Having a team-player on board is paramount to small businesses. While high-performers act as an essential cog in the business machine for larger enterprises, losing such a person for a small business could have considerable economic and operational fallout. Having a gap to fill for a long stretch of time can be more than problematic. And with employees leaving workplaces more frequently in search of greener pastures, employers must do more to ensure that they understand what those leaving are in search of so that the company can begin to provide it.
LinkedIn’s recent post about US workers seems to be a common trend across the globe. They posted:
“U.S. workers are quitting at the fastest rate since the internet boom 17 years ago, reports The Wall Street Journal, thanks to a strong economy and record-low unemployment. In April, 3.4 million people chose to leave their jobs, according to Labor Department figures — double the 1.7 million who were laid off. Job-hopping also tends to lead to better pay; those who switched got a roughly 30% bigger annual pay boost in May than those who stayed in their jobs over the past year, per the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.”
Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain has also noted:
“…we use reviews and salary surveys to gather insights about companies and employee sentiment.
One of the most striking results we’ve found is that, across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay: It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company.”
So, learning from these statements, how can SMEs ensure that they hang onto the best employees? Some employees deliver an outstanding service, whether that’s through calls, emails, over chat, or in person. Since machines are still no match for complex interpersonal matters that require empathy, it’s vital that companies do their best to recognise these individuals and keep their teams strong so that key figures don’t stray.
In an eBook in association with workforce management company Teleopti, Pelorus Associates’ principal consultant Dick Bucci has outlined 8 ways to humanise the workforce and retain top employees. He posits that these are:
1. Self-Driven Career Development – provide the tools and support to help employees manage their own career development.
2. Culture – maintain a culture that values employee satisfaction, fosters work-life balance and supports the customer experience.
3. Empowerment – empower your employees to solve problems, let them influence scheduling decisions and involve them in decisions on how to improve performance.
4. Personalisation – structure work schedules and training that respect the personal needs of employees.
5. Stress reduction – create a work environment that eliminates or sharply reduces unnecessary stress.
6. Team building – build a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie. Management can harness the natural spirit of friendly competition to boost morale and improve performance.
7. Automation – diverting routine tasks to self-service boosts morale and reduces stress by relieving agents from mundane activities.
8. Technology – today’s millennial employees embrace new technology and seek out employers that are on the leading edge.
With the nature of working life rapidly changing, employees’ expectations are also shifting in alignment to some degree. But, interestingly these aren’t significant changes. As Chamberlain has previously suggested, the fact that Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments is still relevant to economists means that its argumentation about pay as an uncritical factor of workplace satisfaction is still accurate. The points covered by Bucci thus showcase well what matters to modern employees, encompassing technology to alleviate workload.