Employees don't stay in one place for as long as they used to. While numerous factors contribute to the increasing popularity of job hopping, there are a few things business owners can do to boost morale and keep retention rates high:
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1. Stop Categorizing Employees in Generational Groups
Businesses must understand that being born in an arbitrary block of dates does not define a person. Singling out one generational group as lazy, intractable, unfocused, or even prone to job hopping shows a company's unwillingness to adapt to the changing needs of the contemporary workforce.
To attract the most talented employees, companies today must offer great benefits, commitment to employee growth, and truthful communication. People take jobs to get paid, but they stay for the camaraderie they find at work. Job hoppers will only roost where they feel appreciated for their talents and find communities in which they can thrive.
2. Cutting Costs Isn't Always the Answer
Slashing the price to get the sale is often the go-to remedy when an organization feels the pressure from competition. However, customers are inclined to buy value for the long term from personable, cutting-edge, and hands-on businesses. To have a perceived worth, a service/product must meet or exceed a need. Then, people will gladly pay for endurance and benefit over low cost. Smaller companies have the advantage in the current value-based purchasing environment and should learn to exploit their distinctiveness.
Small companies may feel they are outgunned, understaffed, or outperformed by larger competitors. The truth, however, is that small companies are very appealing to customers for multiple reasons. Large and midsize businesses must reinvent themselves to appear caring and amiable to consumers, but small companies can skip this step. They already appear caring and amiable. Consumers appreciate having the ability to pick up a phone and text or call the owner of a company.
In the optimal business atmosphere, direction can be quickly altered and correctional positioning can be established with minimal waste or diversion of resources. Smaller companies can create such atmospheres more easily than bigger companies, and they should capitalize on this ability. In valuing responsiveness and value over cost-cutting, smaller companies can also create environments where talent truly thrives.
3. Continually Focus on Fortification and Longevity
When a business starts to grow, the contentment of success may establish itself. Advertising, investing, and cold calling may take a backseat. However, this complacency can cause a "rubber band effect" in revenue flow, leading to sudden shifts in a company's business stream. Businesses must learn to absorb gratifying situations and continue on the steadfast path in the pursuit of future enterprises.
Any company that wishes to endure must establish a budget dedicated to promotional and employee improvement programs. The dollars spent today plant the seeds of tomorrow's prosperity – not only for the business, but for the employees who make use of these programs. These growth opportunities will incentivize employees to stay while helping them skill up.
4. Handle Employee Performance Issues Properly
Many businesses adopt a "kick them when they're down" mentality when handling employee performance matters. Companies need to stop taking the stance that associates should "appreciate that they have a job at all." Associates are human beings with lives outside of their jobs. Their work and home personas are intertwined with one another through no fault of their own. Taxing developments in either setting can cause strife in the other.
If a good employee abruptly changes direction, a supervisor or peer should discreetly intervene as an empathetic confidant. Establishing a helpful, understanding, and non-confrontational atmosphere for addressing performance issues can go a long way to reinforce an employee's trust in their company.
Companies should also stop diverting performance issues to disconnected HR departments in the attempt to alter an employee's unwanted behavior. Businesses must understand the communal atmosphere employees are exposed to at work is the predominate shaping force of their work lives. Unhappiness can spread into every aspect of the business if left unchecked. Reprimanding employees only causes their condition to further deteriorate. Businesses must invest more quality time in their people instead.
Terry Duncan is the president of Duncan Management Inc.