Let’s start off with a couple of bonus tips—a few things that are ineffective for retaining employees. You might have tried some of these yourself:
- Begging. Maintaining dignity will do you well. When you beg, your employee will lose respect for the company, and for you.
- Guilting. However your employee feels while you are in the process of guilting her will likely be how she feels the remainder of the time working for you—and that’s unlikely to be much longer.
- Opening the Door Too Far. Open door policies are great. Getting employee feedback is also great. What’s not great is turning employees into critiquers. Remember, you didn’t hire them on as consultants, but they will take on that role if you encourage it.
When employees consistently look for what’s wrong, and what needs fixing—they will find it. Perfection is a forever moving target. Eventually they will look for a company where there appears to be less wrong, and fewer things in need of fixing.
Now that we talked about what’s ineffective, or counterproductive, let’s look at 5 Effective Employee Retention Strategies.
1. Wow Them with Your Company’s Awesomeness
Most fresh faces have a natural new job high that lasts several days, and sometimes several weeks or months. This is a great time to show them everything that is good about their new opportunity and what greater opportunities their present, seemingly humble position may lead to. Now is the time for them to learn many things so they are ready to advance when greater opportunities are available.
As we alluded to in first section concerning feedback, it’s important for you to earn your new hires’ respect for your organization and its processes as they are, while keeping your door—and mind—open to better ways of doing things once your new hire is fully trained.
Asking for feedback at the wrong time, about the wrong things, or in the wrong way increases the risk of creating a critiquer. Chronic critiquers are never happy, because it is impossible for one to be happy in a situation, while simultaneously seeking everything that’s wrong with it.
2. Powerful, Practical Pairing
Every company has its naysayers, and you need keep such employees away from your precious new hires. While we acknowledge the grievances these “Negative Nancies” hold may be real, imagined, or a combination of both (and should be addressed by leadership as soon as possible), these are not the people that your new hires should be shadowing. The negativity of a seasoned employee will quickly crush the spirit of the next rising star.
Even if they are slightly less qualified to assist with the training of a newcomer as their negative counterparts, be sure to pair your new hire with the most positive person possible.
Consider pairing by personality-type as well. If your organization uses personality profile testing such as the MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator), partner your new hire with the types they are most likely to work with the best.
3. Sustain a Company Culture That No One Wants to Leave
Company culture is simply the way humans behave within an organization and the significance they attach to those behaviors. Much like any other culture, it evolves with time and can be significantly influenced by those who enter it. Newcomers entering the company may also be heavily influenced by its existing culture.
Top level leaders influence the direction of organizational culture by communicating or acting out the mission, vision, and values of the company.
Other players operate according to their interpretations of these things, and consequently establish assumptions and beliefs that govern their daily behavior in the workplace. Every individual in the company in some way impacts culture, and is also impacted by it.Every individual in the company in some way impacts culture, and is also impacted by it. Click To Tweet
Despite the complexity of corporate culture and all its moving parts, your hiring decisions, interactions with your team and other departments (individually and as a group), policies, and other things under your sphere of control can help you sustain what is best about your company culture and even bring about some positive changes.
For example, if you would like to facilitate a culture of comradery, be friendly with your team, help them facilitate friendships with each other, implore them to talk to each other, and also hire new talent, when possible, who embrace this same value. Then, encourage your existing team to take newcomers under their wing, help them out at work, and invite them out to social events.
4. Be Sure They Have the Tools, Training and Resources They Need
This may sound cliché, but many new hires acquire responsibilities without the resources to carry them out because some of the most basic things can be so easy to overlook by a seasoned employee.
That being said, few things are more frustrating for an ambitious employee than not feeling as if they have access to the things they need to do their job well, especially in the earliest stages of their new job.
Creating a new hire checklist for yourself that includes everything your new employee needs to get started whether it’s email account setup, software access or security codes is a good start. Creating an escalation list for your new hire can be a great way to preemptively ward off much unnecessary stress on her part.
5. Communicate Effectively, so They Don’t Have to Guess
Conscientious newcomers to the workplace are exceptionally vulnerable. They need to know when they are on the right track and doing their jobs well. This will motivate them to learn and do even more. We cannot say enough about the importance of giving positive feedback when it is warranted. There is no competitive advantage to leaving any member of your team guessing whether or not they are doing their jobs correctly.
On the flipside, your new hires also need to know when they aren’t doing things well so that you can prevent bad habits from setting in and give them a fair chance to improve. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever improved merely because their supervisor secretly wished they would improve. The discomfort that may accompany some of the more difficult conversations won’t last forever, but employees failing to meet unspoken expectations probably will.
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