4 Top Retention Strategies

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS):

  • The number of people quitting their jobs has hit its highest point since 2008.
  • Job openings remain at their highest level since the survey began in December 2008.
  • Quit levels within professional and business services industries rose over 11 percent between May 2014 and May 2015.

Across the country, talented professionals are confident about their job prospects – and are quitting their jobs in record numbers.

So here’s the million-dollar question:

What can you do to keep your best and brightest working for you?

Sure, money is important – but it’s not the only reason good employees quit. To increase employee retention, you need a multi-faceted strategy that addresses the “whole employee,” including short-term, long-term, professional and personal needs. Here are four tips from Corps Team for improving your retention strategy.

Create clear career paths. Have managers meet regularly with each employee to establish both short-term and long-term goals:

  • Detail the employee’s current role, and explain how it impacts the company’s success.
  • Establish monthly, quarterly and annual goals.
  • Discuss the employee’s future within your organization and outline potential career paths.
  • Create a three-to-five-year career plan that aligns with both your employee’s and company’s goals.
  • Provide a general timeframe of when promotions, bonuses or raises may be available.

Help employees grow. Upwardly mobile professionals view stagnancy as career suicide. Keep them out of competitors’ clutches by:

  • Giving them “stretch” assignments which challenge their thinking and abilities.
  • Cross-training them (which also makes employees more valuable to your organization!).
  • Creating a safe environment in which acceptable risk-taking and failure are tolerated.
  • Providing continual opportunities to learn, sharpen skills and develop new ones.

Pay attention to the little things. With massive talent shortages in many industries, seemingly insignificant things can impact your ability to keep your best people:

  • Thank employees often. Every day, find reasons to acknowledge individual and team accomplishments. Whether the recognition is formal or informal, private or public, expressing thanks for a job well done provides immeasurable benefits.
  • Train managers. Role-play situations that demonstrate both supportive/attentive and negative/dismissive management scenarios. By making managers more aware of the verbal and nonverbal messages they send employees, you can positively impact morale, culture and retention.
  • Send positive micro-messages. Help managers habitualize small activities that convey positive messages, both verbally and nonverbally: make direct eye contact; encourage participation from all employees; ask questions to develop rapport; listen without interrupting. These actions may seem little, but they have a big impact on employees’ job satisfaction.

Increase job flexibility. The ability to truly disconnect from work and spend quality time with family is essential to most professionals. Help employees find the right work-life mix by creating a comprehensive work flex strategy that:

  • Allows employees some control over when and where they work, when appropriate.
  • Provides sufficient flexibility to attend to important personal or family matters.
  • Encourages employees to take their earned vacation time.
  • Increases job and employer satisfaction, by reducing conflicts between work and home.

Don’t forget your employee retention “secret weapon” – Corps Team!

Tight deadlines, heavy workloads, special projects and position vacancies can place unnecessary stress on your core team – leading to dissatisfaction, burnout and higher turnover. Keep your best and brightest working for you, by providing the support your employees need. Contact your local Corps Team office to learn more about our flexible professional staffing and search services.
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