In the early days of a company, one of the key priorities is to build a high-performing team. The people who choose to join the adventure at its start are essential to achieving growth and staying competitive in the long term. That’s why it’s so important to show them care and recognition—and to spend time thinking about their retention.
But too often, basic people policies are not implemented correctly. The “Future of Work” wave has seen employee needs and expectations grow and evolve—and companies’ employee engagement and satisfaction approaches need to shift accordingly.
Ultimately, a successful retention strategy should consistently reflect the company’s philosophy and involve initiatives that have real impacts. Here are four ways to make this happen:
1. Implement a flexible work structure, but do it right
These days, work-life balance is an undeniable priority for all employees. Their personal lives and responsibilities need to fit into their work schedule, and one should not override the other.
[ Also read Building IT teams that facilitate growth: 5 tips. ]
Enabling this fosters a culture of trust between teams. Employees feel empowered to manage personal and family obligations while also being efficient in performing their work duties.
To ensure the success of your flexible work approach, add a strong component of communication in your teams (share information often and early) and set basic boundaries on working hours: If employees decide to work primarily during the evenings while being in the same time zone as their colleagues, for example, it could affect performance and overall teamwork. Lay that out clearly in your flexible working policy.
In addition to flexible hours, implementing a flexible time-off policy can increase employee satisfaction and lead to a more productive workforce. By allowing employees to take time off whenever they need it without administrative or cultural roadblocks, companies can truly show that they value their employees’ well-being and trust their judgment.
An example of this is providing unlimited paid time off, which can work well when guidelines are established. These types of policies can often go wrong, though, so it’s important to establish clear guidelines. For example, you might implement a minimum number of holidays to be taken and ask for particular notice on longer holiday periods to avoid having the entire team off simultaneously.
Remote work is another attractive aspect of a flexible working structure that can contribute to employee retention. It expands your pool of candidates and gives employees the needed flexibility to balance their work and personal lives. But remote work must also be accompanied by a robust structure to support daily work life, team communication, and well-being at work. Carefully consider this factor while implementing your policies and communicate expectations from day one.
2. Let feedback and ownership fuel team growth
Creating a culture of learning and development is another way to retain your employees in the long run. But too often, companies overlook this despite the fact that most employees will stay in a company only as long as they can grow and develop their skills and feel understood and invested in as professionals.
One key aspect of a great feedback culture is its continuity. Take the time to provide your employees with actionable and specific feedback on a regular basis. It doesn’t take long and helps managers and employees alike understand both their strengths and areas of improvement, which can massively improve their degree of ownership and accountability.
When employees feel they have ownership of their work, they are more likely to be invested in their job and motivated to perform at their best. Managers can also play a critical role in employee retention by taking the time to provide regular recognition and rewards for good performance, a key component of a working employee retention strategy.
3. Write your people policies in an engaging way
You can implement many people policies on a diverse range of topics, including recruitment, onboarding and offboarding, professional development, compensation, expenses, parental leave, and much more. But it’s also important to design and write them well.
The writing and style of those policies are often neglected when thinking about employee engagement and retention. Well-written documentation that clearly explains the expectations and requirements for each initiative in a tone that matches that of your company culture will go a long way toward building strong communication between leaders and employees.
Sharing, improving, and updating your internal policies on a regular basis and making them easily accessible for spontaneous needs is another catalyst for transparent communications and employee retention. Show your employees that these aren’t just a one-off HR box to tick but a continuous investment in their well-being.
4. Set the example
An employee retention program can succeed only if its company leaders effectively set an example. Your employees’ behavior will likely depend on your leaders’ ability to commit to the policies themselves. Leading by example is crucial to communicate your company’s values and philosophy and creating a safe and transparent work environment.
If you’re struggling to carve out time to go through these discussions, remember that employee retention is a key pillar of growth—your policies can and should engage employees with the view to enable better performance and productivity. All initiatives you set up to retain employees will result in boosting individual outputs and your company’s performance.
[ Don’t try to recreate what was normal before the pandemic. Learn from leading CIOs in a new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services: Maintaining Momentum on Digital Transformation. ]
What to read next
This is a very timely and relevant article, thank you for sharing it!
Best regards, Hanna from CodeIT (https://codeit.us/)