I’m working with many companies as a leadership development coach and have noticed that many of them lack good strategy in one key area: employee satisfaction. At Activate Group Inc., we use a system called Human Capital Management to effectively manage employees, and ensure long-term growth and satisfaction of “A” players. This process starts with hiring the right people and ends with maintaining employee satisfaction. As you probably know by now, it costs so much more to replace a great employee than to simply keep them happy.
How to Keep Employees Happy
Here are five ways to ensure your best employees stay happy, stay productive, and stay with you for a long time:
1. Hire Right.
The best way to ensure long-term employee satisfaction and success is to hire the right person for the right job in the first place. Too many companies hire “blindly” by simply scanning resumes, getting a few recommendations and hiring quickly. Using assessment tools to screen for people with the right skill sets for open positions (before you even look at resumes) is one of the easiest methods to increase the number of candidates that are a good match for the job and the company.
2. Regular Affirmations.
Show your people appreciation by saying it regularly. Recognize when someone goes above and beyond, even if it is something small. Thank them when they coach others. Here is a fantastic list of motivating phrases from the Bud to Boss blog.
3. Onboarding Plan.
When you bring a new employee onboard, you need to do it the right way. A detailed plan for the first 90 days for every new employee is a crucial tool in getting them off to a positive start with the company. Many employees who have a negative onboarding experience (no training, no expectations, no coaching, etc) end up leaving the company — and that costs you money.
4. Employee Recognition Program.
Every company should have an employee recognition program, even small companies and even if it’s just a simple program. Recognizing and rewarding employees for going above and beyond the call of duty is super-charged positive reinforcement, and is also highly contagious. A word of caution: avoid rewarding employees for simply doing their job. After all, they are being compensated for doing their jobs and achieving certain milestones. Rewards work best when they are reserved for special effort.
5. Job Satisfaction Survey.
Once a year (or every couple years) you should ask employees to fill out a simple survey about their experiences with the company. Keep it confidential and keep it relatively short — try for 20 questions or less. Ask them about their career development, relationship with their manager, team environment, and if they feel like they are contributing to the company goals. All of these things are essential to job satisfaction.
How to Keep Employees Motivated
How high is your employee satisfaction? Do you know or are you guessing? Here are a few more tips on how to motivate employees from one of my earlier articles.
Howard Shore is a leadership development coach who works with companies that need executive development and strategic business coaching. Based out of Miami, Florida, Howard’s firm, Activate Group Inc., provides management coaching to businesses across the country. To learn more about leadership development coaching through AGI, please contact us at (305) 722-7213 or email Howard today.