Conventional wisdom tells us that it’s all about the money. But, is it? The most common reason employees leave is actually lack of advancement opportunities. In addition to fair pay, employees want work that is meaningful and challenging, with a chance to grow. Bored employees will eventually move on.
Although everyone appreciates a bigger paycheck, if an employee likes what they’re doing, has a competitive salary, and a great boss, it would probably take a major increase to get them to consider leaving. Remember, too, that work doesn’t have to be a grind. Valued employees are more likely to stay on if they’re able to lighten up and have some fun at work.
Many employees spend more time with coworkers than with spouses and families, so it’s important to give employees opportunities to build quality relationships. When coworkers become like family because they feel connected to an organization, they’ll be less likely to leave.
Rewards and recognition make employees feel appreciated and are viewed as tokens of respect. When an employee feels invisible, it’s easier to exit. A simple ‘thank you’ is something most employees look for but never receive. Taking good employees for granted is risky business.
Smart companies recognize that their employees can give them a competitive advantage – and treat them accordingly. At AGI, a cosmetics packaging company in Illinois, prizes are awarded during monthly employee meetings to the person who asks the CEO the toughest question.
At Empower Trainers & Consulting, a computer training and applications company, employees are asked to post their daily mistakes, preferably at least seven of them, on the office walls. This is because founder and CEO Michael May believes that “if you’re not making seven mistakes a day, you’re just not trying hard enough.” Imagine that… a business actually encouraging people to make mistakes. Now, that’s trust!
LL Bean encourages retention by paying employees for outdoor wilderness days spent skiing, hiking, boating, or fishing. At a Xerox customer service center in Texas, managers took a risk in allowing employees to arrange their work schedules according to their personal life schedules. As a result, absenteeism dropped 30 percent and productivity increased. Most of us need a job, but we should be able to have a life, too. If you can figure out how to help your employees have both, you’ll be getting a head start in decreasing turnover in your organization.
Many managers view employee turnover as an acceptable cost of doing business. But, turnover typically involves a process of disengagement that can be interrupted if caught early. As the saying goes, “if you’re not working to keep your best employees, you’ll be working to replace them!”