Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

How 4 Companies Retain Great Employees & Increase Employee Engagement

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Posted by Patrick Clark May 29, 2014

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In our last post we shared four of the top reasons for employee turnover, which include lack of job fulfillment, poor management, disengaged employees and low overall job satisfaction. All can be costly for your organization in terms of lowered productivity, overworked staff and additional recruiting costs you’ll have to incur to hire a new employee.

Every organization is bound to have voluntary turnover here and there, but there are ways you can improve your hiring process and increase employee engagement to keep employees satisfied and retained.

To get you started, we’ve identified four tips for employee retention along with examples from successful employers:

1. Create a Desirable Place to Work

Define your company values, such as how employees are treated, communication style and workplace attitudes, and use them to drive your company culture. While these intangible qualities are often difficult to define, the process will help you uncover your desired culture so you can create a community where people want to work.

Employer Highlight: Zendesk

Zendesk, a customer service software platform, has made creating a positive workplace environment a priority for hiring and retention. Along with company videos that showcase this, Zendesk has made this message front and center on its careers page:

“Zendesk is creating a revolutionary customer-centric company full of talented, enthusiastic people who enjoy coming to work every day. We keep sane working hours, while still taking care of business, and believe in being ourselves on and off the job.”

2. Create Meaningful Career Opportunities

To be engaged at work, employees need to know their efforts will lead to personal growth and greater opportunities within the company. Keep employees engaged in their personal development by implementing mentorship programs or new training opportunities.

Employer Highlight: Zappos

Zappos wrote the book on company culture and creating a workplace where people love to be. One of the company’s core values "Pursue Growth and Learning" focuses on providing opportunities to grow and inspire employees. To make it happen, Zappos has a team that organizes training programs and classes to enhance employee skills. Different departments throughout the company teach classes, and the company regularly invites guest speakers and thought leaders to “expose employees to different kinds of thinking.

3. Hire Employees That Align with Your Company’s Culture

Once you’ve defined your values and culture, use them to determine if the candidates you’re recruiting will be a good fit for the company long-term. While evaluating job hoppers, focus on their successes and contributions in previous roles. This will help you determine if the employee is the right fit based on the impact she can have in a few short months or years.

Employer Highlight: Buffer

According to Leo Widrich, co-founder and chief operating officer of Buffer, a social media scheduling app, assessing culture fit is a vital part of the hiring process. “Probably the most important element we look for is alignment with the 10 Buffer values,” says Widrich. “The way we go about hiring for Buffer is to primarily look for culture fit.”

The company evaluates each candidate by how well they align with Buffer’s culture and core values. This includes looking at the wording of each email because written communication is an important factor of Buffer’s remote team. Also, they look at applicants’ Twitter accounts and evaluate whether their postings align with the company culture.

4. Provide Clear and Consistent Feedback

Evaluate employee performance on a regular basis. Use performance reviews as an opportunity to set development goals, build strategies for meeting those goals and address the employee’s job fulfillment. Give feedback regularly between reviews to keep employees engaged with their performance.

Employer Highlight: Netflix

Netflix believes regular and less formal feedback is more effective than scheduled performance reviews, according to former Netflix HR chief Patty McCord. Instead, the company employs frequent feedback so performance issues are handled as needed.

To learn more about why your company may or may not be suffering from high employee turnover, download our free eBook The Hiring Manager’s Dilemma: Job Hoppers and Employees on the Move

Topics: Employee Retention, employee turnover, Company Culture

This is disclaimer text. We’ve shared these tips to help educate you on social media employment screenings and considerations for your business — this information should not be construed as legal advice. But if your company chooses to screen applicants on social media or want to explore the topic even further, consult with an attorney for advice related to this screening tactic.

Photo credit: photographer via website

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Patrick Clark
Pat specializes in growing Hyrell by developing both its customer base and awareness. When he isn't chasing his kids around he is a bit over-the-top in following both sports and emerging technologies.
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