Practices That Will Surely Improve Employee Retention in Your Office
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Practices That Will Surely Improve Employee Retention in Your Office

by Ashok Grover

Employee retention is an issue with practically every organization. The good news is that you can really retain your people by following a few rules and practices. All of those secrets are revealed here!

If employee retention is not an issue with your organization, you need not read any further. There is a fair chance that either your organization does not belong to this world or it has perfectly understood and put into practice the secrets of the trade!
For others, all these secrets are revealed hereunder!

  1. Having Right People – Before talking about retention, go back to the basics and select the people you would like to retain.  If enough time and efforts are spent to check not only technical but behavioral aspect also (using psychometrics), result will be the employees who would like to stay and company would like to retain.
  2. Good Salary Levels – Though money is not everything, it is a big equalizer. Unfortunately, while many companies feel that it is only the money what matters, there are others who feel that money does not matter at all.  The truth lies somewhere in between and a fine balancing act is required. No way, this can be ignored.
  3. Internal Pay Equity – Many a times, the pain point is not one’s lower salary; but comparatively higher amount being paid to another colleague.  I have seen employees jumping with joy after their increments are announced… till they know about others. Similarly, a new employee may disturb older employees who may not be getting similar amounts or vice versa when the newcomer realizes that he could have negotiated better.  All of them are human beings and there is nothing wrong in comparison. Keeping salaries confidential is a good idea, which hardly works! What works is genuine fairness.
  4. Benefits Programs and Retirement Benefits – Even in the environment of CTCs (cost to the company), benefits programs like health insurance, recreation facilities, family get-togethers and retirement benefits are extremely important. These make employees feel part of a close-knit family and remain motivated.
  5. Role Clarity – Nothing can be more damaging than a lack of clear job responsibilities.  In such situations, contrary to normal belief, employees performance is well below expectations, while they feel that they are much more than they should.  So, the result is a hopeless lose-lose relationship.
  6. Impartiality – Employees feel highly demotivated when they feel that they are not treated equally and favoritism is practiced in the company.   This invariably happens whenever there are policies with clauses allowing management discretion.  The problem may be real or perceived.  Therefore, it is important to be fair as well as being seen to be fair.
  7. Employee Empowerment - Employees perform much better when they are given the tasks and freedom to perform the same independently.  Workplaces that promote employee empowerment, employee enablement, and broader spans of control by managers, will result into superior performance.  Micromanaging drives employees away, empowerment improves retention.
  8. Responsive Human Resource Team – Adequate and timely response to employee queries and concerns by the Human Resource department keeps the environment healthy.  In many companies, the HR department is perceived as the policing arm of management.  A responsive HR department is one of the strongest reasons to ensure high degree of employee retention.
  9. Two Way Communication – Employees feel much more comfortable when they feel that they are being heard.  This multiplies when they get face-to-face communication opportunity with their supervisors and are given feedback about their performance.  This communication helps them feel recognized and important.
  10. Performance Linked Reward System – Performers believe that the reward system should be based on merit and contribution.  When some managements try to keep all their employees happy through similar annual increments, it results into demoralization.  In such case, while the status of poor performers remains a question mark, star performers don’t find any reason to stay back with the organization.
  11. Learning Environment – Employees look for opportunities to learn as well as share their knowledge.  Involving them in training sessions, team assignments and mentor-mentee roles provides them with high level of internal self satisfaction, so important for retaining people.
  12. Balanced Workload – No employees minds working long hours if it is once in a while.  However, consistent need of staying late at work pulls their motivation down and efficiency is the casualty.   This is happening more often now since it is getting more and more challenging to find skilled and experienced staff to meet growing business demands.  To tackle this, companies should enable employees to balance work and life.  Encouraging employees participation in continuous improvement activities helps.
  13. People Involvement – Involving employees in decisions that have an effect on their jobs and the overall direction of the company makes them feel important. When they find themselves at the platform discussing company’s vision, mission and values, an invisible strong bonding takes place.  Then they live the company objectives rather than looking at them from outside.

Now that the secrets that improve employee retention are revealed, there is no need to keep them secret. Let these be out and see whatever you can do to help your organization, your friends, your acquaintances to actualize these secrets and create great organizations.

Ashok Grover is an expert in people assessment and focused executive / leadership coaching. He is Director at Skillscape, a company with a vision of Value Creation by enhancing people and organizational competencies.

His last assignment was with the JBM Group as Corporate Chief Human Resource Officer. He has over four decades of experience in operations, materials, information technology and people development with Parle Group, Mohan Meakins Group, Hawkins Cookers Limited and JBM Group.

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