A recent survey of 1,400 workers by a Philadelphia management firm reported that 84 percent of respondents said they plan to seek a new job in 2011. What would happen if you surveyed your employees? Would the number be that high? And if they all resigned, how would your company look after the exodus?
Employers know that finding and keeping great employees is one of the toughest aspects of running a business. It takes a great deal of resources—both time and money—to hire a new employee, and there are no guarantees that a new hire will stick around long enough for the company to recoup its investment.
The tough economy has added to employee dissatisfaction. Working conditions at many companies have been difficult, with fewer employees doing the same amount of work. Benefits and hours have been cut, too, leaving plenty of people ready to jump ship as soon as hiring starts up again.
What can an employer do to keep a good employee from jumping ship? And how can one avoid a surprise batch of turnovers?
Listen and observe your staff. Do you see general apathy? A lack of enthusiasm for new tasks? Are people coming in late and leaving early? Your employees may be trying to tell you that all is not well.
Try moving people around to different positions. Cross training can perk up and employee, make their job more interesting and keep him or her from looking for a new job.
Engage your staff more often. If you need fresh ideas on how to improve sales, cut costs or increase customer satisfaction, hold a brainstorming session to get everyone’s input. Who knows your business and customers better than your staff? Asking for their help builds value.
Remember that keeping a good employee longer starts with recruitment. Hire for a great attitude and provide tools a new employee needs to succeed. And don’t overlook the importance of pre-employment screening. It’s the best way to know that you’re hiring a qualified and trustworthy employee and building a strong team.