So far, we’ve discussed hiring the right people and compensating them fairly. If you've missed those parts, you can find part 1 and part 2 on our blog. Now we move on to what most experts say is the largest reason behind employee turnover – employee satisfaction.
Keep your employees satisfied. A happy employee is a productive employee. A dissatisfied employee is, let’s face it, not likely to stick around very long. While our last tips can help ensure employees are satisfied, they’re not enough. Even an employee with a huge salary who is a perfect fit to your culture can be dissatisfied, because employee satisfaction goes way beyond workplace relationships and money.
If your employees are dissatisfied, it can be detrimental to your company’s success – dissatisfaction can result in high absenteeism, turnover, and lower productivity. Several factors contribute to an employee’s satisfaction:
- Communication – If a company is undergoing changes of any kind (layoffs, restructuring, even several new hires), employees will draw their own conclusion as to what is going on behind closed doors. Employees might not be sure about their roles in the organization due to ineffective communication during the change process. When they begin worrying about their job security, they’ll start looking elsewhere for work. Implement an open door policy and strive to keep employees up to date on company news and changes. A town hall meeting held each quarter is a great way to do so. Company-wide emails and memos are also an effective tool. Be as transparent as possible.
- Gossip – We all know gossip can run rampant in an office setting. This can create a hostile work environment, because – no matter what – it ALWAYS gets back to the person the gossip is about. Even if it’s not malicious gossip, it can still have a negative effect. Rumors flying around during changes within the company? They’re guaranteed to start those worries about job security. So how can you combat gossip? To start, that town hall meeting will squash any rumors about the company. And your open door policy will allow employees to come to you when they have issues with gossip. Make a point to talk to employees on a regular basis to see if they have any concerns. And, if you overhear any gossip, you can take action right away.
- Unclear roles. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have clear job descriptions written and to stick to them. If you were hired for a job, and had other responsibilities thrown at you, you’d be upset, right? Let your employees know exactly what it expected of them. If a time comes when you want them to take on other responsibilities, sit down with them and explain what their new role is and how it will affect their future with the company. Again, communication is key.
Each person in your company should have a clear understanding of what their role is within the company. If a new task is created, sit down with everyone affected to explain it. There should be no question of who should do what or who they answer to. Be clear from the beginning, and update as necessary.
- Flexibility - Employees today are struggling to balance work and life. A little flexibility goes a long way. We all have families or school or other responsibilities that take up our time. And let’s face it – an 8-5 schedule doesn’t really allow you to take care of the things you need to (doctor’s visits, parent/teacher conferences, etc.). Letting an employee work from home or take part of the day off on occasion allows them to make sure that they’re taking care of everything on their plate. And, most importantly, it shows that you (as their boss) understand and want them to be stress-free. An employee who lives in fear of using a sick day or taking a few hours for a doctor’s appointment will not be sticking around long.
- Value/Appreciation - Most importantly, your employees need to feel valued. When they do a good job, tell them. Reward them. Let them know they are appreciated. When you’re speaking with an employee, treat them with respect. Follow the golden rule and treat others how you’d want to be treated.
This is all about making sure your employees are happy with their jobs. If they’re not happy, they’re going to look elsewhere, and that’s when you start seeing turnover. You’ve worked so hard to find qualified candidates for your company. You should be working just as hard to keep them there. If you follow the three tips we’ve laid out for you in this series, I can guarantee that your turnover rate will decrease.
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