Home / Employer / Recruiter Tips / How to Retain Employees in Today’s Employee Relationship Economy

How to Retain Employees in Today’s Employee Relationship Economy

When you ask business leaders how to retain employees, “culture” is almost always top of mind. One blogger even wrote the headline: “Tips for Employee Retention: Culture, Culture, Culture, Culture and Culture.” Most business leaders and HR executives would agree that culture is a key component to employee retention—but how does something so abstract have such a big impact on whether employees stay or go? And how do you leverage company culture to retain employees?

The reality is, the world is small—and everyone is connected. This means that your culture isn’t isolated within the walls of your business. Employees who are laid off, or leave voluntarily, are likely to cross paths with current and future employees. When you’ve built a positive culture and supportive work environment, former employees will represent your company and its culture positively to their social and personal networks. Disgruntled employees are often apt to do just the opposite, damaging the brand. Fostering a strong internal culture doesn’t simply impact employee retention rates—it can also inspire employees to return as boomerang employees, or motivate top talent to stick around long-term.

So how do you build a culture of dedicated to giving employees what they need to stay? Here are five best practices for retaining employees in today’s interconnected world—when practiced in unison, you’re not only supporting a beginning to beginning employment journey, but you’re also establishing a foundation that puts people first.  

Don’t give employees a reason to leave

It’s a commonly known fact that employees now change jobs every 2 to 3 years. One of the main reasons for moving from one position to another is the lack of opportunity to learn and grow. As HR professionals, we have to constantly be thinking about strategies to keep employees engaged and enthused.

Learning and development initiatives are a great place to start, but true support comes in the form of company-wide sponsorship for each employee’s personal and professional growth. The new relationship economy demands that managers and supervisors know where their employees are professionally and what they are passionate about. Managers must be looking for challenges and growth opportunities for employees that will support each person’s pursuit of long-term goals.

If employees are going to change jobs every 2 to 3 years, we must look at employee growth as an opportunity for businesses, instead of a risk.  By understanding employee’s goals, and supporting – or even facilitating – advancement towards those goals, our teams and entire culture become stronger. In addition, instead of always looking for new, external talent to fill the skills gap, companies will need to focus on retaining the talent they have by facilitating cross-department transitions, or providing coaching to meet the demands of a promotion. Ideally, when high-performing employees are ready to take the next move in their careers, they will do so within your company.

Cross-collaborate talent

When employers and departments encourage cross-functional work and exposure, employees are exposed to new projects and job opportunities that may lead them to get the career building and personal growth opportunities they would normally look for outside of the company. Leverage internal communications tools like newsletters and all-hands meetings across all departments and business units to create awareness for open opportunities and new initiatives that will need specific talent.

Before looking outside of the organization for talent for a new position, have a system in place to identify team members from other departments that may be a good fit. Develop an internal culture that encourages cross-functional work and communication by providing opportunities for executives to network. Use internal communications to keep employees in the loop, and do the research necessary to know what’s going on within your organization and identify where there may be opportunities to cross-pollinate.

 Develop a mentorship program

Most people can recall a job or a task from the past that they just couldn’t grasp. For whatever reason, they were not able to be successful and were either let go or chose to leave on their own. The company that hired them had already made an investment in time and money, and the employees had made an investment in emotion and time with the company. When the position didn’t work out, it was a lose-lose proposition. Chances are that if there was someone who was able to help those employees along the way, to clue them in on what they were missing, it wouldn’t have been such a negative experience.

In many businesses, managers can provide casual mentorship—but an official mentorship program can set an expectation that learning and growing are part of the culture. Ideally, mentors are experienced people within your organization that have some insight into how the mentee’s interests and talents align with organizational goals and can provide guidance to keep individual contributors on track. Mentors can encourage employees to grow and develop within their current roles, demystifying those areas that can cause a team member to trip up, and sometimes spot new opportunities outside of the position that don’t require a change of employer.

Remove gig workers from a silo

Across many industries, gig workers play an important role. From writers to designers to short term event staffers, and every position in between, people in the flexible workforce bring many talents and specialized abilities to the organizations they serve. Although they are temporary by nature, organizations will want to figure out how to retain this talent, too. Although extensive onboarding is not necessary for the gig employee, the truth is that they need some information about the organization and the industry it serves. During their tenure as a gig worker, these individuals gain valuable legacy knowledge and mutual trust is formed.

When new projects come along, companies will want to call on the same gig workers and consultants that have been successful in the past, benefiting from their familiarity with the organization. Companies that already have a culture of working cross-functionally will be able to use the institutional knowledge and experiences of known freelancers from one project to the next, regardless of department or business unit. Grooming individuals in the flexible workforce and giving them the experience they need to handle larger projects provides more value for the company. Experienced gig workers also become an instant source of talent when full-time positions open up. The more gig workers can experience working across multiple departments, the more valuable they will become and the more they may want to continue working with the organization.

#5: Foster a culture of sponsorship

Think of your HR department as a hub that is connected to all the teams and departments across your company. If you truly want to build a culture of sponsorship, HR needs to encourage and support the employee journey and career advancement by connecting the dots. HR can play the crucial support role by making job placement and cross-department job transition possible—and entirely normal. When HR leads the way by supporting all aspects of the employee journey, it has a profound ripple effect on the company, allowing a culture of sponsorship to thrive.

Building a culture designed to support the employee journey does more than increase retention numbers. It cuts costs too. Indeed’s Talent Attract Study revealed that 71% of employees are actively seeking, or open to new job opportunities, and when employees leave an organization—whether voluntarily or involuntarily—the average cost to replace each one is 6-9 months of their salary, mostly spent on recruiting and training.

Actively seeking to retain employees demonstrates an employee-first culture. In the new Employee Relationship Economy, former employees become vendors, customers, brand evangelists, recruiting references, and boomerang employees – returning to work for the company again at a later time, or under a different job. The employee-employer relationship is no longer finite. Employer brands are made and broken based on the company culture and an organization’s ability to retain employees. Look within your organization to see where you can institute retention policies. What retention initiatives do you already have in place that we haven’t mentioned here. Respond below – we’d love to hear from you.

The post How to Retain Employees in Today’s Employee Relationship Economy appeared first on RiseSmart.

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

Ads by WOW Trk

About Mildred Blankson

I am a Human Resource Professional with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I have several years of experience in Human Resources and i hope this blog will be a great resource in helping you find the perfect job or candidate that you seek.

Check Also

How to Leverage Company Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

One-third of organizations have increased their overall benefit offerings in 2016, according to a research report compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As recruiting and retaining top talent continue to become increasingly difficult for employers, robust benefit packages play a key role. When salaries and perks (think: free lunch) are nearly equal from company to company, employees are likely to opt for the company that offers the best benefits and greatest opportunities.

Medical and financial benefits aside, employees are looking for lifestyle and career benefits. SHRM reported that the top reason employers increased benefits in 2016 was to remain competitive in the marketplace—and the three biggest focus areas for change were in the health (22%), wellness (24%), and professional and career development (16%) categories. Robust benefit packages that include career development, health and wellness, and flexible working options provide a platform for employers to stand out. Nearly one-third of employees look for external positions because they desire “overall better benefits,” second only to higher compensation.

The type of benefits you offer speaks volumes on how you treat and support employees, which always manifests by way of your external employer brand. It’s not enough to say “we have great benefits,” because “great benefits” are now table stakes. Companies have mastered the art of talking about perks, from catered lunches to team building activities. Failure to talk about the real support and development opportunities you offer to employees might translate to missed opportunities. So how can hiring managers and recruiters promote employee benefits to help with recruiting and retention?

#1: Kick “industry standard” out of your vocabulary

When recruiters and hiring managers list their company’s benefits and summarize with the catch-all phrase, we offer “industry standard” benefits, it’s not enough. When all else—compensation, vacation days, and perks—are even, offering a standard benefits package won’t help your company standout enough to secure commitment from a top employee. Even though it might be tempting to default to a quick response, it pays to provide more detail about the benefits your company offers, in length, during the interview process.

And even more importantly than providing a laundry list of benefits (but kudos to you for that list!), explain how these benefits fit in with core company values. For example, if you offer flexible work arrangements and flexible hours, explain that these arrangements support your company’s value of work-life balance. If you provide a gym membership or showers at work, talk about how it enhances company culture or creates opportunities for employees to get the exercise they desire in a convenient way.. When recruits begin to see how your benefits support their shared values and interests, they’ll see the benefits you offer are much greater than “industry standard.”

Employers hoping to keep a competitive edge are offering more than the “industry standard” at every stage of the employee journey, including at severance – according to a recent study by RiseSmart. If you’re on the cutting edge of severance offerings, use those benefits to differentiate your company form the competition.

#2: Talk about goals in the recruiting and interview process

Before an employee is even hired, find out what they’re looking for in their employer and what their short and long term goals are. Ask questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and “How are you hoping your employer will support you along your career journey?” Employees, many of whom are seeking opportunities for career development and continuing education, need to know you plan to invest in their individual career goals.

A Career Builder survey found that 45% of employees, regardless of generation, plan to stay with their employer for less than two years. During their tenure, they expect to benefit and grow with each new role and and at each new company. It’s important to convey to prospective employees that you invest in each individual employee, regardless for how long they plan to stay in the role for which they are being hired.

#3: Amplify the employee voice

Remind employees early on that they have a voice to share about company culture and employee benefits. Glassdoor, for example, recommends employers invite new hires to reflect on their first few months at the company. Whether this leads to internal feedback or a public review, it can assist efforts aimed at creating a positive employer brand.

L’Oréal recently launched a #LifeatLoreal hashtag to encourage employees to share photos of their experiences at work. The campaign all stemmed from the idea that people would trust their peers on social media when it came to L'Oréal being a great place to work. Employees posted a wide variety of pictures, including snapshots of various benefits and perks in action—such as flex days and catered lunches. Encourage employees to share the experiences they enjoy the most on the social channel of their choice.

#4: Keep employees engaged with benefits

On average, salary is only about 70% of an employee’s total compensation. When employees don’t take advantage of the benefits offered by the company, it’s equivalent to leaving 30% of the total compensation package on the table. Employers who keep employees engaged with benefits are more likely to see benefits manifest as part of the employer brand. An employee is highly unlikely to leave a Glassdoor review that mentions a positive benefit if she has never actually utilized the benefit.

Try hosting monthly or quarterly Q&A sessions to discuss available benefits. When you roll out a particularly hefty benefit, such as a new 401K offering, or an update to parental leave policy, give employees ample opportunity to ask questions. You could also share success stories from employees who have taken advantage of a particularly niche benefit, such as an hour of free lawyer services, to showcase how the benefit is used and encourage other employees to check it out.

#5: Benefits are the forgotten negotiation tool

If you are a hiring manager or recruiter engaging with a candidate, think beyond salary, or equity. Everything is negotiable, from vacation days to health insurance choices. Savvy employees, especially as the war for talent continues to heat up, will use benefits as negotiation tools—but don’t shy away from doing the same thing on the employer side. It’s often easier to offer more benefits than to secure additional salary for an employee.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your full complement of benefits, including your severance benefits. Prospective employees may feel more comfortable about joining a company that will take care of them, in the event of a downsizing or restructuring event. You may want to consider offering perks like outplacement and career transition services to employees who leave voluntarily as well as those who are involuntary subjects of a layoff. Knowing that you are invested in their career, even after they leave, will help you create a workforce of dedicated, engaged, and satisfied employees.

The world is small and everyone is connected. When you invest in employees, it leads to a positive employer brand. In the new Employee Relationship Economy, former employees will someday become vendors, customers, brand evangelists, recruiting references, or even boomerang employees. In a world where the employee/employer relationship is no longer finite, it’s important to convey your full support for employees’ career endeavors at every stage of their career journeys -- beginning early in the recruiting and interview process.

In every recruiting conversation, highlight your dedication to each employee’s career. When you frame up your organization’s benefits in context of how they fit in with the employee’s journey, it’s easy for the candidate to see how your company would support his journey. Communication about employee benefits can go a long way in the recruiting process—and will have a direct impact on your employer brand. If you offer much more than “industry standard,” you should be screaming it from the rooftops. Your current and prospective employees deserve to understand just how committed you are to their personal and professional journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *