In general, most job seekers cite remuneration as a key factor in joining organisations. However, the key reason for leaving the organisation is usually not salary matters.
This should not surprise anyone. Ultimately, more than just salaries will retain an employee in the organisation.
Hence beyond wages, other factors such as workplace relationships, the meaningfulness of one’s role, the sense of one’s contribution and achievement, and how one is engaged in the organisation contribute to staff retention successes.
Thus it is not surprising that studies have shown that organisations that engage their employees meaningfully and effectively tend to be more successful in retaining their employees.
Gone is when workers are just an appendage to a machine or a digit in the production line. One worker then would not know what the other worker was doing up or down the line.
Neither does the worker know how their inputs contribute to a product’s end outcome.
In the modern-day workplace, workers need to be aware of what and why of their roles and how their roles contribute to the business.
They need to be motivated. They need to have a sense of contribution besides achievement.
Some organisations believe that employee engagement efforts cost money and distract employees from their work.
This is indeed a gross misconception. Employee engagement efforts do not need necessary add to the business cost, and there are so many ideas out there that are practically free.
Here are some ideas that organisations, big or small, may consider implementing to create a congenial workplace with happy and motivated staff who will stay longer with the organisation.
1. First Impression counts. Have a proper onboarding programme for new employees
It does not take a lot of time to ensure that a new employee gets to meet colleagues from other departments and understand their roles and “how we do things around here”.
Have a welcome lunch for the new employee to get the latter acquainted with the others.
As the first impression always counts, this will leave an excellent lasting impression on the new employee.
2. Offer a shoulder to lean on – Assign a mentor
Being new to an organisation can be pretty terrifying and lonely.
A mentor can guide and help the new employee better understand the organisation’s culture, point them to the right people to get things done, lend an ear to grievances, and be an excellent lunch partner.
3. Share challenges, celebrate successes
Organisations should set aside time to share how the business is performing with employees. Be transparent about the challenges it is facing.
Tell it like it is. If there is something to celebrate, share it too.
Treat your employees like family, and they will stay with you through thick and thin.
4. Be flexible. Employees have a life outside the organisation too
It is not impossible to practice Flexi-work schemes at the workplace.
Mothers with school-going children may wish to start the day earlier after fetching their wards to school and end the day earlier to tend to their children.
Some organisations put aside a few days a month for employees to work from home when the employees may have to perform caregiver duties.
Workplace flexibility will incentivise employees to stay longer with the organisation.
5. All work and no play make employees jaded and burnt out
Most organisations have annual work plan seminars to evaluate performance for the year.
There are no stopping organisations from making work plan retreats fun besides celebrating successes and sharing plans for the year ahead.
This is where management gets to engage employees at all levels. Managers must not be afraid to let their hair down once in a while to make employees feel that they are human after all.
6. Form teams. Work as one
Whenever there is an opportunity, involve a new employee in workgroups to brainstorm for solutions or only to organise a presentation session.
That said, consider forming work teams whenever the need arises because employees are engaged and tend to be able to feel like a member of the ‘family’ working in groups.
7. Send greetings and good wishes. They go a long way
What’s better than getting your salary at the end of each month?
A personal mail from bosses, of course.
Do this often at each level.
It does not take much to wish employees a happy birthday, happy wedding anniversary, happy father/mother’s day, congratulations on completing a training programme or simply a word of praise for an excellent job carried out.
Everybody needs some attention sometimes.
Of course, it costs nothing except that one minute to pen a note, but it means so much to an employee.
These are but some ideas to engage your employees.
Do consider doing some of these.
You may be amazed how much good it will do for your organisation.