It’s hard to find and hire great people, but it’s even harder to keep them motivated and retain them so that they work at your company for years. There’s stiff competition from young startups, distributed teams, and small businesses, so young and talented employees won’t bat an eye about leaving your company for another one. Fortunately, you don’t have to offer the culinary perks and massage options of Google to hire well. Retaining the best staff comes from a mixture of professional and cultural initiatives. Here are a few ways you can create a business environment that candidates will flock to, and then will want to stay with.
Create Career Ladders and Professional Goals
If you’re seeking to hire career-minded people who will stay at your company for the long term, create ladders and discuss advancement opportunities with your employees and potential hires. No one wants to enter a dead-end job, and your best employees will leave after a year or two if they feel that there’s no future in the company.
During the interview process for new hires, explain how the position can lead to advancement and other positions in the company. It’s important to listen to where they want to go in their careers, instead of assigning a career path that you think is best for them. During the annual reviews of your employees, explain how you see them growing professionally within the company and suggest goals for learning and skill training to get there. This gives your team a reason to stay and perform their best work.
Build Personal Networks and Connections
Along with professional advancement, employees want a reason to come to work every day. Often, that reason is the people around them. They might enjoy talking sports or going out to grab some lunch with their co-workers, but the personal connection is a common thread.
More companies are trying to create that bond, even with remote teams. Weekly calls and video conferences can start with five minutes of “water cooler chat,” and there might be email announcements with personal updates like engagement celebrations and newborn babies. To aid in retention, set up some low-cost ways for your employees to get to know one another, like potluck lunches, drinks after work, or weekly informal sports in the park. This allows people to create personal bonds, which can lead to better professional collaboration.
Find the Right Tools
While your employees might like working for your company overall, certain departments might tend to increase frustration. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to get a simple answer from a human resource officer who never has the time to respond. Many companies are switching to software options to make administrative tasks easier. Instead of asking someone, employees can look up their benefits, paid time off, and even their pay schedules through the software. Even accounting software can be used to simplify tasks and make daily operations more enjoyable for employees. Day-to-day tasks like tracking projects and jobs, managing customer sales and contacts, even customizing inventory, can all be made easier with a little digital help. Software like Sage 50 Accounting is one example, and it allows companies to scale their business without hiring additional staff for accounting and administration.
Tailor Your Office to Employees’ Needs
Millennial employees understand the power of the digital world, and they are rejecting the traditional nine-to-five work schedule. Instead, they’re seeking careers where there are flexible work hours and opportunities to telecommute. If you don’t have a work-from-home policy or allow employees to set the hours they work, you could struggle to hire and retain young people.
Identify roles within your company that can be handled remotely, like sales calls or digital marketing, and consider opening them up for that possibility. If employees must be in the office, perhaps to handle in-person customer service, consider creating flexible hours for them. You may find that you’re able to offer better hours to your customers when some employees want to come in early while others would rather stay late.
These are just a few ways to hire and retain the best talent out there, but they all follow a common theme: You can’t expect your hires to fit into a cookie-cutter position. Your employees want to achieve goals, work on their terms, and make friends, and the best companies will work to fulfill those desires.