Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!
Today’s Question: The average length of job tenure seems to be shortening every year, and reports suggest 2017 will be a particularly bad year for employee retention. So, we’d like to ask all the employees out there: If you’re thinking of leaving your job, what could your employer do to convince you to stick around?
1. Offer Remote Work Options
With the recent belt-tightening at remote work stalwarts like IBM, this perk is only becoming more valuable. By offering either fully remote or hybrid policies, you will be speaking directly to the needs of many talented workers. My wife has turned down higher-paying positions in health care to stay with the Fortune 100 company she currently works for. Why? Because her employer has assured her that her remote position is safe, which allows her to spend more time with our three young children.
— Clark Covington, Workzone
2. Give Employees Access to Creative Benefits for Financial Well-Being
To attract talent, more employers are getting creative in the benefits they offer that contribute to their employees’ overall financial well-being. These may include attractive 401(k) matching programs and student loan assistance. With college graduates coming out with record-high student loans, employers should look for ways to help employees manage that debt by providing programs to help refinance and consolidate debt and even pay it off. When considering retirement benefits, employees should learn all they can about the benefits they have access to.
— Peter Marcia, YouDecide
3. Paint a Bright Future
At our monthly all-hands-on-deck meeting yesterday, the CEO stood in front of us and discussed our first round of profit sharing, which arrives next month. He illustrated how we’ve been reinvesting, hiring, and growing the past few years, which has limited our profit margins. However, by 2018, he said, we’ll be directing energy toward profit, meaning bigger payouts for employees who stick around. For people who enjoy or at least tolerate the work, it seems like a smart financial decision to stay. Painting a bright future that includes more money for loyal employees is a great retention strategy.
— Geoff Scott, Resume Companion
4. Provide Employees With the Resources They Need
Every job has its peaks and valleys, and employees accept that. However, being overly frugal or constantly under-resourced is simply not a sustainable strategy. Talent is tight, and while there are a few workaholics out there, most people I know want time away from work for family, hobbies, or just to get a break. Work is a marathon, not a sprint, and burning out your team is not a viable strategy.
— Mikaela Kiner, Uniquely HR
5. Encourage Positive Relationships Between Employees and Managers
My husband and I both recently left our jobs to go back to freelance consulting. We both left our positions because of issues with management. I don’t think we’re alone, either. I recently read a Gallup study that reported 50 percent of people have left a job because of their boss at some point in their career.
More than money, more than titles, and more than ping-pong tables, employees need to have great relationships with their bosses. The best thing for an employer to do is create a collaborative environment that encourages candid, constructive, direct feedback about all aspects of the organization. This environment requires trust – trust that the employer will listen and trust that honesty won’t become a political liability. Be sensitive. Understand that the task of telling a superior that you have an issue with their management style can be intimidating or politically impossible for some employees. By extending a collaborative olive branch and listening to constructive feedback, you will set the foundation for honest relationships between employees and managers.
— Diane Elizabeth, Skincare Ox
6. Trade Punishments for Incentives Where possible
Workers are expected to complete all their tasks on time. If a company sees any kind of slacking or “negligence,” then notices will be issued and company policy will be enforced.
I don’t understand why many employers take this approach. There are different ways for businesses to succeed. When employees overwork themselves, they become stressed and their work starts to suffer.
On the other hand, when an employer gives holidays, vacation dates, bonuses, and incentives, that’s when employees follow direction. They work harder and stay around longer.
— Reuben Kats, Falcon Marketing
7. Be a Champion of Employees’ Goals
I would stay in a company where I have champions in my superiors – people who understand my goals and ambitions and are actively helping me advance toward those goals. Obviously I want my pay to increase over time, but I want that to be associated with increasing responsibility and voice in the company.
If only my direct superior is supportive, without the company’s culture and compensation structure aligned to help employees advance, then even that won’t be enough. Culture plays a big role. A competitive, cut-throat environment makes it hard for superiors or peers to speak up about the wins of others for fear of eliminating opportunities for themselves. The benefits offered by the company are also an important part of that, as things like education stipends and paid maternity leave make a big difference in how far and how fast I’m going to be able to advance. Ultimately, if I make it clear what my career path goals are, I will stay if the company provides me a roadmap and support to achieve those goals; if it doesn’t, I won’t.
— Sara McPherson, Amuse Digital
8. Give Employees Latitude in How They Do Their Jobs
Once they understand the success criteria for a project – e.g., the specific deliverables, deadline, budget constraints, quality parameters, etc. – employees want some flexibility and creative license in designing solutions that meet the criteria. Bosses who insist on doing things a certain way too often damage the motivation of top talent by nitpicking.
— Leigh Steere, Managing People Better