How to Drive Retention in a Tough Job Market

By Angel Camacho, Vice President, Environmental Services

With the national unemployment rate currently at less than four percent, there are fewer people searching for jobs, which has led to staffing challenges across multiple industries. Along with a smaller pool of candidates, there are more employment opportunities today than ever before, creating stiff competition within the job market. To overcome these challenges, it’s important to focus on internal efforts to improve retention, ensure current employees are satisfied with their job, and that they continue to stay with the organization. To drive retention and employee morale, there are five key areas that every company should intentionally invest in to address this challenge.

A Culture that Empowers Teamwork

A culture of belonging is vital to cultivating teamwork. As people join an organization, it’s important to show them their worth from day one. Introduce them to others, make them feel valued no matter what task they are doing. Leaders can foster this type of culture by leading by example and always soliciting feedback from their team. With strong communication and empowered employees, a positive environment will be created.

Training and Education to Build a Winning Environment

The biggest thing an organization can do to ensure retention and organizational success is providing onboarding programs, strong, detailed trainings, and continuing education. Ensuring that all these things are done properly and effectively sets the team up for success and serves as guidelines so that employees truly understand their roles and responsibilities and are able to continually grow.

shutterstock_1375932254Rewards and Recognition Programs to Encourage the Team

Encouraging and supporting employees will greatly enhance the service being provided to the end customer. Creating a formalized program to honor and recognize team members for their achievements provides clear expectations for team members, builds excitement and morale, and encourages teamwork to achieve goals. Consider providing awards for tenure, safety, service excellence,  teamwork, and any other metrics that are important to your organization. Announce and celebrate these achievements at team meetings or share them on social media or internal messaging platforms. In addition to public recognition, offering monetary awards for service is also an excellent way to encourage and motivate the team.

Develop Career Path Plans for Advancement

From a retention standpoint, companies have to be able to provide growth and upward mobility opportunities for employees. Review positions and work among the leadership team to determine career path plans for individuals who have the desire and ability to grow professionally. As an example, an entry level team member may move into a trainer position, or become a shift supervisor, with the ultimate goal of moving into an assistant director role. Positioning employees for success will encourage them to continue to grow professionally within the company over the long term.

Employ Leaders that Embody the Company’s Mission and Values

Ultimately, a major factor to driving retention among staff is ensuring that the leaders of the organization truly embody the company’s mission, vision, and values. A leadership team that leads by example and is servant-minded will greatly contribute to the employees’ and organization’s success.

An organization built with exceptional leaders, strong training programs, a positive environment, a team of appreciated employees, and opportunities for advancement helps companies to overcome the challenges associated with employee retention.