Houston, we have a retention problem

01 september 2020

Well, not us at Signum specifically. But countless companies do.

Why are so many of us struggling to keep our employees from leaving us, you may ask?

Great question.

We could write a whole book on how mentalities between generations are shifting, how working from home has turned everything upside down or even how impossible it is to find a 90% match for a job profile nowadays. But honestly? Much of it comes down to this:

We are all questioning, more than ever, if our jobs contribute to the lives we want for ourselves.

And that question is like a stubborn itch that you can’t seem to get rid of.

Now, if you’ve noticed that your employees and team members have a new face and name every six months, it might be time to consider what you, as a manager or company, can do to make them stick around a little longer.

Because research shows that retention problems cause a lot of.. well, problems. Firstly, having a high turnover in people is expensive. Secondly, hiring and firing is frustrating for everyone involved. Thirdly, low retention numbers are a huge cause of declining company morale. And.. did we mention retention problems are expensive? Because they are.

So what can you do? It’s the era of Corona, you’re doing everything you can to keep the ship from sinking and your resources, time and energy are limited. We get it.

But there are a few little things that can have a massive impact on whether the people you have in front of you, or are about to hire, will stick around to help your company make it through.

  1. Your people might be working from home (more frequently) now, so it’s extra important to know what’s going on in their lives. Ask how they’re doing. Be genuinely invested in them. Make them feel seen. There are so many benefits to building a close, professional relationship with your employees and one of them is.. you guessed it. Loyalty.

    People tend to stick around more when they feel that they matter. Shocking, right? :)
  2. The world can feel a little bleak lately, so as a manager/company it’s your job to focus on keeping the spirits up. Positive work-environment = higher employee satisfaction. 

    How you do that? Share the good news. Compliment dedication. You could shout through Zoom ‘Damn, our numbers are down!’ but alternatively you could also say ‘Guys, the numbers aren’t great but still better than feared. Thank you for your hard work in these difficult times.”

    Ask yourself, how would you prefer to be addressed?
  3. There’s no point in pretending that there aren’t some rough times ahead, but challenges present opportunities too. Recognize the difficulties, while looking at the future together. Encouragements like “hey we nééd all of you to make this work” and “it’s not going to be easy, but we’re in this together” really do go a long way.

When you put energy into making your people feel like they belong and are responsible for each other and the faith of your company, you might end up with a bunch of employees that actually like and are dedicated to their job (yes imagine!).

And with that, along the way, your retention numbers will pick up too.

Pinky promise.

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