Why should you worry about employee retention? Does it really make a difference to the customer service you provide to your clients and customers? The short answer to that last question is YES!
Companies that retain their best employees – and are known for their exceptional customer service – will find that they also retain their customers as well. Why? Because your customers want the value and reliability they’re used to getting from you and your team. They do not want to have to deal with new employees they are unfamiliar with. All trust you’ve worked so hard to build up with them would need to be earned again!
Perhaps the most important reason is that replacing employees is going to cost you a hell of a lot more than some simple training to get your new recruits up to speed. Think of all the knowledge the ‘outgoing’ employee is taking with them and the time, effort and monetary investment it’s going to cost you to replace that know how.
It goes without saying that you’re only interested in retaining your highest performers; those who don’t live up to your required standards are free to leave.
So what can you do to retain your star employees?
Here are a few ideas you can put into practice straight away.
In order to provide the best service, you need to have the best people and in order to attract the ‘crème de la crème’ you need to pay above average for your industry. This might not be what you wanted to hear but I’m afraid it’s a fact; organizations that offer first class service offer better pay packages than average service providers.
2. Training & Development
Provide your employees with training that will help them do their jobs better. They will develop their talents and gain knowledge and skills to progress as professionals as well as increase their on the job performance; it’s a win for all parties. Don’t forget that you’ll also be showing your employees that you care about their careers and are committed to them.
3. Reward & Recognition
If you want your best performers to stay with you, you are going to have to recognize and reward them. It doesn’t have to be a financial reward. You’d be amazed how far a simple ‘thank you’ for a job well done can go. By recognizing their work and achievements you’ll be encouraging your employees to repeat the actions that led to the recognition.
Many of your employees are capable of doing so much more than you actually ask or require of them. Why not let them do more? Loosen the reigns a little and let them make some decisions on their own.
You’ll be amazed at how powerful empowerment can be. The more your employees take ownership for the actions and decisions in their jobs, the more they’ll stick to it, no matter how difficult or challenging things might get.
Everyone has different priorities, responsibilities and needs in their lives. Don’t treat them all the same. As we’ve already established, it’s not all about money.
Take employees who are parents, for example, do you think they’d appreciate flexibility around day care for their younger children or being allowed off work early to go and see their kids school performance? These are simple flexibility policies to apply which won’t cost you much but will prove incredibly motivating to your team.
6. Surprise Perks and Gifts
When your team achieves certain performance targets, reward them for it by giving small perks or gifts. If a suggestion made by one of your team resulted in thousands of dollars-worth of savings, thank them for their contribution (at the very least) and if you really want to make them happy, offer them some sort of gift or perk.
You can offer them tickets to the local theatre, special discounts for company products or services, special parking privileges, anything that shows you are grateful for their contribution and that they are a valued member of the team.
7. Celebration & Fun
Have you recently achieved a specific sales target or landed an important contract? Why not celebrate with your whole team? Recognize and thank everyone who made it possible. Invite them all out for a beer or, even better, have a party!
It’s really important to create a working environment where your employees can laugh and have fun from time to time. Obviously they have a job to perform but creating a fun environment can only help to improve employee morale and performance. It’s a win/win for all!
Apply any – or all – of the above ideas and suggestions and you’ll see how retaining your best employees becomes easier. The customer service you provide does not have to suffer and your revenue and profits can only improve.
Have you got any other suggestions and ideas we could add to this list to help retain your best employees? Have you applied any of these in your company? Did they work? Let us know in the comments below.