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How to retain employees?


Mental wellbeing

Author: Kaire Viil, development partner of Eesti Energia, management coach

Talented people know their worth, and companies are constantly on the hunt for them. Work and professional development play an important role in an adult’s life. How well do you know what motivates your employees and makes them shine? Salary is important to an employee, but there is always someone who offers more.

Team tends to stay with you if you have the following:

– pleasant environment,

– opportunity for development,

– recognition,

– flexibility,

– good relations.

People come for the values, but many leave because of the management culture.

The Five Why exercise helps to create clarity

Recently, job crafting, i.e. creating meaning at work, has been a fashionable topic in articles on work happiness. How often do you think with your team about why the organisation exists and why your talent works here. By doing this exercise, the employee gets to think about the meaning of his work. In addition, you can remind the organisation’s values ​​and discuss the role of each employee in realising the company’s vision. In this way, the person gets clarity in his role and confirmation that they are valuable to the company. Go even deeper and do the Five Why exercise together. Ask this five times and you’ll get to the root causes that will bring clarity and perhaps will surprise. If necessary, a neutral moderator will guide this workshop.

How can employees keep in mind the vision and values ​​of the organisation?

Do you know the classic example when Apple’s cleaner told Steve Jobs that he was helping to produce the best computers in the world, not just walking around with a cloth? The NASA cleaner also told the company’s high-ranking guest at the reception desk that thanks to his work, people will reach the moon. A hotel room cleaner can also set himself up as a creator of a pleasant experience for tourists, not just a sheet changer. After all, a chef’s assistant is actually a provider of culinary experiences, an artist, a valuer of food products and a developer of the country’s tourism sector. For the employee, their status and recognition are important. If you help them see the meaning of their work, you increase commitment. Adults spend more than half of their waking hours at work. That’s about 13 years of their life.

How can you find out what the employees really want and can do?

The employees wants their efforts to be noticed and for them to bear fruit. Have career interviews with your employees more often than once a year. Especially for younger employees, it is important to know what their development opportunities are in half a year. You can also schedule 1:1 conversations on career development topics. Feel free to ask what else the employee knows and wants to do or what skill he has not been able to apply.

Highlight long term employees

Don’t forget your long-time employees, either. They also need confirmation that they are the organisation’s most valuable asset. They can share their expertise as a mentor to a new employee or a career changer, thus becoming a development partner. By the way, teaching others is the most effective way to learn. Employees with long experience should be remembered when important milestones are reached, and each one should be thanked individually and their strengths should be highlighted.

Value employees’ families

A rather vulnerable target group are those with children, especially parents with small children. They are often faced with the dilemma of how to maintain work-life balance. Are they good enough, committed both to the team and to their children? Constantly let parents of young children know that you value them as employees and their family. Your actions are more important than national family-friendly employer labels. Celebrate holidays like Christmas or Easter. Memories or joint activities are remembered for a long time, and caring about the employee is what keeps a person in the organisation.

What step will you take today to create a pleasant environment for your team, develop good relationships and recognize everyone? This is how you confirm that you care and retain your team.

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