Retaining top employees should be one of your top human resources goals. Like it or not, some of your employees have made it their resolution to pursue new career opportunities. If you’re a manager, this can actually work in your favour in ways that may surprise you. Instead of allowing good employees to go, aim at retaining employees. Consider ways that they can find challenge and variety by remaining with your company. It may not be a new job they want, but a sense that they are valued for contributions to their current one.
Budget constraints and higher salary demands as the result of business expansion and a competitive hiring environment have been prevalent in recent years and may not change in 2008. Starting salaries for administrative professionals across the country are expected to rise an average of 4.3 per cent in 2008, according to the just-released OfficeTeam 2008 Salary Guide. If pay increases are not currently feasible for your organization, there are many other ways you can recognize valued staff.
Here are a few ideas:
· Provide flexibility. Offering employees flexible schedule, telecommuting and extra time off options can help them better balance their work and personal lives. This can increase job satisfaction and retention rates. Workers who feel in control of their time are often more effective because work/life balance issues are less of a strain.
· Don’t overload top performers. Your “superstars” are typically the ones who shoulder the majority of the burden during crunch times. However, constantly allocating a disproportionate share of the workload to your best staff members can lead to burnout. It also gets in the way of the professional development of the rest of the team. Delegate projects to a variety of employees at all levels to help them sharpen their skills and identify future superstars. If the entire staff is overburdened, consider bringing in outside help.
· Recognize your team. Employees are motivated to perform better when they see their work is appreciated. They are more productive – and satisfied in their roles – when they feel their contributions, decision-making abilities and feedback are valued. Managers can demonstrate their appreciation with gestures as simple as a thank you email or “Great job!” written on a particularly outstanding report.
· Praise achievements publicly. Look for opportunities to acknowledge employees in group settings. This allows you to recognize their efforts in front of their peers and reinforces the behaviour you would like others to emulate.
· Give them a stake in the outcome. The opportunity to take ownership of their work is a powerful motivator for many employees, and can be a reward in itself. There has been extensive research into the effects that a sense of ownership has on an employee’s performance and productivity. Companies can empower staff members in a number of concrete ways, such as encouraging employees to take initiative on projects as well as welcoming and rewarding risk taking.
· Provide access to professional development programs. Invest in training to help team members build new skills. If budgets are tight, look for other ways to enhance career growth, such as assigning more challenging projects and establishing mentoring relationships.
· Promote from within. Businesses that offer internal advancement opportunities demonstrate to personnel their contributions will be rewarded. Promoting existing staff can also reduce the learning curve for a position, which ultimately decreases training costs. In addition, those who have a prior knowledge of the firm and the challenges your department faces may be more effective in leadership positions.
A strong job market means that employees have more job opportunities available to them. In order to keep top performers, retention must be a priority and individuals must be rewarded for their accomplishments. If your firm does not anticipate offering higher raises and bonuses this year, these suggestions can help you avoid the negative consequences of staff turnover.
Inexpensive rewards aimed at retaining top employees
Rewards don’t need to be expensive to be effective. Below are some examples of low-cost ways to recognize staff accomplishments:
· Thank you notes or letters of appreciation
· Lunch at a local restaurant
· Employee-of-the-month award
· Customized plaques
· Additional time off
· Casual dress days
· An article in the company newsletter
OfficeTeam is the world’s largest specialized temporary staffing service for administrative professionals. OfficeTeam has the resources, experience and expertise to coordinate the match between employer and administrative specialist. OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.
Related to retaining top employees
- Turning around turnover – how to keep the best employees
- Employee performance goals: inspiring top performance from employees
- Stay interviews
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