March 21, 2018

What Employees Want: 5 Trends to Retain the Best Workforce

By Bryan May
VP of Business Development

Is your retention strategy standing up against the competition? Retaining employees in today’s workforce is critical. Once you find them, it’s time to start working toward retaining them. Employee retention is ongoing and starts the day you hire them and lasts until the day they retire. Learn how many successful construction companies are retaining their best workforce.

  1. Make Expectations Clear During Onboarding

Nothing can be more frustrating for an employee at a new job than not knowing what is expected of them and what it takes to be successful. A recent Gallup survey shows only 41% of employees knows their company’s goals and values.

On day one of employment, expectations, goals and your organization’s mission should be made explicit to employees. When employees know what is expected of them from the beginning, there will be no room for confusion and top quality work will be produced right from the start. When goals and measurements are made clear, employees will understand what they’re working towards and be able to track their progress toward achieving their goals.

The more time and attention you spend during the onboarding process, the higher your employee retention and engagement levels will be. This will lead to lower turnover, increased performance and improved job satisfaction.

  1. Provide Learning and Development Opportunities

Provide learning and development opportunities for employees to advance their skills and rise through the ranks of your company. When employees are able to develop and create their own career path, they will remain loyal to your company longer. According to a SHRM survey, one-third of employees reported that career development opportunities were very important to their overall job satisfaction.

Actively invest in developing your employees through apprenticeships, on-the-job training and ongoing learning throughout their careers. This investment shows them that you care about their success enough to create a career path for them to grow within your company. It shows them that they truly are important and a key part of the company’s success. In the process of this development, you are creating a dedicated employee who is not only loyal to you, but is trained for the job in a manner that best suits your organization. And, best of all, they stay.

  1. Align Employee Goals with Company Goals

Not all employees are quick to express their career goals and desires. It’s easy to let the person off the hook, but don’t. For your organization to grow and thrive, the people within it need to be constantly working towards a common goal to better the organization. They must evolve. By taking the time to dig in with these employees and encourage them to set goals for themselves, you’ll be able to engage them and start to build the loyalty you desire. An exciting career path created from these exercises will benefit everyone involved. Next, make sure you continue to offer opportunities and support to keep them on track to attain the goals they’ve set.

Help your employees set goals that are directly aligned with your company goals. Employees will stay on track and feel that their work is impacting the organization in a meaningful way. Among employees who strongly agree with the statement “My manager helps me set work priorities,” 38% are engaged. Among employees who disagree, only 4% are engaged according to a Gallup survey.

  1. Make Open Communication and Feedback a Priority

When it comes to employee retention, open communication from both sides is important. Do your employees feel like they have the ability to speak his or her mind freely? Do you ask for employee’s ideas and feedback? When you encourage employees to share their concerns with you, it gives you the opportunity to share your concerns with them in a non-threatening way. This fosters a culture of openness and trust that can be invaluable. Make sure to hold regular meetings, brainstorming sessions and open office hours for employees to provide feedback. A SHRM study found that 57% of employees reported that communication between employees and senior management was very important to employee job satisfaction.

Participate in regular two-way communication to help employees stay on track and lower misunderstandings. Regular feedback also makes employees feel that their work is valued and that they are making an impact on the organization. When employees receive consistent feedback they become more motivated and engaged in their daily work.

  1. Define Your Company Culture

Your company’s culture is directly correlated with employee retention levels. When employees understand what is valued in their work environment, they will be more engaged in their role. Your company culture defines what your visions and values are and how systems work, so recruiting and retaining employees that fit your company’s culture is critical.

When employees feel are positively contributing to company culture, it reflects positively on their attitude and they will look forward to coming to work every day. An enjoyable company culture not only leads to higher job satisfaction and employee engagement, but it lowers turnover. Job turnover at organizations with a high focus on company culture averages around a 13% turnover rate while companies with a low focus on company culture have a 48% turnover rate according to a SHRM study.

Competition is growing and becoming fiercer while talented people are becoming scarcer. Holding on to your talented employees gives you the upper hand you need. Use these tips within your organization to effectively engage and retain your valued employees.

MBI is hosting a members-only webinar presented by BirdDogHR on how to retain top employees in October.  We encourage you to register to attend this free, members-only webinar!

5 Techniques to Retain Top Employees
October 18, 2016
11:00 am – 12:00 pm