In a recent webinar on employee retention, Randy Goruk began by discussing the various reasons that people are currently leaving organizations. The list included:
- Insufficient or bad leadership
- A lack of scheduling flexibility and work/life balance
- A declining company culture
- No advancement opportunities
- Compensation and benefits
In response to this trend in human resources management, companies can benefit by shifting their focus from hiring to retention. And since that shift has to occur from the top down, Randy advises leaders to put the following three strategies at the top of their priority lists.
1. Create a Vision, Mission & Culture That People Want to Be a Part Of
Just having a vision and mission isn’t enough. You want it to be so clear, concise and inspiring that your employees instantly remember it. You want them to know it and to live it every day on the job.
Because, as Randy points out, if your employees don’t have an idea of where the company is headed or what its purpose is… why would they want to work there? If there isn’t an intentionally shaped company culture, what’s really keeping them coming back to work every day?
2. Employee Engagement
Building on the first point, if your employees aren’t personally invested in the mission, vision and culture of the company, then the paycheck might be the only thing keeping them there. So not only are they at risk of leaving for a marginally higher wage, they’re also probably only doing the bare minimum to get by. In other words, they aren’t engaged.
Randy says it’s important to understand the drivers of employee engagement so that you can recognize when an employee is disengaged and take corrective actions before it’s too late.
3. Invest in Developing the Skills of Your Employees
To do this well, you first have to know the career aspirations of your employees.
If someone wants to become a team lead or manager, work with them to develop a plan to get them there over time. Do they need more practice in, or exposure to, a specific aspect of the job? Do they need to read a book or take an online course to get better at giving constructive feedback? Should they attend a conference or trade show to see what’s up and coming in the industry? These are all things you can discuss and build goals around to set that person up for success when the time comes to move them into their next role.
On the flipside, if someone is content driving a forklift and has no desire to advance into upper management, you can still invest in developing them so that they can be a better communicator on the job. For example, you can promote them into non-traditional leadership roles (such as to Head of the Safety Committee) or cross-train them in other departments. That way, they’re not switching roles or picking up unwanted responsibilities, but are being challenged at work in a positive way.
Whichever of these two paths your employees choose to take doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you actively encourage them to learn and try new things at work so that they don’t get bored, become disengaged, and quit.
While there are many different strategies you can employ as a leader, if employee retention is your most important goal, then Randy says that these three strategies have to be your biggest priority.
But that’s really just scratching the surface. Watch the full presentation on-demand to get Randy’s four shortcuts to employee retention success, plus the four biggest mistakes leaders make that negatively impact employee retention.