It’s no surprise that the start of every year is usually the time of greatest employee turnover for any business. Fresh from a break and full of New Year resolutions, many employees are motivated to think about their careers, and whether their current role and organisation is the path to success.
Replacing an employee can be an expensive exercise – not only in dollar terms, but also in lost intellectual property, customer relationships and skills.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to ‘kick off’ 2012 and mitigate the risk of losing your top performers.
The Kick-Off Workshop
There are five key motivators that you should be aiming to achieve, in order to boost staff retention: Achievement, Recognition, Job Satisfaction, Responsibility, Advancement and Growth.
As a small business you can very quickly provide the catalyst for these with an offsite ‘Kick-Off’ workshop with your team. Build a framework for the year’s agenda around these motivators, ensuring that each agenda item achieves at least one motivator. This workshop will easily help you get a head start on the competition for your top performers.
Involve everyone in the team
The Kick-Off is designed to involve all members of your team in the execution of your business plan. Work with an experienced facilitator so you can be seen as an integral member of ‘the team’, rather than ‘the boss’. Everyone must contribute SMART goals for their particular area of responsibility, identify challenges, and discuss solutions with the team. The more employees feel involved with the company they work for, the greater their sense of belonging and satisfaction.
Build your place as the leader
As the ‘leader’, introduce the objectives of the Kick-Off workshop, the agenda and the value each member will contribute. Re-iterate your over-all vision for the business and the team’s contribution over the previous year. Delegate content delivery and the closing summary of the workshop to the team. Outline to the team how their contribution at the workshop will shape the outcomes for the proceeding 12 months and downstream benefits. By delegating responsibilities amongst your team, you are giving them responsibility over some of the company’s goals, adding to their list of achievements.
‘Recognition’ is the single most important factor in reducing staff turnover and remains one of the most cost effective leadership tools. Build into the agenda a segment for top performers to be recognised in terms of the value they have delivered, for them to share how they were successful and what motivates them. Be sure to recognise team success as well as individual success and build key learning’s into new initiatives. Motivated employees are high performing employees – it’s contagious.
Share feedback from customers
Information about what customers think of your products or services is often forgotten. This information can be used to build improvement, new product and services, and to motivate the team. Brainstorming new ideas, and improvements at the Kick-Off provides an opportunity for ownership and again, a sense of ‘belonging’.
Follow up and track your teams progress
It doesn’t stop here! Throughout the year at regular one-on-ones or team catch-ups ensure you track progress with the team collectively and individually. Recognition of progress will provide a real sense of achievement and job satisfaction, and help you to create a company culture that retains happy and motivated staff members.
What steps have you taken in your business to help boost staff retention?