this Year? Secrets to Employee Retention in Difficult Times
By Rhonda R.
Across the U.S., employers and employees alike are
struggling. Businesses are fortunate if they experienced growth in
2009. Many are flat in growth or have declined and employers are
faced with these tough choices:
By far, the most appealing of the four is freezing salaries.
The problem is, no hard working employee wants to hear these words
“times are tough…no raises this year.” The question is, how do you
keep employees happy and productive during tough times? In addition,
key employees may have the opportunity to move to another company.
How do you retain, challenge and motivate these key people to stay
with you during the hard times?
Pay and benefits are not the number one motivational factor
for employees. While important, most rank the need for praise and
appreciation the highest, closely followed by the need to belong to
a close-knit team. Team members also need to have responsibility and
feel like their voice matters in an organization.
Use the following tips to keep employees happy, employee
turnover down and productivity up, despite “no raises this year”:
Look Towards The
Ask your employees what skills or training you can give them to
better do their jobs and help them set short-term personal goals
that are business-oriented. Work with your employees to outline the
steps necessary to accomplish the goal and provide encouragement and
guidance throughout the process. This gives employees a sense of
pride and responsibility for the future success of the company and
will motivate them to help the company get through these tough
Systems In Place For Accomplishing Tasks: If team members don’t fully understand how to get things
done, morale will go down. Work on systems like team training,
follow-up calls with clients, collections, stocking and ordering,
and letters to clients. Focus on improving communication and
customer service. Train your employees on the behind the scenes
duties that are critical to a well run business.
Hold Regular Staff
improve communication, goal setting and accountability. Through
team meetings, you can keep your staff informed, motivated and
involved. This forum gives staff members the opportunity to discuss
the problems they are having or any concerns they have about the
company, allowing leadership to solve small issues before they turn
into bigger ones. When employees feel their contributions are
valued, they will have a higher tendency to stay with an
organization, even if times are tough.
Be a Good Leader:
employees want from leadership is that you’re fair, consistent and
apply the same office policy to everyone. Make decisions and stick
to them. Avoid wavering, but know that if you and your team try
something and it doesn’t work, it’s okay to change it. When you make
a decision and stick with it, not everyone will agree, but they’ll
respect you for making a decision and moving forward with it.
Promote a Positive
As a leader, if
you consistently have a positive attitude in the office, employees
will mirror that attitude. If you sense gossip or issues among team
members, take steps to resolve these things before they become an
issue. Acknowledging and rewarding team members for accomplishing
goals can also contribute to a positive environment. When employees
feel appreciated, they are happy and motivated to continue doing a
Be Sure Each
Employee Has a Copy Of The Office Policy Manual:
Be sure the
handbook is current and that you stick to the guidelines. If team
members learn and understand the office guidelines upfront, they are
less likely to break the rules, resulting is less conflict between
leadership and the team member.
Do Things With Your
Team Outside Office Hours:
regular outings with team members outside of the office improves
morale and encourages friendship between employees. In addition,
respect increases between your team members. When team members get
along, they work together better and are more productive.
Involve Your Team
In The Decision-Making Process:
Gather input and ask questions, but as the leader, you should
make the final decisions, even if you have an “office manager” or
“practice administrator” on the team. Involving your team in this
process helps show that you value their opinions, giving them a
sense of pride.
Most importantly, as a leader, stay positive at all times.
Affect the changes that are needed and be the leader that your staff
needs. Speak in positive terms about the company, its leadership and
the colleagues who are not in the room. Say thank you more often.
When something does go wrong, work through the issue and encourage
everyone to move on. Acknowledge people who are accomplishing their
goals and encourage those who are not. Show interest and get excited
about your employees, your business and the future.
In this economy, encouraging employees to work harder,
quicker and more efficiently can be difficult without being able to
offer raises. An overworked employee can easily become resentful,
negative and walk away, which will affect the rest of your staff.
Following these guidelines will help you keep your staff happy,
motivated and productive, ultimately helping your business come out
of the recession on top.
Read other articles and learn more about
Rhonda R.Savage, DDS.
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