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As stressful as finding a job can be for employees, finding the right employees — and more importantly, holding on to them — can be just as stressful for business owners and HR executives.
Benefits, perks and bonuses can all help keep good employees from looking elsewhere (or taking that recruiter’s call).
We reached out to retention experts in all four of Technical.ly’s primary markets — Philly, Delaware, Baltimore and D.C. — and all agree that the key to retention is to treat your employees like real people with real lives outside of the office. Shocking, right?
Here are five actionable things you can do to improve employee retention:
1. Be creative.
Collie Turner, head of inspiration for Tapp Network in Wilmington, asks new Tapp employees what they want their title to be.
“It’s wonderful to see potential hires pause and say, ‘Wait. What?’ They have a choice,” she said. “They aren’t in a box. Who are they and who do they want to be? We have some very creative titles at Tapp and we feel great that the employees are confident with the role (or are learning how to grow in to that role).”
Turner also stresses encouraging employees to explore their passions outside of their jobs.
“One team member works in STEM. [Influencer of Change] Nikki Stout’s ‘other life’ is master of ceremonies for FIRST Robotics Competition,” she said, “and it takes her all over the country. We want Nikki to continue doing this, as she has a passion for it. It’s critical that people that come to Tapp feel that they are not just coming to a job, but it’s something they do in conjunction with their lives.”
2. Don’t be stifling.
Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart HR in Baltimore, invests in the four areas that matter to an employee: opportunities for growth, internal mentorship, external professional development and clarity from leadership.
“We know the mantra that employees join organizations but leave bosses … but why? It’s because bosses stifle growth, fail to offer career support, frown upon outside professional development for fear of being poached, and fail to give clarity around goals,” he said. “If you can work on those four things, you’ll build a more attractive culture from the inside out.”
3. Think ahead.
Bruce Marable, CEO of Employee Cycle in Philadelphia, believes in creating goals for employees from the start.
“I think having a transparent and organized career path creates an environment of retaining key employees,” he said. “The career path should not only include the professional goals of employees, but also their personal goals. If an employees wants to become a better public speaker, they should be put on a path to work in a role that requires giving presentations, speaking at conferences, etc.”
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Pearlie Oni, senior manager of employee experience for Red Peg in D.C. stresses that employers, not just employees, should receive feedback on how they’re doing.
“Don’t let the Exit Interview be the only time you ask an employee about their experience at your company,” she said. “The employee experience begins the moment you first make contact with them as a potential candidate, make sure you’re asking how you’re doing at each critical stage of the process, not just when they are already on their way out.”
5. Remember: You’re more than a paycheck.
Dan Healey, head of HR at SAP North America in Philadelphia, says that caring for the whole person is essential for employee retention.
“By that I mean not just providing for one dimension of an employee’s needs, but ensuring they feel supported in an inclusive environment, with challenging work, world-class learning and development opportunities, and that the financial, physical and mental well-being of the individual and their families is cared for.”And of course, the only way we can effectively do this is by listening to our employees, constantly gathering feedback and making adjustments tailored to the needs of each employee.”
P.S. Technical.ly’s ebook “How to build a tech recruiting strategy” features lessons for any venture-backed or high-growth company, but also tactical ideas on how to grow fast, and differently. Grab it for free below.-30-
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