How to keep your best employees
Today’s employees are harder to retain, or at least this is what Bayt.com’s ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ (February 2013) poll revealed. In fact, 60.2% of those who took part in the poll said that compared to previous generations, employee retention now is lower. Similarly, 76% of respondents said that employee turnover in their company is high, with 44.7% saying that it is ‘very’ high.
Figures above should worry anyone working in the recruitment industry, especially if we take into consideration that 54.7% of MENA professionals are considering leaving their jobs ‘immediately’. Why? Well, mostly because of poor pay (45.2% of employees in the MENA region left their last job because they weren’t paid enough).
As an employer, a resignation is a hard pill to swallow especially when it comes from one of your best employees. As devastating as this can be, most companies will have to face it at some point. So, what can you do to make sure that you don’t lose your best employees? Here are five ways to make sure your best employees stay around as long as possible:
1. Work is important, but it is not everything
Companies can’t ignore the fact that maintaining a work-life balance has become increasingly important in today’s workplace. In terms of motivation, a good work-life balance was identified by Bayt.com’s ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA Workplace’ (January 2013) survey as the top motivating factor for professionals in MENA.
Achieving a good work-life balance for your employees could be as simple as altering your work arrangements by including flexible hours, part-time and telecommuting, in addition to sabbaticals for long-serving personnel and extended leave periods for new parents. In fact, 22.7% of respondents in Bayt.com’s ‘Work-Life Balance in the MENA Region’ (September 2012) poll said a flexitime arrangement with same total hours would be most appealing to them at work, while 10.4% opted for a work-from-home arrangement.
Make sure you are doing what it takes to respect and cater to your employees’ needs outside of the office – all within the boundaries of sound business practices, of course.
2. Pay competitively
The Bayt.com ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ poll revealed that 26.6% of professionals in the MENA region see a competitive salary and benefits package as the most important factor for employee retention. Similarly, 31.6% of professionals in Bayt.com’s ‘Work Satisfaction in the MENA region’ (November 2012) poll said that what they would most like to change about their current job is the salary, while 16.1% of respondents who took part in Bayt.com’s ‘Work-Life Balance in the MENA Region’ poll mentioned poor pay as their primary source of stress.
If you have star employees that you don’t want to lose then you should start thinking of a better compensation strategy. You could give your best employees “golden handcuffs” by paying above market rates and providing incentives for them to be the highest paid employees in their field. If you pay the best, you can expect and achieve the best.
Listening to employees’ opinions and feedback is a surefire way to communicate your respect. Learn from them what they hope to contribute to the business, how they see the business moving and improving, and where they see themselves down the line. Having the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas and the authority to take decisions that relate directly to their roles are great boosters for both self-esteem and job loyalty.
4. Acknowledge efforts
Regular positive feedback for key accomplishments and contributions is a key criterion for raising employee morale. In fact, 17.7% of respondents in Bayt.com’s ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ poll mentioned ‘performance recognition’ as the most important factor for employee retention, while 47% of those who took part in Bayt.com’s ‘Employee Motivation in the MENA Workplace’ chose ‘recognition of my work and achievements’ as their key motivation driver.
The importance of giving regular and constructive feedback to encourage, motivate and guide cannot be overemphasized. A simple word of recognition for a job well done can do wonders for an employee’s morale.
Companies that recognize and reward their employees’ contributions routinely and systematically have already curtailed one of the main reasons for staff turnover. Really, try it.
Employees tend to put more effort into their jobs when they feel valuable to their company. If you invest in your employees (through training courses, seminars, skill development, etc.) and cater to their professional needs, they’re most likely to invest right back in their jobs, thereby producing more and committing to their jobs even more.
I hope this blog post will help you reconsider ways of retaining your best talent, while boosting employee loyalty and morale and waving farewell to the unnecessary costs of new job postings, executive search firms and expensive interview, orientation and training of new employees – costs that are usually associated with high employee turnover.
If you have other tips for keeping top talent, please feel free to add them in the comment box below!