Retaining valuable employees by connecting with them can raise a company's bottom line, harmonize the workplace attitudes, and improve the business image. A wise leader can take advantage of a number of tactics to engage with his or team to earn the benefits of employee retention.
The Importance of Retaining Valuable Employees
Successful business leaders have been retaining valuable employees by connecting with them for centuries. Aside from economic interests, it has been one of the chief motivators since employer/employee relationships emerged. Why should business leaders continue this practice today?
Avoid Expensive Employee Turnover
More than one-third of workers leave their jobs for voluntary (one fifth) or involuntary (one-sixth) reasons each year.
Retaining Valuable Employees Minimizes Training Costs
Onboarding new employees generates direct costs, such as:
new employee orientation
temporary, fill-in hires
candidate search and selection
new manuals, documents, and literature
materials and supplies
The cost of training new employees can range anywhere from 16 to 20% of their annual salaries:
... nearly 77%, or three-fourths, of US turnover could be prevented by employers. Employers will pay $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018 and can expect that number to increase to $680 billion by 2020.
The Work Institute
Losses that Affect Overall Productivity and Efficiency
Outbound employees may not perform as well as they get ready to leave and lose interest in their job. As administrators spend time and money filling vacant positions, other employees generally have to take up the slack, resulting in suboptimal performance.
Institutional Knowledge in Their Heads
Finally, the loss of institutional knowledge costs business unmeasurable losses. Even low performing employees may have valuable work experience.
No amount of documentation can replace the experienced response of a long-time employee. New employees learn this largely through co-worker interaction and trial and error. Both affect the bottom line by taking up person-hours, as well as resources.
It’s Difficult to Establish Camaraderie With a Transient Workforce
Well established camaraderie in the workplace can result in improved team performance and coherence. However, if high turnover plagues a business, employees may struggle to establish trustful, lasting relationships.
Customers Notice When Names Change
When customers directly interact with employees, they notice the changes. In the foodservice and hospitality industries, customers enjoy repeat contact with top-notch servers and support staff. When steady employees remember customers and clients, they respond more effectively to their needs and desires as consumers.
Job Seekers See Businesses Retaining Valuable Employees
As administrators learn how to retain employees by connecting, they should also take into account how it can affect company reputation. Job search platforms provide data about employee ratings of their workplace. Professionals seeking work certainly take this information into account. Imagine, for example, the recruiting advantage that Bain and Company has after coming in first on Glassdoor's "2019 Best Places to Work Employees' Choice."
Your Competitors Could Benefit Directly
Want your competitors to take your best employees away to compete directly with your business? Of course not.
When a company's management team works on retaining valuable employees by connecting, they feel content in the workplace. That lowers the risk of losing them to competitors.
Retaining Valuable Employees by Connecting
Ready to connect with the team to improve employee retention? Try these strategies:
Celebrate the Little Things. Try personalizing team interactions by celebrating individual successes. Showing up personally just to congratulate an employee on an achievement demonstrates appreciation.
Open Door Policy. Administrators often get so bogged down in work that they work behind closed doors. Make them available to any staff member for at least some time each week.
Employee Voice and Vote. Taking employee opinion into account means information directly from the floor and helps them feel included. Listen actively to what they say and evaluate it objectively.
Eliminate Bullying. Sometimes saving valuable employees means getting rid of problematic ones. A survey estimated that bullying affects 60 million people in the US, and 29 percent of them never report it. Employees appreciate protection from bullies and interpret it as strong, competent management.
Empower Employees. Suppose that an administrator fails to provide a repeated broom, safety equipment, break area picnic table, employees get offended. That's not how to retain the best employees.
Enable every employee to reach his or her own work goals. Give employees managerial confidence to try new things. Reward successes, and express empathy and support for failures.
Connect Haphazardly. Walk the sales floor. Visit a branch store. Show up unexpectedly (but not authoritatively) at a staff meeting. Retaining valuable employees by letting them see the human behind the title.
Respect Their Time. Overworked, tired employees will appreciate you stopping by to say, "You should have gone home by now," and even politely asking them to leave can keep employees from feeling abused.
Invest in Employees. Visit their workspaces and try to observe barriers to productivity. Ask them about bottlenecks and what they need to open them up. Ensure that they have access to quality insurance and health and other benefits plans and perks.
Lead by Example. If employees observe the higher-ups getting their hands dirty or stopping on a facility tour to pick up a piece of litter, they learn by example.