It is one thing to hire the employees you desire and require to get your vision on track towards fulfillment but it is yet another thing to ensure those people are fruitful and fulfilled to a point where they stay with your company long enough to make the impact you desire. The employee-employer relationship is such that there is mutual benefit. The employer meets all the required expectations while the employee attacks the key results areas so as to deliver results befitting of the benefits accruing to their name. When there is a gap between expectations and delivery on either side, friction is inevitable resulting usually in the ending of the relationship prematurely. The common keys I am writing about are part of what I have faced in the corporate world both as an employee for about 8 years and an employer for close to 9 years. I have left jobs for one of the reasons below or certainly lost some employees for failure to observe or implement one of the keys below. The longer you keep your employees, the better it is for you as you do not have to keep training new people yourself but existing employees who carry the business genetics keep passing them forward. I have written about how important it is to keep a customer that you get but equally important is the fact that you need to keep every employee you recruit.

Some keys to keeping the employee happy

1. Deliver what you promised – Employers sometimes make the mistake of over promising employees and under delivering. If an employee joined on the pretext that you as the employer promised certain benefits and pros, any disparity between promise and reality on the ground is rejected immediately (almost automatically). You rather under promise and over deliver than entice people with lucrative contracts without the underlying tangible results. Gone are the days when employees could hold on to pies in the sky. Meet the promises you wrote down and see how much retention you get.

2. Acknowledge and reward good performance – Every human being has a built in sense of desire for recognition. You will realize that there are those who always meet targets, always early for work, always accurate and committed to their work. Take time to notice which employees contribute the most the well-being of the business. Make a habit of rewarding good performance, publicly too. Create in employees a sense of competition. Be impartial with your reward system. If they are all doing well, throw in a lunch or party on Friday to celebrate. When employees feel valued they will stick by you through the storms. Promotion must be based on merit not on who is close to the CEO or departmental leader.

3. Offer opportunities for personal growth and career advancement – Employees would rather stick by an employer who always has something new to tell them than a place where they are stagnant in terms of learning something new. When everything becomes a routine, when they can do the work in their sleep, take note that those who always desire to learn a new thing regularly become a bit restless and wan to flea immediately. Arrange for some short courses, seminars etc. that enhance the effectiveness of employees in their respective work situations. The employees must be able to see where they fit once they work harder. Which job opportunity exists within when they advance academically and as they gain the required experience?

4. Sell vision and hope to them regularly – As leadership of the organization, you need to always speak and paint a vivid picture of the future of the organization to your employees. Once the employees share with you pertaining to where they see the organization going, your retention will be enormous. Never assume that you and your employees are on the same page. Assumption happens to be the lowest form of knowledge and hence you need to avoid it.

5. Offer job security – When they see the company grow they are more confident that their job will be available when they enter another day. They are not going home wondering whether tomorrow they are guaranteed to be with you. Give assurance and affirmation all the time. When the leaders become so focused on the “now issues”, they fail to see beyond the challenges and hence even their conversation becomes somewhat negative. At that point employees think of jumping to the next ship which does not look like it is sinking anytime soon though it may a few values lower. Security is what they desire from those above them.

6. Pay well and on time – Very few employees come to work as volunteers who do not desire to be paid. In fact if they are volunteers, they are not even expecting a salary. However, the majority of employees desire to be paid and within the expected timeframe too. Once payday becomes guesswork, people cannot plan their lives accordingly, it messes up their budgeting process and having to grapple with finding alternative means to meet family needs. If you won’t pay well, they will not pay attention to your utterances. They will simply move on without even giving you enough notice. This is the number one cause of people moving from one job to the next. Some can put up with rough demanding positions as long as their pay is good and always on time. Only a few employees attach to their employees based on seeing potential in the leaders and in the company.

7. Be fair and just in your dealings – When double standards emerge in the way discipline is handled, employees always want to migrate to a better place. They always watch how you do things for “tomorrow’s sake”. When Peter steals $100 and the boss fires him instantly and a secretary steals $500 and gets away with a warning, it is clear that there is no set pattern on how justice is done in the workplace. No one should be immune to the systems you set in place. You cannot be found being selective in terms of rules for different classes of people in the organization.

8. Provide an avenue for appeal – The employee has every right to get audience with employer to address work related issues. The open door policy must be a reality. Once employees feel that they can contribute without feeling victimized then you are building a good culture of family where everyone’s view is valued. When they feel a decision made is not the right one, they can come to you and discuss with you about it. If the door is shut in their face, they are left with no other way that plan their own schemes in their own closed doors (since you have set the pattern that people deal with issues in their own closed offices). If they can’t talk to their own CEO they will find other ways of appeal like strike action just to get attention. Rather be available to hear for yourself before it becomes an issue the press would love to cover. If employees are made to feel that they add value to the organization then they feel a sense of belonging and stay.

9. Credibility of the core leadership is important – Credibility of the people at the top shapes the culture and framework of company. Are they people of their word, who Yes means Yes? Do they stick to their word no matter what? Can one bank on the promises they make? Credibility will keep employees secure, happy and trusting on their leaders. Once credibility is lost, there is a total disregard for leadership in the workplace which is a seed for the collapse of the organization.

10. Build Transparency and Trust Levels – It is wrong to cut out employees from the realities of what the company is going through. When the company is doing well, employees need to be told. When things are not where they are supposed to be, employees deserve to know as they are important stakeholders and sometimes the bearers of the very solutions we desperately need. Be transparent about what is going on. Secrecy destroys trust. Wen thy have to speculate, make conclusions based on assumptions then do not blame them when they conclude that going is the way to go.

Source by Rabison Shumba