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How to retain good employees in your company

Hiring good employees into your company is only half the battle won; keeping them there is the other half. Once you have hired good employees, you will need to put a little work into keeping them happy. Retention of best employees is very important for the long term health and success of your company’s business. Many bosses or managers accept the fact that if the right employees are retained they ensure customer satisfaction, product sales, satisfied co-workers, effective succession planning and deeply embedded organisational knowledge and learning.

The first thing which comes to the mind of any HR team regarding retention of employees is offering them good compensation, but in the present times, that is only a part of the picture. Providing monetary benefits certainly has the desired effect on many employees, but there are also a lot of employees out there who are looking for something that money can’t buy. Besides, its nice to have something to offer employees when you cant afford to offer them more money. In the present economic scenario, two factors often make it difficult for any company to attract and retain the right employees. The first is the scarcity of workers in many fields. The second and closely related factor is the fierce competition that exists for highly educated, skilled, or trained people in areas such as software development, web-based technologies, biotechnology, and other advanced technological services.

Therefore, companies hand over the task of hiring and retaining best employees to the human resources experts and it is the duty of these experts to keep the employees motivated and happy, thereby ensuring retention of good people. Below are some of the techniques that can be applied by human resources experts to retain the right people in the company:

Offer a competitive benefits package that fits your employees needs: Providing health insurance, life insurance and a retirement-savings plan is essential in retaining employees. But other perks, such as flexible timings and the work from home option, go a long way to show employees you are willing to accommodate their outside lives.

Use contests and incentives to help keep workers motivated and feeling rewarded: If correctly chosen, these programs can keep employees always focused and excited about their jobs.

Be a leader rather than just the boss: Make your employees a part of the company, the community, or the project. Use techniques such as giving regular updates on the status of the company, its ups and downs, its vision and objectives. This type of forum gives staff members a sense of their importance, breeds loyalty, and is an opportunity to share thoughts and participate in decision making.

Create open communication between employees and management: Hold regular meetings in which employees can offer ideas and ask questions. Have an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak frankly with their managers without fear of repercussion.

Communicate the organization mission: Feeling connected to the organization goals is one way to keep employees engaged.

Foster employee development: This could be training to learn a new job skill or cross-training for multiple roles within the company can provide richer job satisfaction through variety and opportunity for advancement. Designation/certification-related training can be of particular value to some employees. Make sure employees know what you expect of them: It may seem basic, but often in small companies, employees have a wide breadth of responsibilities.

If they dont know exactly what their jobs entail and what you need from them, they cant perform up to standard, and morale can begin to dip. High-achieving and creative people work better when they are happy and this can be accomplished by fulfilling their need for recognition and appreciation. Recognition awards for superior performance should be established beyond compensation. Timely recognition of contributions and input is important to reinforce the sense of importance and personal contribution to company successes.

Live up to the employees expectations: This is one of the most important factors to remember as failure to meet the expectations of the employees may result in disappointment and early departure of the new employees. Never fail to meet the commitments you announced in attracting the employees, at the time of appointment.

Conduct stay” interviews: In addition to performing exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving, consider asking longer-tenured employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? And what are your non negotiable issues? Ask about their seniors, the changes and the improvements they want in the organisation. And use that information to further strengthen your employee-retention strategies.

The author is Ritu Mehrotra, VP global HR and talent management at Bristlecone, a Mahindra Group company.

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