By: Sergey Novoselov
Pay freezes, layoffs and cost cutting strategies do not improve employee’s morale. A recent survey shows that over 22 percent of workers want to change jobs as soon as it will be possible. Companies might end up paying up to three times a worker’s annual salary to cover the cost of recruiting and training, as well as, due to the productivity loss.
Losing critical employees have always been an issue for employers. When the job market improves, more workers will seize the opportunity to jump ship. Employees with important skills will leave first. Though it probably won’t happen before the jobless rate falls to its normal value, which is not expected during this and even next year, it is now a good time to take proactive steps to retain the most valuable employees.
There are a few relatively easy and low cost steps that can help companies to achieve the goal:
Show your care. Job advancement, recognition, leadership and support are important to employees. Show appreciation whenever it is deserved. Give extra days off, offer flexible work hours, informal dress codes, discounts on company’s products.
Reserve pay raise and bonus budgets for the most important staff. Think about knowledge, experience and the availability of replacement when making decision about money. You might be more interested to retain a foreman rather than some of the directors.
Always keep promises. If a layoff came with a pledge to do it only once, make sure you won’t have to do it again soon. Or at least explain why you can’t avoid doing it. Companies that don’t keep their promises usually see more substantial losses.
Emphasize training opportunities and take an interest in career goals. If there are not enough opportunities for promotion, offer lateral moves that help employees to broaden their knowledge and skills.
Eliminate unnecessary tasks especially when the number of employees reduced. E.g. perform certain activities less frequently.
This will not only improve employees’ morale and overall job satisfaction, it will also improve productivity and help to strategically position a company in a more competitive way.