies improve employee onboarding and offboarding.
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