Employee retention is a heavily debated topic in the business world. Not only because it affects company culture, but because it costs money. Recruiting, training, and lost productivity as a new employee gets up to speed all play into that expense.
So, what can companies do to avoid losing good people and paying a hefty price along with it? Jeff Kohl, area manager of BBSI’s Las Vegas branch, has three tips to creating a culture that keeps employees from wanting to leave.
- Hiring the right people – “You have to have the right people on board to build a culture,” says Kohl. One of the biggest mistakes he sees people make is continuing to hire people from within the brand’s industry. “You are getting all the same people that think the same way. How are they going to be different from the person before?”
Kohl also says to look outside the box when it comes to checking off a list of job requirements, “I don’t hire someone based on what’s written on their resume. If the first sentence of their resume doesn’t catch me, they probably aren’t going to get the job.”
In a recent Forbes article jewelry designer Kendra Scott shared the most important lesson she learned when it comes to work, “I have learned the importance of hiring the right people. People who not only have great talent, but also share the same passion and vision for your company. In the beginning of my business, I was hiring strictly based on resumes, even though sometimes I had a concern they might not be the best fit for our culture. I’ve learned that a resume is only part of what makes someone a great fit for your team. The single most important thing is to look for someone who believes in your same core values.”
- Allow people to do their jobs – Kohl believes one of the biggest driving factors to keeping company culture healthy is observing how the managers work with their employees. “If you are going to micromanage, that will not create a productive or creative culture. End of story, so don’t do it and don’t let your managers do it.” Kohl continues, “Don’t feel like you have to jump in and help every time they get stuck. You are not the 24-hour helpline that fixes every problem that comes their way. Challenge them to think for themselves.”
On the flip side, Kohl also encourages freedom to make mistakes. “When they make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t jump on them. Let them learn from their errors. Making mistakes is part of letting employees learn how to make decisions.”
And managers should also add in a bit of grace when talking with an employee that has made a mistake. “I don’t believe anyone wakes up and thinks ‘how can I screw up today?’ People are coming into work to do the best job they can do. If you have created a good team environment, they are going to lift each other up,” adds Kohl.
New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant said in his TED talk, “If we can weed the takers out of organizations, if we can make it safe to ask for help, if we can protect givers from burnout and make it OK for them to be ambitious in pursuing their own goals as well as trying to help other people, we can actually change the way that people define success. Instead of saying it’s all about winning a competition, people will realize success is really more about contribution.”
- Celebrate the successes – When employees learn from the challenges, it’s time to celebrate! Kohl stresses the need to keep the celebrations unexpected and spontaneous, because as soon as you establish a routine, it no longer becomes genuine.
Kohl encourages, “It can be as simple as having a party in the office, bringing in lunch for the team, handing out fun awards to staff, and recognizing the team, not individuals, but when you see behaviors worth celebrating – do it!” After the party is over, make sure you have face-to-face conversations with the team members to find out what worked and how that can be replicated time and time again.
Daniel Pink, workplace expert and author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us writes, “Management isn’t about walking around and seeing if people are in their offices, it’s about creating conditions for people to do their best work.”