If you’re in a managerial position, your employees are your engine, your responsibility, and potentially a goldmine. The value of the employee cannot be overstated in a company. Yet all too often, the needs of employees are ignored. Employees are not treated as individuals, their core gifts are left underutilized, and they are regarded as thoroughly expendable. Under these conditions employees’ productivity falters. Eventually, they leave. High turnover means new staff are constantly getting acclimated to a new, turbulent environment, further feeding into the problem of low productivity. The problems of employee productivity and retention are inextricably linked.
Employee ProductivityEmployees are people, and increasing employee productivity requires a holistic approach, starting with recruiting. Employees are more productive when they feel like they’re in the right job for their skillset and their goals. This means tailoring your recruitment strategy using resources such as niche job sites. After you get that perfect candidate to sign a contract, use onboarding to empower each employee. Make sure to encourage high employee engagement through a communicative, well-balanced, low-stress work environment: A recent study by Cornerstone revealed that work overload negatively impacts productivity by a factor of up to 68%. Employee productivity also depends upon a sound managerial philosophy. Three crucial tips are:
- Eliminate all micromanaging habits
- Don’t restrict access to the internet or social media
Employee productivity has been linked to great perks. A recent Glassdoor survey revealed that 80% of employees preferred perks to an increased salary. Gym memberships, paid time off, free lunch, are all examples of great perks. All of these contribute to employees feeling cared for and engaged.
Many of the strategies for employee productivity will also improve employee retention. The main measure of employee retention is engagement. However, there are some strategies that go a long way towards retaining your employees and decreasing turnover. Mentorship programs, used by
high-calibre employers such as Google, are a great supplement to onboarding programs. Mentors should be in a position of seniority but not necessarily authority—you don’t want to pressure your new employees, you want them to feel cared for by someone who’s been in their shoes before.
Entry interviews are a staple of any hiring process, and exit interviews have become popular as part of the offboarding process. However, more companies have begun to conduct “stay interviews” in which questions asked include “has your experience thus far lived up to your initial expectations? Why or why not?” The information from these interviews is used to gauge engagement, stress, and diagnose problems in the workplace.
Employee retention is heavily related to financial rewards. If employees don’t see a road ahead of them, it’s not a question of if they leave, it’s a question of when. Companies are wise to promote from within, meaningful annual raises, and offer stock options and other bonuses.