Retaining Employees

6 Must-Do Activities to Retain Your Employees

Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures

Small businesses often tend to forget the importance of keeping their employees happy because they are too focussed on business results. Employees need to feel that their contribution to work is valuable and that the company cares about their personal welfare as well. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your employees stick with you.

Why should an employee join your business?

What's in it for them to base their career on your business? How promising do you think their careers will be if they join hands with you? If you have asked yourself these questions before, you are on the right track - at least half way through. The other half lies in your ability to retain your employees and manage them. Losing them isn't an option with the world facing the worst downturn since the great depression. Here are 6 Must-do activities with your employees:

Focus on learning and development:

One of the mistakes most businesses make is to train new recruits on job or process specifics and leave it to them to figure the rest out. Meanwhile, the middle management and senior management don't figure on the training list. Training should be focused on middle management and senior management too. It should address finer aspects of managing people.

Start a productivity program: Productivity of employees is a major sore point for many businesses and it has really simple solutions. Form an active group of employees in distinct teams and roll out productivity training programs for them. Do this weekly and phase it such that every employee gets a chance to learn to use time more effectively and get more done within a day.

Recognize your top performers: If you want to make your company one of the best places to work for, start a Reward and Recognition Program - no matter how overwhelming it might seem to be at first. If you don't make your employees feel good about their contributions, solidify their loyalty and uplift their spirit, your bottom lines can sink faster than a bombed submarine.

Have an active complaint club: Jeff Jarvis, in his book What Would Google Do, talks about how Dell started an "antifan club" and picked up criticism in class; he claims that it is one reason why Dell could manage to fix things and sustains its competitive edge. Why can't employees in your company form a club like that? Standard Chartered bank, in a few locations, has an employee hot-line - any disgruntled employee can pick that phone up and voice out. Could you do something like that?

Fun volunteering or action based corporate social responsibility: Although it might sound altruistic, helping others is really a good feeling everyone should experience. Moreover, there's nothing like breaking the monotony of mundane office work and taking time off to make a difference to others' lives. As an employer, you could take the lead and have meaningful volunteering assignments for your employees or have an active, action-based corporate social responsibility program.

Friday fun-days: We become better people when we have a life outside of work. We are happier and more enthusiastic towards life when we get to do something we like. Most International business giants like HSBC, have fun programs every Friday. Fun activities are designed to bring teams closer, have fun and kick the stress that comes with the job.

Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.

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