When we talk about retaining employees, what we’re really discussing are incentives that are effective and how to operationalize them. Regardless of the organization, having clear and influential mission and values is paramount. Ultimately, it comes down to understanding who has joined your company and why.
As to not regurgitate much of what I’ve said in the articles linked above regarding mission and values, I’ll focus on a few initial actions that can be taken to improve retention, knowing that these items would align with the mission and values of the corporation.
Focus on communication. So many issues can be eliminated or avoided altogether by having overlapping and complementary modes of communication.
Companies should have an all-hands style meeting at least once per month, to review work that’s being done, victories, challenges, what’s coming up next, to introduce new team members, and to ask for help as needed.
Written communication in slack, email, or a blog post can help ensure everyone is receiving the same information and can re-reference it as needed.
Do you have a very technical product that sales, marketing, and client success struggle to fully understand? Implement a once per month “tech talk” over lunch and have an engineer talk about a highly relevant topic to the team and answer questions.
Focus on feedback. Set a time for one-on-ones, cyclical reviews in various forms, and open forums to ask questions and get answers.
There are many ways to improve communication, and it will always require updating and vigilance.
Depending on the needs of the company and its organizational structure, there are several tools that can help improve transparency, communication, and feedback.
For instance, tracking a request from a current client can be facilitated by something like Receptive with a Slack and GitHub or Atlassian integration.
If your company has a lot of internal communication around emails that come in, Front can help facilitate expedient conversations within email.
Ticketing systems can be really helpful for both internal and external stakeholders. Zendesk, Samanage, and Groove can all be a great fit, depending on the organization. That said, there are dozens of alternatives out there that might work even better for your specific situation–it’s all about doing the research and testing it out.
Something like Lattice can be a big help for tracking expectations, feedback, work, and praise.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that, when accessible, I’m a big proponent of investing in people’s ongoing education and ability to foster and attain new skills. This ties in concretely to the ability to offer benefits, so it would have to fit that criteria. Contributing to, or affording people the opportunity to, experience nonlinear professional growth alongside the company, can be one of the most compelling incentives to retain your best people.
To close the loop, if it wasn’t clear, the first step I’d take would be to roll out (or improve or bring more to daily life) an excellent company mission and values.
Have ideas to add to the list that are fundamental and/or accessible early on? Leave a comment!