Ways to Improve Employee Retention

What are you doing to keep all the amazing employees you hired? Employee retention is like gardening, consistent nurturing is key for survival. You need to ensure you are caring for your employees if you want them to stay. Here are a few tips.

  • Onboarding and orientation — This starts from day one and can last for weeks or even months. Proper planning and welcoming the new employee is important so ensure you provide a celebratory warm welcome. An orientation on the job and culture is key so the new employee can learn how they fit in, contribute and succeed.
  • Buddy programs — As part of the orientation process a new employee should have a paired employee buddy. Seasoned employees can provide insight, guidance, friendship and be a great sounding board.
  • Recognition and rewards — Make sure you put a plan in place to ensure employees feel appreciated. Reward systems are great but a simple thank you can also go a long way.
  • Flexible work and/or work-life balance — Ensure you are not working your employees to the point of exit. There needs to balance, so ensure your employees work hours are healthy. Encourage time off and allow some flexibility. Life is demanding and everyone needs time to manage. Flexibility is no longer a perk or a nice feature, it’s a must.
  • Opportunities for training and development — Employees who have opportunities to grow and develop are less likely to leave. Putting together employee development plans with a minimum 6-month review will lead to employee growth and retention.
  • Compensation & Benefits Strategy — It’s a no brainer that an employee will consider crossing the road for a new job if they can get more. A proper strategy and focus on your total rewards ensures you remain competitive. Pay is not everything but it’s still a factor. Also don’t just focus on a plan that attracts an employee, ensure you have proper yearly reviews to retain employees as they grow.
  • Communication — Employees often feel they don’t get enough communication. Proper communication and meetings are essential. Employees also need feedback, an opportunity to be heard and for you to be open and honest. 
  • Teamwork — Proper teamwork, relationships and celebrations increase retention. When employees work together they feel more included. Employees who are part of a team don’t want to let each other down and loyalty is a part of it.

In the end you need an employee retention strategy but you can’t just create it any be done. Stay current and ensure to review your strategy at least once a year. There is an existing talent war that has gone nuclear in the last five to ten years. It’s one thing to attract an employee but retention is even more important.

The Cost of Not Having HR Expertise

Fact, 70% of companies who employ 5 to 50 employees are allocating HR responsibilities to employees with no HR experience. Many employees who partake in recruitment, HR planning, HR administration and creating policies and procedures aren’t prepared for the job

Should every business go and hire an HR generalist, coordinator or manager? That’s not feasible for everyone. The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) recently release a study that shows the average HR-to-employee ratio in a business is 2.60, which averages down to one HR expert for every 38 employees.

I believe a good rule of thumb would be as follows

5-49 Employees – Hire an HR consultant

50-149 Employees – Hire an HR expert

150+ Employees – When you reach 150 employees consider hiring a 2nd HR expert or consultant

There is a direct ROI for having an HR expert on your team. What are the costs of not having an HR expert? A conservative estimate of replacing the average employee will cost an employer about 1.5 times their annual salary. If an employee makes $40,000, you can expect to lose $60,000. The overall costs look at such factors as

  • Lost revenue of productivity
  • Costs of promoting the job, reviewing and screen applicants and interview applicants
  • Costs of training and onboarding
  • Costs of fixing mistakes made by inexperienced employees
  • And other hidden costs such as possible shifts in culture and brand

The average employee stays at the same employer for 4 years. That’s down from 10 years only a few decades below. To try and keep your employees implementing a strong brand and culture is more important than ever.

Welcome to the World of Social Media and an Instant Bad Reputation

When you are not performing and operating at your best an unsatisfied employee can resign in anger and the chances of them sharing their unpleasant experience is very high. Thanks to sites like facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc. former employees have a giant platform to share or tell people about their bad experience. Suddenly that upset employee is influencing the opinions of hundreds of other potential employees who are researching your company and deciding whether or not they want to work for you. It can quickly snowball.

In a very competitive work world with a shortage of qualified workers the importance of doing it right is more important than ever. You need to compete so be sure you hire an expert to help. Employee turnover is just one performance indicator, but it’s an important one that ties in with many other metrics at your organization. It can reduce costs related to productivity and training, and even change your company’s culture and morale. Working with an HR expert increases your chance of keeping employees engaged and create or protect your employer brand.

Feel free to reach out to People Stuff if you want to chat about any of your HR needs. We offer a free Discovery Meeting and recommendation report to help you on the right path to improve your HR processes. Send me an email today chad@peoplestuffnl.ca

5 Keys to Employee Motivation

As leaders you influence your employees’ motivation more than any other organizational person, incentive or reward. Motivation and engagement trickle down from the top leaders to your employees.   As a leader you set the stage for motivation and everyone is watching.

So, what does that mean? People management is what that means. It’s essential that leaders have people management skills and without it, motivation and engagement is low. When that happens, great employees leave or even worst stay and become disengaged low performers.

Here are five key skills that managers need to develop to ensure that their employees are motivated and engaged.

1. Connection

You must connect with your employees. If you are sitting in an office with a closed door, handing out assignments and snapping a whip then you are not motivating your employees.  You need to connect, show empathy and be visible to your employees. You need to be present on the work floor, speak with your employees and empathize with their challenges and issues. Motivation will be much higher when there is a genuine connection between team members.   

2. Empowerment

You need to allow employee to perform their job, make decisions and control their work. Depending on the position this can vary but try and find some room to provide empowerment. Motivation and engagement will be much higher when employees are not micromanaged. Micromanagement kills engagement so be sure to let employees perform on their own.

3. Recognition

Motivated employees work hard, and they should be recognized for that.  This goes beyond the employees’ regular pay.  Rewards and recognition come in many different forms and it’s important you create a strategic plan.  For now, know that employee motivation will increase when recognized for a job well done.

4. Flexibility

Collaboration is the buzz word here. You need to be flexible in your approach and allow your employees to provide insight and suggestions. Employees are performing their job and they see things in a different light. There needs to be an opportunity to share those ideas and make changes. You don’t need to be a pushover but there needs to be wiggle room.

5. Listen

This is essential to motivation. You always listen to someone who you value. The more important a person is the more likely you practice active listening. As a manager you probably talk more than you listen because you’re “the boss”. If you fail to listen to your employees, they feel valueless and start to lose motivation. Start engaging in conversations and don’t over talk, dominate and interrupt when your employees are sharing ideas.

In summary, motivation leads to engagement and engagement leads to loyalty.  When you have an employee with those three factors you have a business that will prosper. Loyalty works both ways and if you want to keep employees engaged practice the five steps above. Your employees’ motivation will allow your customers and business to succeed.

Why You Need a Compensation Strategy

If you own a company, you need to put some thought into your compensation strategy.  There are many factors that make people want to work for you but if your compensation factors are not clean, fair, and motivating then you are fighting an uphill battle.

If you don’t have a compensation strategy you are at risk of not attracting new talent or keeping your employees. Your plan needs to make financial sense and help achieve your organizational goals.

Without a compensation strategy employee offers, raises and bonuses get decided on an individual basis versus a strategic process. You run the risk of inequality and hurting your business. Staff may see inequality and an unclear compensation path. This can even happen when you are paying your employees above the market rates. Be clear, fair and consistent.

Putting Together a Strategy

When putting together a strategy you need to start with your goals. Do you want to pay your employee above, below or at par with market rates?

Now you need to research your industry on what motivates your current and future employees. Figure out where you stand and where you want to go.

You also need to focus on how to handle salary increases. Are they based on individual performance and/or company performance? You need those guidelines in place and your employees need to understand them. The clearer the strategy is to your employees the more it will be viewed as unbiased and fair. 

Lastly your benefits need to be considered. Vacation, health, retirement, perks, etc. They need consideration and are part of your overall compensation package. Employees want more than just a pay cheque. Set a strategy and budget that will motivate your employees and help support your company goals. 

Give People Stuff a call, I can help setup a strategy that will speak to your employees and support your goals. In the end you will retain more employees and attract new talent. 

People Stuff is located in St. John’s, Newfoundland (709) 697-2423 or chad@peoplestuffnl.ca

What Does Strategic HR Really Look Like

Many human resources professionals and SMEs want to join the ranks of the business world and become “strategic”, so what does that look like?  Does that mean that the HR Manager now attends the executive or business planning meetings? It’s more than that, and for HR to be truly strategic they must have A MEASURABLE AFFECT ON THE BOTTOM LINE.

This comes down to measuring the affects HR strategy, or People Strategy, has on the organization. METRICS is the key and you need to show how improving programs will attract and retain employees and improve performance. It’s not enough to just say profits will increase you need to try and figure out a specific goal or measurement with measurements to back it up.

Budgeting and putting plans in place may come from the management team but HR needs to create the strategy on how to get the employees to reach that goal. In working with the leaders, it’s HR’s role to hold the leaders accountable to the specific People Strategy. HR’s role becomes motivational and coaching and they need to step in when HR metrics are down. They need to ensure the leaders are making changes to support the strategy.

In the end the HR Strategy becomes the true business strategy. HR is not just a part of it but they are leading it.

Are you a Coachable Coach?

Part of being a good coach and leader requires that you be coachable.  While there are many ways to demonstrate your “coach-ability” as a leader, one of the best ways to model that you are coachable to your team members is to seek out some feedback on your coaching conversations when they occur. So before you conclude a coaching dialogue, shift gears and ask a few specific questions about your performance. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or extensive, just demonstrate that you are taking an interest in their perspective and modeling the receiving side of coaching. You can also use the information you gather to enhance your self-awareness and discover how people respond to your style and approach.

Here are a few questions I recommend using to initiate some feedback and coaching from the coachee:

  • How did this discussion work for you?
  • Are you getting what you need from me?
  • How can I help support your efforts?
  • Do you feel I have been clear or have you felt confused?
  • Do you have any suggestions for me that would help me be a more effective coach?

These types of questions will do a lot to ensure that you have demonstrated your active interest in being coachable. But the most important part is that you listen intently and try to take the person’s feedback to heart without getting defensive. Demonstrating respect for their ideas and perspective is a key part of communicating the right message to the other person.

Indicate that your commitment is to improve and make a significant contribution to creating a productive relationship. When coaches know that you are committed to building a synergistic relationship and that they are supported, you can expect to see positive results from your coaching discussions. This will give you a glimpse into whether or not the dialogue is working for them and better prepare you for the next coaching opportunity. I have also found that team members are more likely to come back and seek more input from you because they have seen you be vulnerable and look for opportunities to learn and grow.

Maintaining a healthy coaching relationship is one of the most important things you can do as a leader, so don’t neglect opportunities to signal your intent and commitment to improve your leadership skills.

Adapting to Millennial Generation Trends

Lets talk about Generation Z and the many negative stereotypes that are attached with that generation. Like many things we do in this life we stereotype to better understand the things we really don’t understand. A lot of those stereotypes can be negative and sometimes can represent a small segment that we use to paint a broader picture for everyone.

As an HR consultant too many times I witness companies complaining or using negative stereotypes to describe Generation Z employees. They are lazy, unmotivated, self entitled and lacking coping skills. I see a lot of negativity and not enough focus on the positives.

On another note, there is an interesting trend happening right now. For the first time, a younger generation’s work habits are having an influence on an older generation’s work habits. For as long as their has been “work” the standard has been that the older generations teaches the younger generation. As we continue to move forward Gen Z is setting the path for how we operate as a whole and teach us through their understanding of technology.

So lets go back to those negative stereotypes. Some companies choose to settle on those stereotypes rather than embrace change. For those companies that are successfully adapting they are capitalizing on flexibility, autonomy and entrepreneurship.

Here are some quick points on what those great workplaces look like

  • Implementing a work place that is not just 9-5 and less driven from the top down. You need to create a workplace that is flexible and allow your employees opportunity to make a difference and be empowered. Too many companies are so far off the radar here it’s scary. Adapt or die.
  • Making technology a focus and not a one time fix. Technology is ever evolving and needs to be a part of your culture. Adapt or die.
  • Implementing new methods of training and allowing employees to advance quicker in there career paths. The “you need to do your time” method of career path is not going to work anymore, so you need to train faster and more efficient to keep up with needs. Adapt or die.

I feel a lot of these tips are obvious to some while others just don’t want to hear it. Don’t put your head in the sand or say “our organization is different and we can’t possibly make these changes”. 24% of the workforce is now Generation Z, so start to make changes now before you get left behind.

5 Keys to Employee Motivation

As leaders you influence your employees’ motivation more than any other organizational person, incentive or reward. Motivation and engagement trickles down from the top.  As a leader you set the stage for motivation and everyone is watching.

So, what does that mean?  People management is what that means. It’s essential that leaders have people management skills and without it, motivation and engagement will be low. When engagement is low great employees leave, or even worst stay and become disengaged low performers.

Here are five key skills that managers need to develop to ensure that their employees are motivated and engaged.

1. Connection

You must connect with your employees. If you are sitting in an office with a closed door, handing out assignments and snapping a whip then you are not motivating your employees. You need to connect, show empathy and be visible to your employees. You need to be present on the work floor, speak with your employees and empathize with their challenges and issues.  Motivation will be much higher when there is a genuine connection between team members.   

2. Empowerment

You need to allow employee to perform their job, make decisions and control their work. Depending on the position this can vary but try and find some room to provide empowerment. Motivation and engagement will be much higher when employees are not micromanaged. Micromanagement kills engagement so be sure to let employees perform on their own.

3. Recognition

Motivated employees work hard, and they should be recognized for that.  This goes beyond the employees’ regular pay. Rewards and recognition come in many different forms and it’s important you create a strategic plan. For now, know that employee motivation will increase when recognized for a job well done.

4. Flexibility

Collaboration is the buzz word here. You need to be flexible in your approach and allow your employees to provide insight and suggestions.  Employees are performing their job and they see things in a different light.  There needs to be an opportunity to share those ideas and make changes.  You don’t need to be a pushover but there needs to be wiggle room.

5. Listen

This is essential to motivation. You always listen to someone who you value. The more important a person is the more likely you practice active listening. As a manager you probably talk more than you listen because you’re “the boss”. If you fail to listen to your employees, they feel valueless and start to lose motivation. Start engaging in conversations and don’t over talk, dominate and interrupt when your employees are sharing ideas.

In summary, motivation leads to engagement and engagement leads to loyalty. When you have an employee with those three factors you have a business that will prosper. Loyalty works both ways and if you want to keep employees engaged practice the five steps above. Your employees’ motivation will allow your customers and business to succeed.

Small Business and HR

Did you know that human resources may be more important for a small business than for a larger business? Having a team that is smaller means more reliance on fewer people so its important to ensure your people are properly managed, engaged and supported.

Small Businesses with less than 10 people may think HR is not a necessity. However, even if you only have two employee you need to know how to effectively manage people in your business.

For small businesses with less than 10 employees you still need HR programs, planning and techniques. You need to build those into your overall business plan and operations to ensure structure and engagement.

No matter what size your company is people are your most important asset and managing them will be challenging. You need to learn how to hire, train, coach, develop and motivate your people so they can contribute to your success. People Stuff can help you create processes and/or help manage those processes. Solutions are more affordable than you think and in the long run will save you money.

Call People Stuff today so we can help you with HR strategic planning, processes or techniques. Call today (709) 697-2423.

Are you a Place to Be?

Would you consider your business to be an employer of choice? There are many benefits in becoming an employer of choice. It’s important that you strive to make your business a place where potential employees want to work. Finding great talent is difficult and the competition is fierce.  A great employer will create an environment where employees want to come to work and feel fulfilled.

Being “A Place To Be” takes work, but in the end the perks are great. High moral, low turnover, low recruitment costs and higher returns. Being A Place To Be will increase your shareholder return and profit margins.

Here are five questions that you need to ask yourself in figuring out if your company is a place to be.

1. Do you invest in developing your company culture?

How much time, energy and money are you investing in company culture to attract and retain good talent? Your culture should be one that is supportive, encouraging, empowering, engaging, nurturing and innovative. By investing in your people, you create a culture that increases employee retention while building a more flexible, innovative and smarter workforce that can collaborate together.

2. Are you helping your employees grow and develop?

Employees need growth to be engaged and employers of choice will not allow their employees to be stagnate. You need to invest and create opportunities for your employees to grow. Employee development plans are a must for future growth.

3. Do you have a supportive management team?

Its important that your managers championing all employees and build trust and engagement. If that link is broken every step will be an uphill battle.

4. Do you have proper communication channels in place?

You need processes in place that keep employees in the loop. You need daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly touch points to ensure proper communication. If you are lacking communication then employees are not aware and don’t care.

5. Are you living your values?

It’s one thing to create company values and place them on a plaque on the wall, but are you living them? You need to start from the top and ensure decisions, actions, changes and additions all support the values that you live by. There should be no exceptions and anyone who doesn’t live your values shouldn’t be a part of your team.

Overall you need to strive to be an employer of choice. It’s a competitive world and you want a reputation and culture that attracts the best employees. Dedicate time and money into developing your culture as the benefits far outweigh the costs.