As the lifeblood of any good business, employee retention and satisfaction are top priorities. The job market is becoming increasingly transparent, and more and more organizations find themselves struggling to engage and retain top talent.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 51% of all workers are looking to leave their current jobs. The number is even higher among Millennials.
Yet regardless of whether you are looking to employ more Millennials, the current workforce is clearly becoming more mobile, and expects more from employers than ever before. A competitive salary is no longer enough to keep employees satisfied.
So how can organizations improve employee satisfaction and develop a positive company culture that increases retention and performance?
Here are our top tips:
There is an old business joke in which a CFO asks the CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” The CEO responds, “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
Investing in your employees’ success is not only important for improving the skills of your existing workforce, it has also been shown to improve retention. 59% of employees said projects that helped them keep their skills up-to-date would keep them satisfied at their current company. Here are a few ways you can develop your existing talent:
Provide professional training and courses: Good employees are looking to constantly grow their knowledge base. If they feel like your company can help them increase their knowledge, skills, and expertise, they’ll feel appreciated and engaged. In return, they will become more committed to your company and choose to grow with you.
Support career path development: Along the same lines, you should also be working with your employees to help them design a career path within your company. The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center uses a formal mentoring program to help employees develop professional goals and connect with colleagues. This keeps employees engaged and lets them know there’s a future for them within the company.
Promote from within and give employees new tasks: Employees who are regularly offered new tasks will remain engaged and satisfied. 83% of employees who were given opportunities to take on new challenges said they’re more likely to stay with the organization.
With technology making it easier than ever to work from home, many employees have come to expect this perk to be available to them. In fact, according to FlexJobs 68% of workers expect to work remotely at some point in the future.
Today’s “always on” work culture can make it difficult to achieve a good work-life balance. Conversely, the freedom to work where and when they need to can help employees become happier and more productive.
According to IBM, 79% of employees with flexibility report a more positive employee experience. Even better, 77% report greater productivity when working remotely. From a business continuity perspective, remote access allows your employees to remain productive even when they’re not feeling well enough to commute, when the office is under construction, and at other times when they are unable to reach the office—without halting operations.
Of course, giving employees remote desktop access so they can work from anywhere and from their own devices does come with a new set of concerns. Here are a couple of things to consider:
Allowing employees to work from their personal laptops and mobile devices can increase satisfaction and productivity while simultaneously reducing hardware costs, but it also presents several security, compliance and IT management challenges. To ensure your IT department isn’t stuck managing hundreds of different devices, and that sensitive information isn’t compromised if those devices fall into the wrong hands, offer employees browser-based access to applications and desktops hosted on secure RDS and VDI environments, like what Ericom provides.
When providing the option to remotely connect from anywhere and on any device, you cannot afford to simply leave the reins in the hands of your employees, without ensuring that IT retains control over all remote access. Both native and browser-based RDP solutions allow employees to access virtual desktops, web applications and cloud services via a centrally-managed connection broker, so your IT team can manage and monitor all remote access to company resources.
Your business should also strive to give employees recognition for a job well done and help them celebrate milestones. According to AttaCoin, 88% of employees say it’s important that employers reward employees for great work, but only 41% do. That is a major disconnect.
Here are a few ways top companies show their employees recognition:
Every year, DHL Express hosts a black-tie awards night to honor their top performers. They don’t stop there, though. Employee recognition is a year-long initiative involving notes on the company corkboard, monetary rewards and regular events.
Legal Monkeys uses an Appreciation Board that employees and managers can pass to each other to recognize when someone has done something worthy of praise.
Quicken Loans has a very generous benefits and perks program to support their employees. How does this tie back to recognition? Every year their founder Dan Gilbert updates a book that describes the company’s key values and what behaviors will be rewarded.
While engaging employees and offering them the flexibility to work where and when they need to are important for employee satisfaction, too many companies disregard the importance of physical health for their employees. Even if an employee is engaged and rewarded, poor health can cause unhappiness, stress and burnout.
Here are a few steps you can take to promote good health in the workplace:
Provide standing desks: You’ve probably heard the claim that “sitting is the new smoking.” Help your employees avoid the negative health effects of sitting all day by providing desks that can be changed between sitting and standing.
Offer discounted gym memberships: Regular exercise is proven to increase alertness, improve mental health and prevent illness. Encourage your employees to exercise whenever possible.
Have healthy snacks in the office: Encouraging healthy living starts with the environment you provide at work. Providing healthy snacks will help set the stage for healthier living for all your employees.
While it may seem harder than ever to keep employees satisfied, it doesn’t need to be. Employees today are simply shifting their priorities. Instead of salaries being the only consideration, employees are now interested in jobs that offer training, flexibility, recognition and growth. Putting more emphasis on these four points can not only help keep your existing employees satisfied, it can give you a competitive advantage when seeking out new talent.
Ilan Paretsky is Chief Marketing Officer at Ericom Software and is responsible for the global marketing activities of the company. Prior to joining Ericom in 2005, Mr. Paretsky held various leadership positions in marketing, business development, project management, and software development in the global software and telecom industries.
You could also add: treat employees decently" to the list.