Virtually all employers know the frustrations and costs of repeated staff losses. It can be a huge drain on time, resources and sanity!
If we hire entry-level candidates based on their potential and attitude then that’s a great start – if we get it right. But we also need to provide the steps for that potential to be reached.
In most cases, if we are hiring smartly, the candidate is looking for a long-term relationship and doesn’t want to be jumping to the next job in a hurry – so creating an environment where they can flourish is a true win-win for company and candidate.
How do we turn them into old timers, not nest-flyers? Here are five key ways:
1. Help Them Love What They Do
The old saying that “it’s not work if you love what you do” is so true. If you’ve hired the right person who is a good cultural fit in your organisation, is highly motivated for the job at hand, and has ambition that can be fulfilled, then most times they will love what they do; and they will probably do it well. This starts a virtuous cycle, whereby they will be recognised and rewarded, and they will enjoy their work life even more.
Nowadays part of the enjoyment of work lies in the fact that the lines between home and work have been blurred. Through smart devices and networks, Gen Y-ers have consistent access to their social groups as well as their work colleagues. Understand this and use it to engage your people…it can increase flexibility, creativity and make the whole work experience more meaningful if done effectively.
2. Reward and Recognition
We mentioned it above: it’s so important to recognise employees for a good job done and then reward them regularly: not only monetarily (though that helps) but people generally respond well to public kudos. In fact they may expect it: the rise of social media means most youngsters these days are often in the “spotlight” and they want it turned on them at work too. Successful students and graduates who did well academically may have been consistently held up as leading examples throughout their lives, so they don’t want to be seen as also-rans at work.
Being singled out among your peers for your performance, or as integral part of a successful team, is a huge motivating factor for many people – even the “coolest” of gen y-ers.
3. Opportunities to Climb the Ladder
Another expectation of youngsters who perform well at work is that they will be promoted. Students and graduates may be joining you with big aspirations for climbing the ladder. If that’s the case you need to provide the rungs so top performers can see some progression, or it can lead to feelings of disengagement and disenchantment.
A well thought-out career path for your new youngsters, with set milestones and regular monitoring of progress will keep setting new goals and targets, which is important for most of us in our professions.
4. Provide Development Opportunities
Helping your people with personal and professional skills, through carefully-selected courses, shows that you are investing in your employees. This is important, as people need to feel that they are growing, not stagnating; they want to feel like their company cares about their wellbeing and that they are not just perceived as a ”number”. They will generally respond with appreciation, increased loyalty and a heightened sense of motivation – all the good stuff we want to encourage.
5. Provide Real Leadership
It doesn’t matter what walk of life – education, sports, politics, socially, or in the workplace – people respond to great leadership. Many will walk to the ends of the earth to help their leader, not because they were paid more to do so, but because they have a human connection to him or her.
If your workplace has great leaders then they will already know how to invest in and get the most out of their people and employees will want to hang around.
No real “old timers” (with you for a decade or more) in your company? Then you are probably either a young company, a very small company that cannot fulfill long-term goals of employees, you are allowing your best people to drift away, or you are not hiring the right people in the first place.