Do You Have a Retention Plan in Place?

When it comes to retaining your top talent and avoiding constant turnover, you need to plan ahead. People are no longer staying at companies for 20, 10 or even 5 years anymore. This is partly due to millennials making up a larger percentage of the workforce and their tendency to “job-hop.” Job hopping can be caused by many things: Whether it’s boredom, desire for better pay or a career change, feeling underappreciated and overworked, or for better opportunities and more options, companies are losing top talent at an alarming rate.

So, how can you keep this from happening to you? It may seem simple: hire qualified people, treat them well, pay them fairly and you’ve got a lifer! Unfortunately, it’s not the simple.

Having a retention plan in place is the key to holding on to your top employees. The good news is, that it doesn’t have to be time extensive or expensive!

  1. Start by hiring the right people. This may sound like common sense. But you may be surprised at how many companies hire an unqualified candidate just to fill a position. Identify the top five to ten most important characteristics and skills needed to perform well on the job. A strong hiring strategy will ensure that you hire the right person who will be a great fit to your team.
  1. Provide continual professional development. Have a thorough, structured training process in place when a new employee first arrives and continue to provide them with professional development opportunities. Employees benefit by gaining new skills and you benefit by gaining a productive and skilled workforce. But, also make sure that they have the freedom to actually implement these skills on the job.
  1. Communication. Everyone these days uses the term “transparent company.” But many companies don’t exercise what they preach. Maintain and open door policy so that your employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions, ideas and concerns. In turn, help and encourage your employees to put their ideas into place and provide recognition when it’s deserved.
  1. Create a passionate company culture. Create a place where employees look forward to coming to work everyday. Lets be honest, there are still going to be days where people don’t want to get out of bed and go to work for 9 hours. But the more fun, open and energized you make it, the harder it’s going to be for employees to leave.
  1. Recognize their efforts. In the orientation phase, ask each new employee how he or she prefers to be recognized. In most cases, a simple thank you is enough.  If employees aren’t recognized for their hard work, the more likely they will get frustrated, feel underappreciated and start handing out their resumes to companies who will appreciate them.
  1. Make work meaningful. People want to do something that is meaningful and fulfilling. This is especially true for millennials. Create meaningful experiences inside and outside of your office. This could mean backing a cause that they feel passionate about, volunteering at a nonprofit organization as a company, or raising money for a good cause.
  1. Provide work life balance. Again, this is especially true for the generation Y employees. Although work and being successful is important to them, it isn’t the most important aspect in their lives. Provide them with flexible work arrangements when needed, don’t make them feel bad for wanting to take some time off or leaving work a little bit early on a slow Friday afternoon.
  1. Conduct “stay interviews.” If your company isn’t doing this, you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity. A stay interview is an informal review in which the direct manager reviews the employee’s progress, ideas, concerns and feedback. It allows you to understand what is most meaningful to your top talent and if they have an issue, it gives you the opportunity to fix it before they give you their two weeks notice. Not all employees feel comfortable going to their boss when issues arise. So it is important that you also seek them out.