Companies are only as good as the people working in them. This is a fundamental truth. Thing is, not all businesses recognize this – at least, not for a long time. Traditionally, workers or employees were viewed as replaceable elements in a company; hence, the term “cog in the machine.” This, of course, stems from the thinking that there are more people needing jobs than there are jobs available.
The error in this kind of thinking is that companies should not only be looking at how easily an employee can be replaced. They need to take into account the total costs of finding, onboarding, and training a new hire. So, really, finding and getting the right person for a job is only the beginning. Employers need to provide an environment where their employees would be happy to stay.
And in this day and age where, in spite of unemployment still being a problem, people are not scared of jumping ship when they no longer feel motivated to work for their employer. This is especially true concerning millennials who seek more than just ideal financial compensation. The Internet, too, has made it easier to network and engage in freelance opportunities while waiting for the best job to come along.
If your company seems to be plagued with unusually high employee turnover, check out these five tips to create an engaged workforce:
1. Let your employees know that their role matters
To get away from making your employees feel like proverbial cogs, let them know how they contribute to business success and growth. People seek meaning in their lives, and this includes work. Show your appreciation to your people, regardless of rank. Letting them know that their work matters is what’s important.
2. Work on developing a positive corporate culture
Some employees, even with less pay, stay with their employer because they are happy. A corporate culture that encourages open communication and collaboration, and which fosters mutual trust and respect, is one that breeds loyal employees. If you walk the talk in terms of your corporate mission and organizational values, your employees will trust and respect you as well.
Keep your employees engaged through an open-door policy and regularly communicate developments and changes through your company newsletter.
3. Strengthen your team by giving rewards and initiating group activities
Recognize your best performers by periodically giving out rewards and recognition. It doesn’t always have to be something monetary or expensive. You can give away extra leave credits, supermarket vouchers, metro card top-ups, and the like.
You can also engage entire teams by conducting community outreach projects, fitness programs, and similar activities that help build camaraderie and foster team spirit.
4. Let every employee know they have a career path
An employee can only keep working at the exact same job for so long. When employees have no clear career opportunities or chances of getting promoted, they’ll leave at the first opportunity. As you provide leadership training and opportunities for skill development, ensure your employees know where these are supposed to lead them career-wise. If you need help with this, you can work with a talent management company like HRD Initiatives LLC for guidance.
5. Know and understand employee needs
These days, companies would have about three generations of employees working for them: baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials. Baby boomers thrive on job security, Gen Xers value work-life balance, and millennials prioritize flexible work arrangements (e.g. remote work, flexible hours, etc.). Even with this setup, keeping your employees engaged shouldn’t be too hard.
Provide flexible work opportunities to ensure you keep millennials who will soon be taking over most roles whilst also addressing the pain points of your senior staff. By getting to know each segment's priorities, you’ll know exactly how you can keep them engaged, happy, and productive.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to create an engaged workforce and not be one of those companies that end up wondering where all their top talent went.