Lately, there has been a focus on hiring new employees, but there is something else that we can’t forget about: employee retention. Hiring a replacement costs on average $15,000, but it costs you more than money to lose an employee. A bad retention rate affects morale which affects productivity which affects revenue.
To keep your business running smoothly and at full capacity, you need your employees to stick around for the long haul. That sounds easy enough, but it’s not that simple when a job demands hard work and long hours. To keep your employees around, you need to keep them engaged.
Employee engagement in the U.S. has dropped significantly, with a sharp drop for blue-collar and service workers. So how can you make sure you’re on top of your employees’ needs, wants, and their happiness? By following these techniques to boost engagement:
Invest in Training
It is difficult to bring on new employees and train them. Training pulls some of your employees out of their usual tasks to help new employees learn the role. It can be tempting to shorten the training process or skip steps because there is a lot of work to be done but don’t fall into temptation. 60% of new employees are more likely to stay with your company for longer than three years if their first impression is a positive one.
To create a positive training experience, you’ll need to develop an organized plan and schedule. First, designate a few of your top-performing employees' time to train the new hires coming in. Ask them what they enjoyed about the training process and how they think the most efficient way to teach someone the new skills would be. Also, ask them what they did not like about the training or what was missed in training. Together you can come up with a good plan. At the new employees’ two-week mark, ask them how they enjoyed their training and what could have been done differently. With every response, you can modify your process until it’s perfect.
Update Your Communication Process
It’s no surprise that email doesn’t work for blue-collar workers. They’re either not given a company email or just don’t have the time to check it. But an open office policy, signs in the common rooms, and communication through supervisors aren’t efficient either.
To keep your employees engaged, you need to be on the communication platforms that they are on. The easiest one to access: texting. 70% of employees think that texting should be used for interoffice communication. Even unions are moving to in-app communication. Next time you have a question for an employee, need to send an announcement to them, or something else, try sending a text and see how much faster you get a response.
Recognize Your Hard Workers
Recognition makes people feel noticed and promotes great work to continue. Recognizing your employees is easy, and you should focus on doing it often rather than saving it for dedicated review sessions.
If you took the second tip above and text your employees, you can throw in a text to specific employees recognizing their hard work. Text them that they’ve been doing a good job and you’ve noticed. To up the ante, you can celebrate a good employee in front of their team or workplace. This makes people feel special and can show an example to the team what kind of skills you’re looking for.
Giving gifts to employees is also a good way to recognize them. If you have it in your budget, you can have a day where you cater a free lunch to your employees or give them a gift card to buy themselves a little treat.
There is no downside to focusing on your current employees’ needs. Providing employees with a good place to work keeps them around and brings in more people. Your employees will tell others of the great workplace they have and bring in referrals that make it even better. For more tips on building engagement within your company, check out How To Build a Highly-Engaged Workforce.