A Follow-Up Phone Call May Be A Good First Step Keeping Employees For The Long Run – Employee Retention

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Keeping Employees For The Long Run – Employee Retention

Every year companies spend millions in recruitment due to employee turnover. Turnover and its associated costs are a burden that used to be just the cost of doing business. But more and more companies are investing time and effort in making better hiring decisions and doing more to keep the employees they do hire. Employee retention is now a buzz word in today’s business world.

The first step in the process is to communicate all of your expectations and requirements before making an offer of employment. Review the appropriate job descriptions and all its’ requirements with your candidate. Mutual understanding of job requirements is essential as many candidates eager for employment may overlook essential duties or prerequisites. This is a good time for any testing you may require as well as drug testing or background checks.

Carefully check the references of prospective employees. Remember that verbal recommendations should be followed up with letters. Wait until these letters are received and reviewed before making that final offer of employment. It is a common misconception among job seekers that references are not routinely checked and past practice is the root of this assumption. In the past, small employers and indeed many larger ones did not follow up on all references provided by applicants. In some cases, only cursory phone calls were made and the result was that unqualified or unsuitable applicants were hired. This only led to more employee turnover when deficiencies were discovered. To avoid this follow phone calls with written inquires to all references.

The next step is to communicate all relevant personnel policies to new hires in the form of some type of employee manual. Vacation and sick time, dress codes, confidentiality agreements, and disciplinary policies are just some of the topics that should be addressed. If you don’t have an employee manual, make a checklist of all important issues and get written documentation that these matters have been discussed with prospective employees. Documentation can be essential if there is dispute about personnel matters that lead to subsequent termination.

Once your candidate becomes an employee, the pressure on management to keep them mounts. Many factors affect employee satisfaction and managers need to do all they can to maintain a level of morale and development strong enough to sustain employee satisfaction. This does not mean sacrificing values, principles, or policies. It does mean having a sound Human Resource Policy, training and development opportunities, and a positive work environment.

For many companies, HR policies and training opportunities are formalized parts of their business. Smaller companies need to focus on scaled down versions to cover their smaller workforces. Many times, an employee handbook might be a collection of memos and training opportunities are less frequent. But in the nature of a small business these things might not impact upon employee understanding and satisfaction. The one thing that all employers need to focus on is maintaining a positive work environment.

Managers need to keep a keen ear to the ground when it comes to employee satisfaction and morale. People rarely suffer in silence and trouble areas usually surface quickly. Managers need to address them just as quickly. Don’t be afraid to share the pressures and concerns with your employees. Encourage them to share their pressures and concerns with you. The companies with open lines of communication are much less likely to lose employees due to dissatisfaction. Keeping the office door open is the key to successful employee relations and companies that make it a priority reap the rewards. Many companies maintain employee assistance programs as part of their benefit packages and these prove invaluable in preventing turnover due to employee’s personal problems. But smaller companies can enjoy comparable benefit by having a sensitive and caring manager or senior employee to provide an ear to troubled employees.

Employee turnover is costly and disabling to every company but employers have more control over turnover than they may think. True, in a competitive marketplace, some turnover is inevitable as career paths change and better opportunities arise. But an ethical and invigorating workplace holds a special attraction to many workers. Most surveys show that money is not the first consideration employees make when choosing to stay in a job. More intrinsic values such as appreciation, ethics, and environment are high on the list of assets that every company can offer.

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