Employee Retention Starts on Day One

Most employers start evaluating their employees around the one-year mark when they’re getting ready to give their annual reviews. While this is often when managers start considering the next steps for their team, most employees start thinking about their future much earlier, often right from the time they begin a new position. It’s a natural tendency for people to think ahead and strategize on what their next move will be, even long before they are ready to act on it. If an employee’s goals are not in line with those of their organization, or they don’t feel that they are part of a positive and supportive environment, they’re likely to call it quits as soon as they can find a more promising job elsewhere.

Employee turnover is more than just a hassle – it costs companies a lot in lost hours spent on training, onboarding, IT setup, and the new need for Human Resources to create job postings, conduct interviews, and repeat the process all over again. The expense and inconvenience of a high turnover rate is frustrating, and many companies don’t understand how to do a better job or retaining their employees. Employee Retention should begin right from the time a new hire starts, with these strategies:

  • Demonstrate the potential to grow within the company. Right off the bat, start showing new hires areas where their colleagues have moved up the ladder within the company. Introduce them around the office on their first day and add in comments such as, “This is Sandra, she started as a Jr. Developer and now she’s a Senior Manager.” Its one thing to talk about the possibility to move up, but it drives the point home when new hires see firsthand the people who have been promoted from within. Employers may be surprised to hear that, for many people, an internal promotion is preferred over a pay raise.
  • Make company culture a perk. Every company has its own culture, and whether yours is any good will have a significant impact on whether you have good employee retention. People want to be happy at work, that’s the simple truth that employers need to keep in mind. Even small businesses can create a fun atmosphere and offer employees incentives, with things as small as ordering pizza every Friday afternoon or buying a foosball table for the break room. If companies think strategically about how they can keep their employees feeling that coming to work is fun, then they can create a culture that people would describe as one of the benefits of working there.
  • Adopt an open-door policy for feedback. Don’t wait until it’s time for an employee’s annual review to find out if they’re unhappy at work. Make a point of checking in with staff more often. Make it known to new hires that you have an open-door policy for feedback, questions, or concerns. Be sure to offer praise where it’s due and do that throughout the year as well, rather than keeping silent until review time. Some great employees may not wait around that long if they don’t feel that they’re getting the recognition they deserve or the support they need.
  • Offer the flexibility of working remotely. Offering telecommuting as an option to employees goes a long way in showing them that your organization is flexible and supportive of their time and needs. Employee retention is higher when staff have the freedom to work from home some of the time. Allowing employees to work remotely demonstrates that you trust in their ability to work independently and that you are respectful of their time and their need for work/life flexibility. Outline your policy on working remotely during the interview process as an incentive for good candidates to get excited about being part of your organization.

Start new employees off on the right path from their first few days on the job by demonstrating the ways that it’s the people who are important to the organization. On a basic level, people want to be recognized for their efforts and enjoy coming to work each day, so keeping that at the forefront of your mind will help shape your strategy when it comes to improving employee retention and creating a positive and pleasurable working environment that the staff wants to commit to.

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