As the pandemic receded, the job market saw an influx in employees voluntarily leaving their jobs. They sought paths toward rapid upward mobility, better benefits and work-life balance, and even entrepreneurship. When talented employees leave your company, they take their skills, expertise and industry knowledge with them – making employee retention a key component for a successful organization. So, how do you retain your employees? Focus on their growth and development.
Employee growth and development is a hot topic for employers and employees, and one that makes good business sense. Here are a few reasons why.
Employee turnover is a growing problem in many industries and an unfortunate reminder that many companies aren’t focused on the right growth metrics. If you want to grow your business in a sustainable way that produces results, both now and in the future, work toward growing your employees. The healthiest companies are those where turnover is the exception, not the rule.
Here are three ways to build an organization that employees want to stay at and develop their careers for the long haul.
Rather than viewing your hiring process as a talent grab, consider it an opportunity to create an alliance. When interviewing, ask about each job candidate’s aspirations – not only to see if they align with corporate structure (that’s important, too), but also because it can help you determine how to best support them on their professional journey. Ask about what they want to learn and what they enjoy, even inquiring about their five and 10-year plans. Then look for actionable ways that you, as an employer, can fulfill their needs.
By creating win-win relationships with prospective employees, you can find people who will be champions to your company’s customers, thrive in your company’s culture, and allow you to invest in their career and life goals. When this type of alliance is established, the employee is motivated to stay and live out their long-term career plans at your company.
When interviewing job applicants, assess whether they are a good cultural fit for your organization. Employees are more likely to want to grow with your company long-term if they align with your culture and values.
Employee appreciation should be embedded in the culture of any growing company. While you should have an employee recognition program for significant achievements, employee appreciation goes beyond just celebrating high performers or those working on flashy projects. True work life isn’t all glitter and positivity. Business success often means working hard through good and bad times.
Make it a practice to give special thanks to employees for their daily perseverance, especially those who have worked through a challenging project (or difficult period within the company’s history). One easy way to appreciate your employees is to directly ask how the company can thank them, or provide them with custom incentives of their choice.
When employees see that you recognize and value their commitment to their work, they’ll be motivated to come into work each day and give it their all. We all have bad days, but when employees find a supportive and appreciative company culture, it’s rare that they move on.
It’s in your best interest to establish an environment that caters to personal milestones and longevity within your organization. To help employees understand the long-term strategic advantage of staying, communicate consistently with them. Ensure that managers keep an open line of communication with employees to understand career goals, provide pathways to achieve those goals, and deliver informal feedback when necessary.
Moreover, every employee’s quarterly goals should include some level of professional development and training to ensure everyone sees progress. For example, you can offer virtual career training through a learning management system, encourage an employee to attend a conference, or supply outside training to propel them to the next level. When employees see that an employer is willing to invest in their future, they invest more in the company’s future.
Rob Reid contributed to the writing and reporting of this article.