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Overtime is Overrated! Actionable Steps to Improve Employee Retention!

Employees form the nucleus for any business activity. They’re the ones who execute all your plan of action and make sure that things go right. You wouldn’t be able to carry on without their valuable contributions to the company. Every company needs to make sure that the valuable employees don’t leave because low retention rates incur great costs. You cannot wait to resolve their issues until they have decided to move forward. Here are some strategies you can follow to improve employee retention. 

1. Retention begins with recruiting

employee retention

Analyse the qualities you see in the candidates. Identify the right profile and hire the right person. Every fresh recruit must be set up for success from the very beginning. They should be trained on how things work in your organization. Teach them about your company culture and demonstrate how his or her contributions are going to be appreciated and valued. Throw a welcome party if you may to help them blend and bond. Help them to visualize a growth track for themselves within the organization in the long-run.

2. Brains, just like hearts, love recognition

The tradition of rewarding instills positive energy within the work environment, encouraging employees to remain connected with the company. When you reward an employee, it means you are showing your appreciation for his or her job, thereby fulfilling your earlier promise. This gesture appeals to the employee on an emotional level, where she feels she is important to the company. A bonus might be great but recognition every now and then also does the job. These are certain motivators that help in employee retention.

3. Create scope for growth

employee training retention

An ongoing education program paves way for further achievements. It also says that you need them and you value them enough to upgrade their skills instead of replacing them with newer assets. Also, this fresh training will make the employees more adept at the job. This increases their productivity, ultimately adding to the company’s benefits.

4. Perks they can’t refuse

Every company out there is offering a competitive package. What’s exclusive about you to make your employees think twice before switching? Add some special perks to their package that seem like a privilege to them. Flexible schedule, remote working options, parental leave, preparatory off days may help in boosting employee morale. More tangible perks can include food coupons, cab coupons and sponsored vacations. Factors like these really make a difference to your employees.

5. Equality for all

employee retention company culture

Fairness in behavior and treatment nourishes the humanitarian ethics of your company. The absence of bias or partiality sends a strong message that your company policy follows honesty and transparency. All employees must feel that they are in fair hands. They shouldn’t feel any hesitation to report any issue. The remedial procedure should be transparent and easy. Anonymity should be ensured in some cases, especially if an employee chooses so. Equality in treatment can be an endearing factor for the employees. It is not enough to refer to the teams as ‘family,’ they should be treated accordingly to garner loyalty.

6. Inform, educate, change

The workspace is subject to changes over time, sometimes quite frequently. When the market scenario changes, your business gets upgraded and so does your workforce. Such changes should be implemented after you have held a meeting with the employees – first inform and then implement. This gives them adequate time to process through the changes and get mentally prepared for the same.

For example, the recent pandemic has overhauled the entire working structure. Before they started working from home, most companies held virtual meetings with the employees and walked them through what needed to be done and how, psychologically preparing them for the change.

7. People first, assets later

Many companies make the mistake of seeing the employees as company assets only. But that is one hell of a mistake! The well-being of the workers should be given importance because it is the humane thing to do, and if you do not prioritize their well-being, in the long-run they won’t prioritize you. Also, ignoring employees’ well-being directly affects their productivity.

Check on them in person at an interval. Keep necessary arrangements for immediate medical relief in case of emergency. You must appoint a counselor any employee can go to if they feel the need. Add medical insurance benefits to their package to make them feel safe. Be more flexible with work hours and leaves.

8. Money can’t buy loyalty, but CSR might

corporate social responsibility

Adding a cause to the corporate functions will promote a sense of goodwill, eliminating the idea that the employees are working only to benefit the company. You can arrange for some charity or fundraising activities. There are reports suggesting that GenZ workers are much inclined towards social responsibility.

Let them know they are not just earning profit for the business but making a real difference in the world through their work. Allow them to glimpse at the bigger purpose. Engagement in CSR can come across as a motivation for the employees.

9. Work-life balance

Employees should never feel that they have to sacrifice their well-being or personal lives to keep their jobs. Strike that ever-so-important work-life-balance. Everyone has the right to take a break. Talented individuals who are unhappy with their work conditions are highly likely to skip boat at the first available opportunity.

The solution? Sabbatical leaves that can last as long as 6 weeks can be offered to long-term employees. It shows that you appreciate their hard work and sincerity. Work hours should be regulated, especially now that work from home is becoming a real thing – blurring the divide between work and personal lives. Additional work hours should come with additional benefits

10. Overtime is overrated!

Japan, New Zealand and Spain have all started experimenting with 4-days work weeks. Recently, Indian companies like Swiggy joined the bandwagon. Intuitive entrepreneurs are well aware the shift will continue in the future. Anyone who makes the shift now, however, will be noted as a visionary in the future. Understandably, most traditional companies would refuse the idea at present but one needs to consider the benefits.

Let it be clear for once and for all – overtime is overrated! Being too busy and overloaded is no sign of efficiency, infact, prolonged work stress can seriously compromise the productivity of a person. Allow them the time to unwind, recharge, and get back to business in their best form.

Stanford University conducted a research study on a group of employees to conclude that crossing 50 hours of work in a week results in a sharply declined productivity. Countries like Norway and Netherlands have followed this trend and achieved great success in terms of productivity. 

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