Managing to Improve Employee Retention

Whatever your line of business is, chances are good that turnover is a big problem. It costs a lot of money and other resources to bring new hires up to speed, and there is often a loss of productivity during the search. If you want to minimize turnover, then the key to success lies in your style of management.

Workplace Tone

Many managers prefer a hard-line approach to employee relationships, with bonuses and opportunities given only to top producers, harsh punishments, and an inflexible approach to scheduling and rules. This approach sets an oppressive tone in the workplace, however.

Job satisfaction and employee retention are directly related to each other. Employees who enjoy coming into work are much more likely to stay on than employees who are always worried about interactions with management and how much better other employees are doing. Happy employees work to succeed, and unhappy employees look for places where they might be happy. The manager is the one who sets the tone of the workplace, so as the manager, you must pay close attention to how your employees feel about their workplace.

Don’t Micromanage

You need to keep an eye on what your employees are doing, of course, but the worst thing you can do is micromanage them. This tells them that you don’t trust them. Also, employees who always have their managers hovering nearby are watching the manager more than they’re working. This kills productivity and lowers workplace satisfaction. Instead, hand projects to employees you trust to get the job done, and then go away and let them do it. Check in regularly, but not too frequently.

Listen to Their Problems and Stay Flexible

By listening to your employees’ problems, you show respect to them. In fact, you need to make listening to them a priority. You should set aside specific times for your employees to talk to you. You should also remember to include time for getting employee feedback when you hand out orders.

If they need you to be a little flexible with the rules to help them out with a real problem, do it if you can. By showing them that you will bend the rules for them a little, you are showing them that they are valued, and you are making them feel more comfortable working there.

Also, if you can, let your employees telecommute. This not only shows them that you feel you can trust them, it also gets them away from the monotony of the daily routine. Studies clearly show that letting your employees work where they feel comfortable makes them more productive and less inclined to roam.

Keep Their Personal Space Personal

Allow your employees to decorate their cubicles and offices in whatever way they like. If they feel at home in the workplace, they won’t be so inclined to look for a better fit elsewhere. Additionally, don’t get worked up if an employee’s work space is a real mess. Messy people are actually more productive if they are allowed to be themselves.

Benefits and Perks

You should give your employees good perks and benefits, such as flex time, personal days, paid holidays, comfortable work spaces, and employee discounts. Make them available to all employees, instead of using them as incentives for increasing performance. Use bonuses for that.

The time you take to make your employees feel comfortable and happy at work is well worth your while. The better they feel at work, the more inclined they are to stay there.