Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of any business because the cost of hiring and training a new employee is much higher than the cost of retaining them. This is why it sometimes baffles us when we're having conversations with mates about little niggles in their workplaces. These are the building blocks to reasons they should leave, and the biggest thing is that they aren’t impossible to fix.
Now, while we're not saying our list below is the solution to all your employee retention problems - it'll definitely factor into being a workplace that people would enjoy working at more.
So what does employee retention look like to us in 2020?
It goes without saying that company culture is such an important thing. While some workers might prefer a structured hierarchical culture where there are processes and procedures already set out - others may prefer a ‘clan’ culture where an organisational is like a huge family.
The type of culture you have or want will impact what type of talent you attract and retain. For example, creative millennials may be scared off or uninterested in a culture where process is everything. Companies with a lot of rules in place may not be the type of place where these people see themselves being in for very long - which means you’ll have a lot of trouble retaining these types of employees.
While there’s not necessarily any one ‘right’ culture, it's important to think about the types of people you want in your company, and in turn, what they're looking for in a company. So when it comes to reinventing your workplace culture, it is often a case of understanding what type of talent you’re trying to attract and retain.
Work Life Balance
Are your workers constantly thinking about work all day, then after they get home at night? Do they feel guilty for leaving work on time, and are they constantly eating their lunch at their desk? If work is occupying their headspace even in the moments they should be resting - not only are they unlikely to be working at their full mental capacity, it can also build some resentment towards their workplace.
Encouraging people to stop working when they’re eating lunch or even allowing people to come in & leave work earlier to accommodate their life schedule is something that will be seen as a huge benefit to people’s work-life balance.
As a company, and depending on how progressive you are, you might even want to scrap the whole notion of an 8-hour working day, rather basing it on the accomplishment of goals and major tasks. The notion of the 8-hour working day is, let’s be real, a little dated anyway.
You can reward your workers by allowing them to leave early as long as they’ve completed their tasks for the day. This will see them being more productive and efficient, and feel more of a drive to complete the task, rather than working on autopilot for 8 hours, even though they could be getting it done more quickly.
In our personal case, we find that when our bosses decide to go for early Friday drinks or allow us to leave early - we work a lot faster and more efficiently, feeling more driven to complete as much as we can before we leave.
Incorporating fitness, a paid yoga or workout session during working hours is a huge perk that will be really appreciated. It reinforces the notion that health matters more than work and even meaning it frees up time later in the evening so workers can spend it with family and friends. Little things like these aren’t productivity killers, as it just means that your workers will be more keen to get their work done in the hours before and after so they can continue to enjoy the perk.
Some companies even offer monthly massages and guided meditation to their workers during work hours. This reinforcement of mental and physical health being more important than work is something that many employees will see value in - as they aren’t just another cog in the machine, but somebody that the company cares enough about to offer these perks to. When an employee feels like they're genuinely appreciated by their company, they will often be more committed to the company, compared to one that wouldn't pay any attention to them at all.
If you’re patting yourself on the back because you already have an ‘open’ office - no, we don’t just mean implementing an ‘open’ or ‘closed’ office plan!
Have you considered what each team requires? How different individuals work best?
When you start to think about it, all your workers are wanting different things out of their workspace - and some things help to foster their individual abilities or even productivity better.
For example, a design team might not enjoy having rows set up where the people behind them are watching their every more - this could possibly be a productivity killer. For the marketing team, perhaps they like to be in proximity to the graphics team, as they need to regularly discuss designs for new campaigns - so you don’t want to put them as far away from each other as possible. You might have individuals who enjoy peace and quiet because that’s how they work the most efficiently, the list goes on.
While it’s hard to cater to everyone, the easiest way to start is assessing who needs to be close to who, whether these people like to brainstorm and have discussions as they work, whether they need personal space to work more freely, etc.
You’d be silly to think that we don’t believe snacks are a good reason to come into work (because that’s a huge reason the tukr team do)!
Work perks like tukr snacks not only boost brain power when it matters, but offer a healthier solution to traditional workplace snacks.
Recent data shows that 94% of consumers snack at least twice daily. So with that in mind, offering workplace snacks to your staff can be a solution that can help them eat more healthily throughout the day.
According to one study, 65 percent of employees report that having access to healthy snacks in the office is “very” or “extremely important”, with 53 percent saying office snacks help them stay healthy.
If you know your workers are losing brain juice midday, give them a bit of a power-up with a healthy snack, and it can’t be denied that this will factor into a happier workplace that your employees would be glad to come to. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a work perk involving food?
One of the most important things to consider if how the office space itself makes workers feel. If you have flickering fluorescent lighting, small cubicles, a drab interior and nothing but the sounds of coughs and fingers tapping on keyboards - that’s probably enough to drive anyone out of working for your company.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a huge ceiling to floor windows, lots of greenery and trendy interiors (even though that would be very nice) - but at least pay attention to how your workers would feel sitting there for up to 8 hours in a day. Would they feel suffocated? Do they want to run screaming by the end of the day? Or does it make them feel calm enough where they would enjoy coming into work?
While it does take time to build a company that employees will be committed to for more than just the paycheck, all these things are factors that can cut costs for companies in the long term. Build a place that workers will be more motivated to work at, rather than ignoring their needs and watching them move on.
While the prospect of being able to wear your comfiest trackies ‘to work’ every day was great for some (read: all) of us at the beginning, the challenges soon caught up. If you’re not used to working from home, and especially if you don’t have a dedicated work set up, it may have occurred to you that there are so many distractions that surround us in the house. So how are we keeping ourselves motivated while working remotely?
If you’re reading this and in Melbourne, you can probably agree with us that it is pretty darn cold these mornings. And as with every Winter, we brace ourselves for the Cold & Flu season, stocking up on panadol, tissues and vicks, preparing a huge batch of chicken broth for when the goings really get you down… Which leads us to our next question. Is chicken broth really the elixir of health and the cure for everything?