Good employees are hard to find and even harder to keep. The modern workforce is as mobile as it will ever get. People are starting to move to companies that may not be paying top dollar, but are more work-friendly and worker-oriented. Benefits that come besides the paycheck are exceedingly rare and are what separates the average workplace, from the one everyone wants to be a part of. Small things and gestures matter the most as in this area, companies can boost their retention rates with little to no investment involved. All it takes is a kind word, support, and appreciation to show just how much they mean to you. Without further ado, let’s get started on some practical tips&tricks!
1. Happy birthday!
If some of your real-life friends forgot your birthday, how would you feel? Now take that and transfer the same sense of isolation to your employees and you will realize how important this seemingly small gesture is. Employees will all sort of personal data on forms once they join your company, and you probably have info on their date of birth. All it takes now is to compile it into a single file and keep track. Companies in Japan take employees’ birthdays very seriously and arrange for dinners, presents and similar. It only makes sense to follow in their footsteps as Japan’s employee retention is remarkable.
2. Public appreciation
A pat on the back is one thing, but a company video email or meeting to celebrate one worker or collective, accomplishment is a whole other plane. When you go public and announce to your whole company what one individual or group has accomplished, you add an important layer to that event. With this, you can even start a competition between departments.
You can take it a step further and ask the employee if he/she is ok with having their picture taken and the accomplishment published on your company’s social media. Whenever you are going public with worker appreciation, your company image gets associated with such positive affirmation.
3. Bonus bonuses
Never underestimate the power of monetary bonuses and physical gifts. We will first cover the first one, as it’s much easier and you can consider it a short-term option. As we mentioned before, employees are starting to realize that how companies treat them is far more important than money. After all, gestures, emphasis, and being there for your employees, cannot be measured in money.
That is not to say that you should entirely forgo any employee monetary rewards, as they play a part in the overall picture. If your employee is showing constant performance that’s above average or has had a great idea that saved your company plenty of dollars, there is no reason not to reward them with an appropriate amount. You can even start an idea reward program, where you can directly involve your employees in making improvements and decisions that can make your business better. The best ideas get the most rewards. It’s a two-way street that can only serve as a long-term benefit to your company.
4. It’s the season of gifting
On the other side of the material aspect is the physical gift. Two sides of the same medal, these types of rewards go a long way in saying that you care and appreciate your workers. Getting to know your employees can tell you about who they are and what hobbies they have. Then it becomes a piece of cake to buy them a small present of appreciation.
From beautiful flower bouquets for women on International Women’s Day to a little personalized gift every once in a while, for your employee, there is no shortage of options available. Is one of your employees a fisherman? When he takes time off you can gift him something for his hobby before he starts fishing. One of your employees is an amateur photographer? The available gifts for him are writing themselves.
5. Appreciation buffet
Nothing gets the bonds between people stronger than a hearty meal with drinks. When you are sitting with your employee or a group, dining and chatting, both of you get to step out of your office roles and into your daily, normal ones. When employees see their management as people, just as they are, they get to associate the company with something tangible and familiar. One company-paid dinner can make all the difference when employees feel alienated and like “just another cog in the machine”. The human touch coupled with food&drinks is all it takes for the workers to relax and relate to the rest of your company.
6. All-out shopping spree
Why not have some fun while you are spending time with your employees? Appreciation can be done outside of corporate walls, as shown by the dinner example. Once a department or an individual achieves X number of sales, tasks or other measures of success, you can treat them to a shopping spree of their choice. From shopping vouchers to going with them and treating them from the company tab. Whatever your preferred choice may be, employees will never forget such acts of generosity.
7. Camping or field trips
One more suggestion when you want to run from the busy everyday hustle of office life is to pack your bags and go on a short team-building trip. This suggestion does require a bit of planning as you need to work around people’s schedules and preferences, but common ground is found much easier than you think. Spending time outdoors with your team helps you re-connect with them and share tales.
When you are grouped up around a fireplace you can tell them how you started the company, some exciting tales from when you were in their position, and what are your plans. The time you spend together will serve as the foundation for your future relations. When employees treat you as their equal it becomes much easier to emphasize and connect with them. And when they feel like that, it’s much less likely that they will switch ships.
8. Certificates and trophies
“John Doe is the best retailer in 2022!” engraved on a themed trophy and gifted at the annual New Year ceremony does wonder for your employee retention. Giving employee achievement awards is coming to the physical gift with public appreciation, and that’s why we have left it so far down the line. It’s one of the greatest actions you can take as it builds pride, rewards your employees, and values their accomplishments. When the whole company cheers for them at the ceremony, they will see how their hard work has paid off. And every time they take a look at their employee achievement trophy, they will remember that moment and why they are still part of your company. From trophies to certificates and diplomas, anything goes and is better than nothing.
9. Feedback and upgrade
Doing a job just for the heck of it quickly deteriorates even the strength of willpower. When employees know that their job has a precise purpose and how well are they doing it, it can make them feel appreciated. Employee feedback is important as it lets them know that their work is appreciated and noticed. You can use these feedback sessions to highlight all the good things they’ve done and nothing else.
Or you can sprinkle one or two creative constructive ideas for areas where they can improve. Rewarding your best employees with paid seminars, courses, and online training makes them better in their field, and you get a better worker in the process.
Part two of this is to never forget to promote them, horizontally or vertically in the corporation. Higher positioned employees rarely leave a company as they get to enjoy all the perks and benefits of a higher work position. Titles, benefits, and perks are there to show them how much you value their contribution and want them to stick around for years to come.
10. Cover one expense
When you get to know your employees, you get to know what troubles them. They are only human and have their good and bad days. When you notice that there is some burden on their shoulder, reach out and talk to them. Most likely they will share that have a financial burden that’s on their mind. From a car repair or appliance maintenance, there is no shortage of sudden and large bills that can come up. That’s where you can become a hero for the day and offer to cover their bill, as the company’s way of saying thank you. After all, what are friends for?
11. Opinions of customers
Sure, your employees want to get feedback from you, but imagine going an extra step and asking your customers about what they feel towards certain employees. These opinions are a valuable asset as your employees get to see how others outside your company view them and how their business image is perceived. And when they know that your professional contact values them as much as you do, they become invested and part of the overall corporate public image. One that they helped and contributed to.
Any positive changes that you make towards employee retention is an investment that will return tenfold. Human capital is priceless as years of effort dedicated to training a great employee can go to waste when they go over to your competition. And such an event can be avoided with some simple steps that we described above. Change starts with you and today so we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.