You have undoubtedly recently walked into a local lunch location to see a sign stating, “Change of Hours” or “Please order at the Kiosk” due to staffing shortages. Or maybe experienced production levels dropping due to the difficulty of replacing lost associates quickly.
After spending eighteen years in the restaurant industry working with a Fortune 500 organization, I learned what it means to lose good team members and the cost to a business for not having a retention strategy.
Whether you manage a logistics warehouse, food establishment, or dental office, you have come face to face with losing valuable employees. There are several reasons for associates leaving their jobs. The list includes reasons like salary, competitive benefits, feeling overworked, lack of recognition, culture, etc. The good news is that you can identify AND implement strategies to help increase retention.
Here are 5 simple retention strategies to consider for your organization.
1. Onboarding/Orientation – Proper Expectations
The first impression of an organization and team can set the tone for a new associate’s entire perception of what it may be like working at a company. This is especially crucial for entry-level positions. Jobs seem plentiful, and associates jump quickly if things are confusing, unorganized, or they don’t feel like they are valued from day one. This step gives an employer the opportunity to show the employee the company culture, and how they can be not only a valuable contributor but how they can thrive long term.
Having a proper training platform (and following it) is an investment that pays for itself quickly. One of the major factors for employees resigning within their first 30 days is the lack of proper training. They have had interviews and accepted an offer, at an agreed-upon wage, and shown up for work. Now it’s time to train them for the job at hand, which can either be an exciting or frustrating experience.
In his book “Leadership and the One Minute Manager”, Ken Blanchard introduces us to the four stages of learning. Stage two is the spot where most associates quit. They NOW KNOW what they don’t know. A proper training strategy and communicated path can help associates overcome this stage removing discouragement and leaving a team having to replace what they thought was a strong hire.
It’s hard to know when a team member is discouraged or doesn’t feel appreciated at the job if there is not a culture of communication. Effective communication, whether constructive or positive, when delivered properly can help develop a culture of openness and honesty. Without this culture, many associates will never approach their employers with issues they are facing, and in turn, management finds out too late that it was something that could have been addressed. Be proactive, and communicate first, and often.
4. Recognition and Acknowledgement
Whether individually or in teams, acknowledging achievements, milestones, or even work anniversaries can be meaningful and memorable. When people are rewarded and acknowledged for their work, they feel connected. When people feel connected, they are less likely to leave.
Yes, all associates are looking for competitive compensation. While a new associate has agreed to their starting compensation, all employees want to know that their work, done well, will eventually lead to increased compensation. This doesn’t always have to be in the form of a salary. Bonuses for outstanding productivity, longevity, or other goals can go a long way too. Be sure to constantly evaluate and adjust compensation regularly. This can help keep job satisfaction high well after the processes to onboard, train, communicate, and recognize.