What is Motivating Workers, Plus 4 Tips for Better Employee Retention
By now you have probably heard the term “the Great Resignation”. We actually like to refer to it as “the Great Reflection”.
The pandemic caused a lot of employees to take a step back and consider not only their worth, but also what they actually want out of their job. In essence, people are reconsidering what is important to them and looking for a job that gives them what they desire.
For companies, this can be tough. Employers are left with multiple positions to fill and concerned about whether they are hiring the right people.
While we’ve given many tips on how to hire the right candidate, companies shouldn’t make the mistake of only thinking about hiring. You need to be thinking about retention, too.
When you implement ways to retain your top talent, attracting new top talent naturally follows.
In order to develop an effective employee retention strategy, you have to understand what is motivating employees. Here are some of the reasons that many employees are leaving their jobs during the Great Resignation:
- Low pay
- Wanting better benefits
- Wanting more flexibility
- Lack of respect or how they are treated by co-workers or leadership
- Pursuing a new career path
- Experiencing burnout
- Health risks
- Misalignment with the company’s values
Employees have been evaluating how they fit into the company. And while a higher salary and benefits are nice, it’s not the only thing they are looking for in a job these days. They also want to have:
- Value and respect on their team
- The opportunity to be heard and respected
- A flexible schedule
- A work-life balance
- Access to resources that allow them to do their job
- Support and appreciation from coworkers, supervisors and empoloyers
- Opportunities for growth
The motivating factors we just listed are all general. If you want to know what is specifically motivating your employees, just ask them! Leadership should take the time to regularly connect with their staff. Check in with them and ask about their goals; what would make their job more enjoyable; and similar questions that will help leadership understand what is motivating their team.
Don’t just ask–but truly listen to what employees are saying. Getting direct input is great, but if you aren’t listening, you won’t be able to truly address their concerns with employee retention efforts.
Now, let’s look at some things that can help you toward developing a better employee retention strategy during the Great Resignation.
1 | Appreciation Mindset
Employees want to know that they are valued and appreciated for the hard work they put in each and every day. Recognition plays a big part in developing a good workplace culture. Remember that appreciation doesn’t always have to be monetary or tangible. Verbal appreciation can be equally effective.
2 | Invest in Growth and Experience
Invest in your talent by providing training, benefits, and pay raises (make sure your compensation policies are transparent!) as well as opportunities to move up the company ladder. No one wants to be stuck in a dead end job or feel like the company doesn’t care if they are improving their skills. You can also send your employees to leadership conferences or have a mentorship program.
Besides investing in skills and personal growth, be sure to invest in the workplace experience. Deal with toxic employees immediately. Create a culture that has open communication and safe places to share new ideas. When you focus on all of these different things, you’ll find your employees are more productive, innovative, and creative!
3 | Finding Balance
Employees are seeking a healthy work-life balance more than ever. And that will mean that employers need to offer flexible scheduling and opportunities to work from home or have a hybrid schedule.
As part of a healthy work-life balance, be sure to also offer your employees paid time off. Vacation can help prevent burnout and employees should be able to take time off to take care of their health needs, such as doctor appointments. And speaking of health, offering good health benefits and promoting mental health in the workplace should also be top priority.
4 | Create More Inclusive Policies
Finally, revisit your workplace policies and update them to be more inclusive. This isn’t just about valuing diverse hiring, but also caring about the whole person once they are an employee and acknowledging stressors they may face outside of work. Examples of these stressors could include: being a family caregiver, infertility, mental health, and racism. Offering better health care and flexible scheduling is part of this, but you also need to update your leave policies. Also, be sure to also adjust your holiday calendar to be inclusive to those with different spiritual, cultural or religious beliefs. Consider offering floating holidays or swappable holidays.
Focusing on retention is really about cultivating a positive workplace culture. When you cultivate that positivity, you’ll see your top talent sticking around as well as being more productive and creative!