Do your best hires keep leaving? It’s a phenomenon that afflicts every business, small or large, at one time or another. It negatively impacts office morale, undercuts productivity, and distracts you from other matters that requires your time and focus.
You already know how tough it is to recruit a great employee. You recruit through all methods available, take the time to interview, and narrow down the candidates, find the perfect hire, train them and get them acclimated… and in six months, they leave for a “better opportunity”. Sometimes on their way out, they give you a specific reason… more advanced options, better pay, etc. But most often, they just leave and only give you two weeks notice… if that.
So why do your best hires keep leaving?
A term that has been thrown into the HR space for quite some time is “employee engagement”. While the term tends to be overused, it is critical for every business owner, regardless of the size of your business, to understand how huge the impact of employee engagement has on your company’s profit margin.
Simply stated, keeping employees engaged is more than paying them well. In fact, very few employees really resign because of the money, but because of other factors. Employee engagement is actually a combination of several work environment factors and as a business owner, it’s critical that you pay attention to these factors so you not only recruit the best, but also keep them through their career.
Every work environment consists of three key engagement factors:
- How you assess your employees
- How you pay your employees (compensation, benefits and bonus)
- How you develop and motivate your employees
These factors are universal and relate to all levels of employees, regardless of the size of your business, your industry, or what your business strategy is.
If you are hitting the ball out of the park on two of the three factors, you may keep your employees engaged for a while, but eventually, they will realize something is missing and start looking elsewhere.
So where do you begin to evaluate how well you are doing with regard to these important factors?
To begin with, you can and should assess your employees with a strong and consistent performance management process. This tool should include annual objectives that are based on your business strategy and tie in every role in your organization to the bottom line. When employees know what is expected of them, and they know you are paying attention and meeting with them regularly to give feedback on their progress, they feel connected and more importantly, they feel significant to your business’s success.
So you’ve got a performance management tool, but you aren’t paying your employees relative to the market. Perhaps you feel that you can’t afford to offer raises or bonuses year to year. Did you know that there are other ways to reward employee success that are equally motivating?
Finally, if you are measuring performance and paying competitively, you are almost there. But while a good employee will settle for these two elements in a job, a great employee is looking for a career. Absent one of these, the great employee will get restless and feel stifled by lack of opportunity and development. So developing your employees is critical to keeping them engaged and motivated by the success of the business they are driving.
Employ these three factors in your work environment, and the next time you bring on a great hire, perhaps you will watch them work with you and eventually retire from your business after many years of success.