What motivators, besides compensation, can make an employee stay?
Once you’ve hired your ideal team of employees, the last thing you want is for them to find a job somewhere else. Increasing their pay is not always an option; so what else can you offer your employees to incentivize them to stay with your company? We reached out to our readers to see what works well in their companies. Keep reading to discover some tips on keeping your employees engaged and happy.
Create Work-Life Balance and a Positive Environment
Retaining team members is more than only offering competitive pay. Many top retainment practices center around work-life balance, a positive work environment, and company culture. Offering employee development opportunities, employee recognition policies, flexible work schedules, bonuses, healthcare, and paid time off are effective ways to recruit and retain team members.
Employee development opportunities create a career path for team members and prevent the job from stagnating. Development opportunities for team members keep team members from looking outside the business for their next opportunity. Employee recognition policies create engaged team members and keep team morale up.
Our law firm practices this by creating a weekly email thread that congratulates our team members for their accomplishments and offers other team members the opportunity to appreciate one another’s work. Flexible work schedules promote a healthy work-life balance and positive work environment. Bonus opportunities encourage team members to excel in their roles and go the extra mile for their clients.
Health, dental, and vision benefits are essential for retaining team members in 2022 and beyond. People looking for jobs often place healthcare benefits near the top of benefits they prefer. Paid time off is another perk that is in high demand. PTO promotes a positive work environment and healthy work-life balance.
Many of the most sought-after benefits and perks center around work-life balance, a positive work environment, and healthy company culture. Employers that remain proactive in creating these settings for their businesses will likely recruit and retain team members the easiest.
Give Employees a Voice
As an employer or manager, it is important to allow employees to make decisions within business operations. This will motivate them to stay because they will feel that decisions are being shared and their voice is being heard.
Another strategy that I use with my employees is to provide social events on Fridays. This allows employees to get to know each other and most of them become good friends. This also keeps the work environment more fun and encourages employees to stay.
Provide Opportunities to Advance
A big motivator for employees to stay is the ability to advance. Most people don’t want to stay in the same position for their entire careers. If their company never promotes internally and doesn’t encourage or support advancement, they won’t be able to grow, so leaving for a new company is usually the better option. Companies who want better employee retention should look into how much they currently support the growth and advancement of their employees because there might be a disconnect there.
Flexible Work Hours
The ability to work remotely, or to be flexible with one’s work location, is a huge factor right now that is determining whether or not people are staying at their current jobs. While this may not have been a big factor two years ago, the pandemic has made a majority of the workforce realize that there are great benefits to remote or flexible work. Many people have come to prefer this type of work, and if their company is going to force them to come into the office every day, they know they can easily find a remote job elsewhere.
A Supportive Company Culture
A major motivator for employees to stay with an organization is relationships. If the employees feel valued, appreciated, and respected, they’re far more likely to stay at a company, even if they could make more money somewhere else. Having a job with a supportive culture and climate is a rare thing, and it’s something most people wouldn’t want to give up.
Education and Schedule Flexibility
Employees who would want to have further education credits will be going to stay if their company is willing to shoulder expenses related to their further studies. This would be beneficial for both the employee and the company anyway, so it is a win-win to provide this benefit.
With virtual workplaces being the norm nowadays, schedule flexibility has become one of the perks that employees expect. That being said, it is also one of the reasons they will choose to stay. If this is not an option at their current company, then it is very likely for them to leave and look for companies that offer this because they are sure they’ll be able to find them.
Provide Growth Opportunities
Supporting your people with their growth and development will make them stay in the organization for a longer period. Aside from the financial assistance, they also need the opportunities that will allow them to continue being competitive in their career. Many talents are seeking companies that can invest in them and will give them the self-satisfaction that they need to remain motivated and determined. These changes that the employers are willing to offer do not just help them in their skill improvement but also boost their morale and pride.
Create a Stimulating Work Environment
Employee recognition and opportunity for advancement are incredibly important for making people stay in a company. Sometimes money isn’t enough if people feel bad or exhausted in the workplace. Some individuals are more willing to earn less money in a stimulating work environment.
Employee recognition has to happen regularly, not just after performance reviews. Different tactics can celebrate people’s achievements, most of which do not require significant financial resources. When done regularly, these acts of appreciation will boost people’s motivation and make them more likely to stay in a single company for a long time.
Appreciation and Gratification
Two motivators that are not related to compensation that can make an employee stay are appreciation and gratification.
Research has shown that if employees feel valued and appreciated, there is an increase in their motivation to stay and also to perform. Many employees develop a greater sense of loyalty to their employers that overrides compensation.
We genuinely have a desire to feel as if what we are doing with our work has meaning or purpose. When individuals feel some form of self-gratification, this also serves as a motivating factor to stay.
Positive Company Culture and Training
A positive company culture is a strong factor that might motivate an employee to stay, and it has nothing to do with compensation. Good company culture involves everything including leadership style, how the team communicates, how they regard time off, and team-building efforts. Good company culture makes a positive difference in mental health, productivity levels, and resulting company loyalty.
Training and development also help employees stay. Companies that periodically offer training and development do so to invest in their employees. It’s a win-win in that employees also benefit from learning new skills. This practice builds long-term learners and critical thinkers. Employees feel that what they’re doing is worthwhile and they don’t feel stagnant.
A Thriving Work Culture
Regardless of whether you’re a remote or hybrid team, company culture plays an important role in employee retention since it directly impacts their everyday life. Unless employees feel heard, valued, and cared for, they won’t be sticking around in an organization for too long, regardless of the attractive compensation. It’s imperative for organizations to take a long hard look at their workplace culture and identify areas of improvement or risk losing their talented workforce in the bargain.
A Solid Employee Benefits Program
For organizations to maintain a competitive edge and successfully retain their employees, an employee benefits program is a no-brainer. That said, rather than going with run-of-the-mill ideas that aren’t particularly valuable to your workforce, it’s important to brainstorm and identify the benefits that your teams truly care the most about. These could range from health and wellness programs, free meals, paid time off, or even discounts on products and services that your employees are particularly fond of.
Growth Opportunities and Job Security
Knowing one’s sense of purpose drives a person to push harder towards their goals and keep doing their best. When the employees know that they are valued and that their work matters, it positively impacts their attitude and reflects on their performance.
In our company, we usually start the day with daily huddles wherein one of the team members will be saying public praise to a fellow or multiple team members and acknowledge their work. Make your team feel good about their accomplishments. The morale will be uplifted, knowing that their work is recognized and valued as team members.
Invest in the employee’s career growth by providing training and self-development. Entrust challenging tasks to your employees to feel that you are trusting them with the big stuff and that you are confident with their abilities.
Talk about the plans and goals that you have as a team. Involve each other and make them feel that their opinions are heard.
Knowing that they are secure in your company and not fearing that they might just be removed one day will give them peace of mind. No one wants the feeling of walking on thin ice every time. Assure your employee that the company will keep them as long as they want to stay.
Encouraging Communication with Employees
It’s important to acknowledge the reasons why employees resign. Naturally, your next step would be to make sure that you have a solution to the problems. Compensation is one of the most common ways to persuade an employee to stay. However, that isn’t always effective. In some cases, compensation is not what resigning employees are looking for. Sometimes, it could be a better working environment or the chance to grow career-wise. Compensation isn’t always the solution to everything because you’re not exactly improving anything in your company through that.
Communication can help make an employee stay. This means that you would have to show your support to them. Check on their conditions, implement regular one-on-one or group meetings so that all of you can have the chance to talk about your employee’s progress and what can be further done to challenge them. Encourage them to present their own ideas, and assign them to tasks that you believe will help them improve and gain experience. Give your sincere feedback on their work because they would like to hear that they are going somewhere.
Hybrid and Remote Work Options
Challenges related to commuting or even a lifestyle that does not involve going to and from work each day make hybrid and remote work options quite an important incentive for employees today. Especially after the pandemic, people are now more well-acquainted with the perks of working from home, or at least working in a hybrid environment.
To some employees, the option of not walking into an office every day is certainly more appealing than a bump in their paychecks. When organizations allow employees to choose their preferred mode of work, it shows consideration and understanding, and often, this is more valuable to an employee than an increase in compensation.
Benefits, Growth, and Flexibility
Compensation is indeed an essential factor that ensures an employee’s stay. However, several other motivators can be more than or equally vital in making employees stay in an organization.
1. Flexible Schedules. More so after the pandemic, people are indeed prioritizing flexible schedules and remote working options. It gives them the freedom to balance their work as well as personal life.
2. Health Benefits. One of the simplest ways to show that you care for your employees is to offer them and their families health benefits. You easily take away a huge worry out of their life by doing this.
3. Opportunities for Growth. No one wants to be stuck in that same position; we all want to grow and add diversity and exciting stuff to our portfolio. That helps transform us professionally as well as personally.
Apart from these, a positive, understanding, and fun company culture where you feel valued and appreciated automatically makes it easier for an employee to stay instead of looking for other options.
Highlight Employees’ Impact
Employees want their work to be meaningful and contribute to something bigger than themselves. Giving employees a sense of purpose is a powerful motivator that can keep them happy and dedicated to your company. You can do this by highlighting the impact of their work on customers or clients, sharing stories about how the company has helped make a difference, or creating opportunities for employees to give back to the community.
Two Perks Employees Appreciate
1. Flexibility and work/life balance. This could mean remote or hybrid options, scheduling flexibility, or fewer total work hours that give employees more personal time. Workplace flexibility is a particularly powerful motivator for working parents and caretakers, but it is a desirable benefit to most demographics and lifestyles. In my experience as a recruiter, I’ve found candidates are often willing to accept a lower salary to get increased flexibility, and the same can be true from a retention standpoint.
2. Advancement and growth opportunities. One of the most common reasons candidates cite for leaving their current or previous position is a lack of career progress. This doesn’t always have to mean promotions, either, especially in smaller companies with limited leadership positions. Offering professional development, mentorship, and other ongoing education lets team members grow with your company, rather than having to look outside it when they’re ready to move forward with their careers
Have a Good Relationship with your Employees
One of the reasons why employees stay in the company is not just because of how much compensation they may receive. There are also a lot of factors they consider to choose the place where they are working despite receiving a not-so-big payment.
One of them could be the kind of working environment you have in the company. Believe it or not, many employees are looking for leaders and co-workers who are not toxic. No one wants to work with a group of people who always talk behind you or harm you inside the company.
Having a good relationship with your fellow employees is essential because it increases your motivation and productivity to work. Despite the stress they feel, they can have a family inside the company where they can vent out or spend their time whenever they are stressed.
Another factor could be the other benefits you give, like free meals, yoga, workshops, and health cards. Some employees stay because these benefits can help them save money and take care of their health to ensure safety. Free training is also beneficial because it enhances everyone’s growth.
You cannot ignore workplace morale if you want to retain employees. If a workplace doesn’t prioritize morale, you can count on the employees feeling dissatisfied, unappreciated, and looking for employment elsewhere.
If you want to build morale, you’ll need to start by building trust with your employees. They should know that you have their back. Employees should feel valued and appreciated. Being free with commendations and encouragement can go a long way in boosting morale.
Employees also need to see that you’ll invest in their training and development. If they don’t see a future in their job, they won’t be content to stay. When you help employees develop, they’ll know there’s a place for them to grow within the company.
A Sense of Purpose
Factors that are not related to compensation, such as a sense of purpose or a desire to make a difference, can keep an employee motivated. Other factors that can encourage an employee to stay include feeling appreciated and having a good relationship with their supervisor. Finally, employees can be motivated to stay by the opportunity to learn and grow in their job.
Satisfied Employees Stay
If the overall air of the company cultivates growth, an employee will most likely be satisfied. Compensation is not necessarily equivalent to job satisfaction. According to studies, the workplace environment is correlated to employee retention. Being supportive of employees’ skills and talents can go a long way in terms of their motivation. Their feelings toward the company are just as important as the paycheck they are receiving.
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