The Secret to Retaining the Employees That Matter Most

If it seems like your employees may have one eye on the door, chances are, you’re right. Only a quarter of employees say they are very satisfied in their jobs. The low-levels of engagement across the board present a pricy problem for future businesses.

Keeping your business or team fully staffed is important. Turnover is expensive. In whatever it costs in time to find and train new talent, it can also cost a business up to a year’s worth of salary depending on the job vacancy. If you’re hoping to keep your best employees, there are a few pro-tips you can implement in your professional life to help make that a reality. These leadership fixes are sure to boost employee satisfaction for the long-term.

1. Strive for Personal Growth

We all want to see our employees grow, but one thing you may not think about is that they also want us to grow, too.

A recent study backs this up: 84 percent of employees value bosses who admit to their own shortfalls. After all, no one is perfect. Admitting as much goes a long way toward creating an environment where employees want to be. And it’s likely we don’t do this enough. Only 51 percent were found to do it consistently. Personal and professional development should apply to everyone. As a leader, when we acknowledge room for personal improvement, we show that we are open to learning from our mistakes. And in doing so, we create a safe place for our own employees to also fail forward.

2. Grow Your World

People always want opportunities. And they’ll look elsewhere for the chance to do something new if we don’t provide it. That’s why it’s important to give the people on our team the room and opportunity to grow. We need to make sure our world is big enough so for our employees to meet their goals within it. In other words, find out what your employees want to do and give them the chance to do that under the umbrella of your business.

The McDonald brothers found this out the hard way. They realized too late that their vision for a hamburger restaurant hindered its growth. The tension between their wanting to stay small, and Ray Kroc’s desire to go big, led to the end of their partnership. Ray Kroc wound up forcing the McDonald brothers to sell their business to him so that he could build it into what it is today.

The Harvard Business Review echoes this, “Individuals must own, self-direct, and control their learning futures. Yet they can’t do it alone, nor do you want them to. The development and growth of your talent is vital to your ongoing success, ability to innovate, and overall productivity.” By creating opportunities within, you’ll take away one of the key reasons employees leave. According to a survey of more than 2,000 employees, expanding our professional world for those in it is good for our business’s long-term health. In fact, those who have professional development opportunities at work are 15 percent more engaged and boast a 34 percent higher retention rate.

3. Encourage On-The-Job Friendships

We all spend the majority of time at work, so it’s important to have relationships we can count on at the office. When Gallup asked employees about their experiences, they found that those who had a best friend at work were happier. Not only that, but these people were also seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and produce higher quality work. On the job friendships help create a sense of camaraderie from which companies benefit. To encourage this in your own business, try holding a weekly lunch, a monthly outing or a special contest. In other words, when workers bond with one another, employees stay and businesses thrive.

4. Be The Person Your Employees Want to Be Around

Retaining our employees is nearly impossible if we aren’t the type of person that they want to be around. We need to be likable. While likable people have many good qualities, what sets them apart is their trustworthiness. It’s important that people believe what you have to say.  Unfortunately, far too often, this trait doesn’t find itself in the workplace.

According to the American Psychological Association, many find their employers to be both dishonest and distrustful. And when one in three workers don’t believe what their boss tells them, it’s only a matter of time until they look for greener pastures. After all, distrust leads to dissatisfaction. If you want to show your credibility as a leader, start by being an open and transparent communicator with your team.

5. Appreciate Your Team

Day in and day out, employees work hard. If we want them to stay committed to our business, we need to recognize the good work they’ve been doing. Employees want to be appreciated for a job well done. Studies back this up. Almost three-quarters of employees say they want to work for leaders who give praise. And while showing honest appreciation is important to almost 90 percent of employees, only 61 percent of supervisors do it consistently. Take a moment and let someone know their good work has not gone unnoticed, and by doing so, show them they are a valued member of the team.

What tactics or behaviors have worked for you to keep your employees happy and engaged? Leave a comment on our Facebook page and tell us what works for you!