The workplace of 2019 is characterised by every possible benefit that may fit into an employee’s ‘must-haves’ list, from flexible work culture to an open floor-plan, swanky office consisting of various freebies, to a pay package that suits their lifestyle etc.
Add in the immensely popular and very useful information technology tools available at their disposal, and the employees don’t even need to move an inch to either hold a meeting or make important announcements. In short, they are living the dream.
We have finally arrived in a place where it’s safe to say we have some of the top-notch facilities and means of getting work done. Yet, we see companies scurrying and trying to retain some of their most valuable employees who go ahead and quit. Why do employees quit their jobs?
In today’s time when most businesses are finding it hard to take off and most people prefer to make money off some good jobs, we see a lot of resignations, job hoppers, and quitters. This is definitely one of the biggest losses that organisations face, as the cost of training a new recruit is high and the whole process has to then start from scratch.
Therefore, we made a list of some important actions and policies that a company can implement to retain their best talent and not let them go.
Why Is It So Difficult To Retain Talent?
Before diving straight into a list of policies and ideas that will help keep your retention problems at bay, we need to touch base with the various reasons which cause all the issues related to retention in the first place.
Basically, the question which needs to be addressed at first is why do people quit. What makes them join hands with a totally new company with a new working environment, leaving behind their own offices? Let’s find out!
People Leave Managers, Not Jobs…
One of the most heard and written about statements, it is an absolute hundred percent truth! A manager has a major influence on an employee’s work and the one person with whom he or she interacts on a daily basis. He is also someone who largely influences an employee’s promotion or bonus formalities.
Naturally, every employee has to really like, or at least get along on the positive side of things with him. If that is not the case, employees go ahead and quit.
A Gallup poll which studied more than 1 million employed people clearly stated that the number one reason people quit is a bad boss or an immediate supervisor.
It doesn’t matter how great the job overall is, if the employee does not enjoy a healthy reporting relationship with the manager, he would want to leave. Below are some of the things which a manager could be doing wrong, ultimately forcing people to leave:
1. No Personal Connection:
It is important to build a personal connection with employees, which goes beyond the customary nods and ‘good mornings’. Big corporations may have mastered a communication policy that runs deep, but if the managers don’t adopt it in real terms at the grassroots level, the problem gets ugly.
They fail to engage with employees on a day to day basis. If everyday interaction does not happen, meaningful one-to-one conversations obviously go missing, leading to a lack of connection between the employee and the managers. This connection is more important than ever, as the manager is the link for an employee with the rest of the company.
They sort of look forward to their supervisors to help them feel connected with the company.
2. Negative Work Culture:
As soon as managers refuse to take responsibility for anything that goes haywire and start to criticise the employees, they set the stage for the loss of talent. It leads to a lack of job satisfaction, lower productivity levels and lack of happiness at work. Some managers may go a step ahead by encouraging gossip and unethical behaviour. Such organisations will never see any employee sticking for long.
The relationship between a manager and an employee is highly critical. It is this relationship which defines how an employee feels about his or her work at an organisation and what is the impact of their work in the whole scheme of things. This is perhaps one of the most important feelings which lead to the notion of fulfilling work experience and if this suffers, the organisation will see a lot of retention problems.
3. Feeling Unappreciated:
People who feel unappreciated every day stagnated in their work-roles and unmotivated to come to work, are the first ones to look towards the door. Without regular acknowledgement or appreciation for the kind of work one does, it is unfair to expect anyone to perform well and not leave. It can feel quite dull to put in one’s best efforts and yet go through the run of the mill projects one after the other without anybody noticing one’s work.
4. Feeling Overworked:
By making employees overwork, you are putting them at the risk of being burned out! It is impossible for employees to be productive if they work beyond 50 hours per week. If your employees are made to work post that mark, it will eventually lead to them calling it quits.
Here’s How You Can Retain Your Talent!
1. Workplace Fun:
A job seeker considers factors like an engaging environment or an opportunity to develop and grow before zeroing down on a company today. These changes in the expectations of an employee have their source in one of the most important competitive advantages available today in the form of workplace fun. It is really all about adopting a climate of fun in the workplace.
If companies can build on this idea and positively change how people work and enjoy working there, they are doing themselves a huge favour. As opposed to the initial days, workers today no longer consider only the financial performance of an organisation as the selection criteria.
They are instead looking for a company that believes in looking out for its employees and caring for them, and not just profits. This has led many companies to adopt workplace fun as their motto, which helps them retain some of their best employees. Another reason why workplace fun should be any company’s mantra is the collaborative environment which it helps to build.
Work today is no longer compartmentalised – it has become essential for individuals to reach across different departments and understand how everything works together. It’s important to adopt a system-minded approach and make work fun while at it.
2. Freedom to Work:
Employees who thrive in an organisation for a long time are the ones who get an intrapreneurial work environment around them. This means you need to give employees the freedom to move and workaround, in order for them to take complete ownership of their job.
People generally carry within them the intrinsic need to be the masters of their own lives, to be free and independent. If an organisation is able to provide that to its employees, it can expect fierce loyalty from its workforce!
3. Fulfilling Work:
Fulfilling work is not only highly underrated but something the employees of today value immensely. The desire to work with a purpose is very important especially for millennials who would be willing to give up fancy offices and fat paychecks, in exchange for work that really means something to them.
According to a study, thriving employees are three times more likely to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose. There could be various ways in which employers could help impart a sense of purpose amongst the employees such as, showing recognition, letting employees know how their job impacts the company and its clients, creating a company vision, frequently discussing the meaning and value of the company etc.
Some of the benefits of working with a sense of purpose include increased productivity, boost in morale, better job satisfaction, increased motivation etc. Unfortunately, this innate desire to work with a sense of purpose amongst employees is ignored by organisations that are simply focused on earning profits.
If employees start feeling that they are just working for a paycheck at the end of the day, and nothing else, it could lead to them looking for greener pastures.
4. Competitive Benefits and Salaries:
A survey by Glassdoor recently revealed that the top reason behind 45% of employees quitting is salary. Other reasons such as career advancement opportunities, better benefits and location follow suit.
But the major reason is the remuneration and the benefits that come with it. Only 24% of generation X employees said in a survey that financial stability motivates them, yet 56% of employees say that health care and insurance concerns keep them in their job. To an employee, benefits only matter if they are actually beneficial.
It is important for an employer to offer benefits comparable to other businesses in their industry. Otherwise, employees would ultimately find avenues to leave. Organisations may not necessarily be able to control if employees leave them for a better pay package, for example, Google has a clear policy wherein they do not try to retain an employee who leaves for better pay elsewhere.
But having said that, to every employee working for you, salary may not be the most important factor to stay or get out of a job, but is definitely one that should not be kept on the back-burner.
5. Employee Engagement:
Employee engagement is probably the most thrown around statistic but is extremely detrimental to building a solid company. According to a Gallup poll, 56% of somewhat disengaged and 73% of actively disengaged employees are actively looking for a different job. Isn’t that enough reason for all employers to straightaway first focus on this issue?
Also, while figuring this out, employers need to understand that they cannot really indulge in a blame game for employees getting distracted. Distraction is basically associated with problems related to motivation and it is completely up to an employer to instil a sense of motivation within employees by offering them likes of valuable learning opportunities, creating space for career growth or giving employees opportunities for concrete success.
There is a stark difference between people coming to work and punching in at the required time and leaving for the day, and them being fully engaged with the work they are doing.
6. Work Culture:
The work culture in an office has the strongest impact on business results and employee retention. Bad work culture in an office will see a lot of absenteeism, people taking frequent sick leaves, employees resigning or trying to slip through work. Imagine walking into an office for eight hours every single day, feeling unsafe or uncomfortable or simply unhappy.
Physical discomfort also plays a crucial role in helping address retention problems. Careful attention to design a well-lit and properly ventilated office is basic. Other than this, you need to ensure that your employees feel great at work mentally too.
An open culture, free of gossip, unwanted office politics and negative talk is the core of creating a work culture that will help you retain people more effectively.
Catering to the needs of the employees can seem challenging, but it is one challenge which when addressed, will reap tremendous benefits in the long run for any organisation. As they say, the simplest way to stop your employees from leaving is to develop a plan to make them stay!