3 ways to become an 'employer of choice'

Employee retention is an issue for the majority of companies for a number of different reasons: the type of work and how challenging it is, company culture, how attractive your conditions are, salary ranges, flexibility or simply, location. If you have found that your retention rate is lower last year, it may be a good idea to begin exploring different ways you can decrease the turnover of staff. Industries with the highest turnover rates (loss of staff) include retail, hotel work, and hospitality. The highest retention rate can be found in government positions and insurance companies. So, how can you ensure your employees are happy and committed to the company?

Being an employer of choice means creating a work environment where your employees are happy and genuinely enjoy coming to work. In today's highly competitive talent market it is in your best interests as an employer to work to become a great company to work for. There are many things you could and should do to improve your company and, as a result, your employees motivation and productivity levels. By implementing these strategies, it does not mean you will automatically become everybody's employer of choice; it is important to implement them well and to mean it.

Flexibility and security: When employees feel secure in their job, they are more likely to work harder, as they will be more dedicated to the company. They will know that all of their hard work will not be nothing. This will increase productivity and reduce stress of your staff allowing a more positive working environment. Companies should also find a way to be flexible with employees. This does not mean you should let employees have a week off just because they ask; it means being more flexible with deadlines, allowing people to take the morning off if they make it up at another time or letting them come in later if they then leave the office later, for instance. You should also be flexible in other ways, such as if the employee would like to attend their child’s performance or visit a loved one in hospital. This will make employees to feel they are valued. They, in turn, will value the company more and work harder when it's needed to show you that they can be counted on.

Respect and opportunity for growth: Listen to your employees ideas, if you invite them to contribute, this in itself will be motivating for them. Your employees may not always be right and you may think that their idea’s will never work, however you should always remain respectful and listen carefully. Don't jump to conclusions and consider their ideas carefully. This doesn’t mean that you have to follow up every idea that you believe will have negative results, but you should always explain in a non-judgemental way why you think their idea might not work. To become an employer of choice, you should show your employees that they are respected and valued. The more your employees feel as members of the team not people that simply do what you tell them, the more ideas and progress you will see. If you automatically shut a bad idea down, this could prevent the individual from suggesting other, better ideas. You are not there to be your employee’s best friend, but they should think of you as a member of the team - not an enemy. As a team member, you should be encouraging your employees ideas and skills, which should lead to future career advancements. This may include courses or specific training that they want to undertake to improve their skills. If your employees have nothing to work towards, what makes you think they will work at all?

Involvement and positive relationships: Similar to respect, employees should feel as if they are involved. They should be able to suggest new ideas, think up new products or plan events. Employers of choice are also committed to both their customers and staff. This is reflected in everything, from the HR policies to employee benefits and business plans. Research has also suggested that in a happy working environment, most colleagues have somebody who they can confide in and turn to for support. This speaks to the company's culture and ability to foster these sort of relationships between employees.

To find out how to celebrate your employees, click here

Sam GlassComment