Jun 09, 2015

Should I stay, or should I go? – Employee Retention strategies (part II)

Author: Anda Algafitii

In last week’s issue, we’ve discussed the first successful step to retaining employees: hiring the right kind of people for a particular kind of job. So let’s say you’ve got them paired-up with the ideal job. How do you convince them to stay? Is it beneficial for one’s career to do so? Is it worth your effort to make them get comfortable and not want to leave?

You’re not the only one running the show

In today’s climate, employers are no longer the only ones making demands in order to be persuaded to hire. Job-seekers have their own set of requirements, and make demands of their own. People accept a job-offer because the projects interest them, because they see a clear, self-development-oriented career-path ahead in your company, because the salary is attractive, the medical insurance covers their needs, and you provide regular trainings to insure consolidation or acquisition of skills. All of these things are mandatory today, and matter to each individual in different degrees, so almost every company strives to include such benefits in their offers. Not insuring these essentials is sure to keep all talented and experienced people away from a company. Today’s employees know what they want from their careers, and market their skills in order to get it. That’s why there’s an increasing emphasis on the training programs and development opportunities within a company. If all goes well, I shouldn’t have to leave your company with the same job title I had coming in. If all goes great, I shouldn’t have to want to leave for many years. The difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’?

It’s ‘the little things’.

Because more and more companies are realizing what the essentials are and strive to provide them, in many cases, it comes down to ‘the littles things’ that end-up making a difference: do I get a say in which projects I’m being assigned to, does my opinion matter, are managers approachable, do I feel like I can talk freely? Is there good coffee nearby? Does the available technology offer me agility and satisfy my work needs? Am I stuck behind a cubical wall, or do I see other people working nearby? Can I choose from different training-program options and develop the skills that are important to me? Do I get gym discounts? Am I being treated the way I was promised during the interviewing phase, or was it all exaggerated just to get me to sign? All of these things add-up, and they’re the ones making a difference between ‘a keeper’ and ‘just a job’. And this difference will be highlighted by employee motivation and productivity, as well as, of course, by the turnover rate. You need to start talking to your people, in order to understand what’s making them stay, as well as what’s making them go.

Because it’s good for both of you

If there’s a match, and talented people want to get comfortable and build a career with your company, if you can motivate them to grow constantly, but feel like they can best accomplish this by staying where they are, you’re both winning. In a technology field, I can settle down without having to become stuck in routine. It’s beneficial for the company, because it decreases recruitment costs, while minimizing the time you spend onboarding, which translates to a productivity boost. It’s beneficial for the employee, because you already know and appreciate them; they’re past having to prove themselves, you already value their skills, and so they’re free to set-out on the path to career development. But that path has to exist and it has to be clear and step-by-step. If I feel stuck, if I feel like I’m not learning anything new and becoming a better professional by working for you, I’ll first become demotivated and unproductive, and then I’ll advance my career by changing jobs.

It still feels like we’re just getting started on this topic, so feel free to suggest ideas for a more detailed future follow-up article! Until my next issue, I’d love to hear your opinions: what do you like best about your current job? What’s one thing you’d change about it if you could? Share your comments with us, and visit our careers page if you’re looking to find a place to settle down, or follow us on Facebook for a better look at our culture.

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