According to a recent survey, nearly 30% of workers say they’ve left a job within the first 90 days of starting. When a company loses an employee, it can bring down other employees. It gives them reason to start looking for other opportunities themselves.
Not only might other employees jump ship, but clients often question it as well. When clients trust an employee and that employee leaves, they too begin to wonder if they should go with another vendor.
Whether a firm faces a mass employee exodus or just one valued employee resigns, the ripple effect of losing your employees is tremendous and can have a significant impact on the corporate bottom line.
How do you win the employee retention battle? To keep your employees working for you, consider my three recommendations.
#1 – Hire the Right Person
Success in business is all about people, people, people. Whatever industry a company is in, its employees are its biggest competitive advantage.Richard Branson
The Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. Organizations today are struggling, not because their customer base isn’t growing, but because they are hiring the wrong people. When you hire correctly, it makes keeping the right people much easier.
Why are HR professionals struggling to recruit the right candidate?
Consider the following job description:
Looking for a Social Media Manager with ten years of experience, fluency in 3 languages, knowledge of the Mexican, Latin American, and Chinese market, a Ph.D. in Marketing Science, responsible for over 10 staff members, immensely competent in driving strategic change. Oh, and a willingness to be paid $30,000.
I look at my fair share of job descriptions and sometimes I see certain requirements that are baffling. First of all, ten years of experience? Social media is not what it was a year ago, let alone ten years ago. It’s changed, it’s matured, it’s morphed, so there’s no such thing as an expert. There is almost no industry in which the work that is performed today is the same as it was ten years ago. Hairdressers maybe? Building a house? Yes, there are some, but the workforce and the technologies we use change all the time.
We can’t post job descriptions that are looking for everything and expect to find that purple squirrel. Sorry. The candidate does not exist. No one has devoted a decade managing a brand’s Twitter account. The platform is barely 7 years old. Most businesses will no longer exist in thirty years or will look different from what they do today. Hiring employees who are likely to perform in the face of change is critical.
I have interviewed a lot of people in my career—and I do mean a lot. For more than twenty years, most of the interviewing I’ve done has been on behalf of my clients, who allow me to link their needs and wants with the best talent on the market. I’ve studied the art, evaluated processes, assessed tests. I can tell you one thing: Great employees are not born, they are made.
In fact, great employees can be defined by those individuals who are willing to learn new things and who can adapt to the changes and chaos within the industry. You cannot afford to hire for today. Hire for what it will look like next year or five years from now. You don’t get a diversity of ideas from people who have been doing the same thing for years. You get breakthrough ideas from people who are new to your field. Cookie Cutter Candidates are the worst people to hire if you want someone to rethink or re-imagine your organization.
As experts at attracting and qualifying high-impact talent, we can help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying the right people for your team that results in long-term success.
#2 – Offer better benefits
Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.Richard Branson
First and foremost, people work to make money to support themselves and their families. Your staff wants things for their families just as you do. If your team is awesome, they deserve to be compensated fairly. Employees who can make 20% more at another company will go make 20% more at another company. If you want the best employees and you want to keep them around, you have to pay competitively. Pay rockstars to keep being rockstars. End of story. As the boss, research your local economy and find out the fair compensation for your staff. For decades, we have published our annual Salary Guide to help employers in Mexico remain competitive in their industry.
In this age of technological revolution, internet titans are all competing for the same talent. Google receives 3 million applications a year. Facebook recruits high-performing individuals while they’re still in college. These companies have no trouble finding top talent, and outstanding candidates are even willing to take positions below their skill level just to get their foot in the door. Why?
Apple offers tuition assistance, donation matching, and even a wellness center with dieticians, chiropractors, and medical professionals. Employees at Facebook enjoy unlimited sick days, as do people who work at Twitter. Need to blow off steam at Google? Delight in the company’s indoor bowling alley, hit some laps in the swimming pool, or take a midday siesta in a nap pod. New parents at Netflix get a full year of paid maternity and paternity leave. Amazon pays tuition for employees to take courses in in-demand fields and offers an intensive, month-long training and leadership program for new hires.
Where am I going with this? Make your company a place people WANT to work. This doesn’t mean you have to start installing a relaxation room full of fish tanks and massage chairs. Every company will be a little different in terms of what benefits they offer. And let’s be clear—there is no amount of perks that will persuade employees to stay if they are otherwise disengaged and dread going to work every day.
#3 – Praise, praise, praise
“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.”Richard Branson
It isn’t the technology or the product that makes a company great, it’s the people. How many of your employees come in each day willing to tear down walls for your organization? Have you identified your top talent? Do you tell them they are your top talent?
If you’re not appreciating your employees, you’re making a huge mistake. Making your staff feel valued allows them to work harder, trust you more, and stay in your company. The benefits are endless.
You can’t expect employees to function like robots. People want to know that they are valued and have an identity in your company. Much of this depends directly on the immediate boss. If you’re losing good people, you have a management problem. Help your team understand what they mean to the company. When they understand the vision of the business and how they fit into it, there is a less chance of them leaving. Today, right now, you have people on your team that need developing, managing, growing, and retaining. Appreciate those men and women who dedicate their time and efforts each day to make your company a success, because those are the people who are very difficult to replace.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
CEO & Founder of Barbachano International (BIP), the Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA offering high impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
At Barbachano International (BIP), we know that talent is the most important asset a company has. When people shine, businesses light up. Experience the BIP difference.