If you are an organizational leader, then you know that keeping your best employees can be a struggle. Employees don’t want to stay in one place for too long and they want to feel like their needs are being met. Well, it’s a whole new world in the workplace now. One of the challenges is that organizations perhaps aren’t listening or paying attention to what their employees need in order to grow and stay motivated — and this is one major reason for the “The Great Resignation.” As an organizational leader, it’s not enough just to listen to the squeaky wheel within your company — you have to listen closely so you can hear all of your employees’ needs and desires. It’s time to get creative about what you can offer your employees in order to motivate them to not only stay, but remain engaged and energized.
To keep your best employees, organizations need open-minded leaders who are willing and able to take on new ideas about how they can motivate their workers. The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) used to mean that an employee did their job in exchange for getting paid. Now, employees need more to be engaged in their work. They look for growth opportunities for themselves and seek to work for a company who is environmentally conscious, a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and cognizant of the world around us and the impact on their employees.
Here are 6 strategies to help your organization retain your most valuable employees, and keep them engaged:
1. Hire for attitude and train for skill
Don’t hire linearly. Keep your mind open when interviewing candidates. It’s easy to get stuck on hiring for a specific set of criteria looking at someone’s education and job history and overlook the value that they may add to your company. If a candidate seems like a good fit culturally for your organization, it may make sense to mold or create a position that will suit them and your organization, even if it’s not exactly the position you intended to fill. Be open and honest about your organization’s culture, values, and future goals. Cultural fit for an employee is key.
2. Offer hybrid or remote work when possible
Provide your employees with as much flexibility as possible. If you can, allow your Provide your employees with as much flexibility as possible. If you can, allow your employees to work remotely, in a hybrid capacity, or allow them to choose the location where they feel they will be the most productive. This will help your employees feel valued, appreciated, and trusted.
3. Offer open-PTO (paid time off)
Offer your employees the PTO they want and deserve. It might be a good idea to offer unlimited vacation days so employees can take as much time away from work as they feel is necessary while still getting their work done. This not only helps your employees have the time they need, but it shows them that you trust them and their decision-making skills. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that employees might take advantage of this, but research shows that employees end up taking less time off with an open-PTO system. Showing trust and faith in your employees gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their time and their work.
4. Re-imagine mentorship programs
Instead of having a traditional mentorship program where the employees who have been there the longest mentor the new employees, offer mentorship programs where employees of similar ages and similar levels can mentor each other in a group setting. This can be great for emerging leaders who may be more likely to relate to others with similar interests and goals as their peers. Emerging leaders can be accountability partners for each other to help hold them accountable for their personal and professional growth.
5. Replace exit interviews with “stay” interviews
Rather than focusing on employees who are leaving as they’re walking out the door, focus instead on what you can do to keep employees engaged and excited to stay. Talk to your employees before they look at other external opportunities or decide to move on to a new company. Meet with each of your employees to do a stay interview, find out how they’re feeling about the company, their work and what makes them tick. Why not try having these interviews on neutral ground instead of across the desk from one another in your office. Go for a “walk and talk” outside or sit down at a local coffee shop. You’ll be surprised what a difference this makes!
6. Revamp your benefits package
Make sure your benefits package is equal to or better than those of your competitors. Consider looking beyond traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. Look for things that are unique to your organization and will be valuable to employees. Ask your employees what benefits would help them and do your best to implement them to as you can attract talent with benefits. It’s just about looking outside the box.
With the rise of The Great Resignation comes new and more complex challenges — and organizations need to be able to adapt quickly. In order for employees to stay with an organization in this rapidly changing world, it’s important that companies have a strong EVP so their employees actually value the company and the work they do. This requires open-minded leaders who are innovative and open to new ideas to motivate their company’s best resource- it’s people.