5 Employee Retention Strategies to Transform Project Teams

September 19, 2018 By

Employee contracts have evolved over the years, leading to what’s now known as the gig economy. Contingent labor is seen as a mutually beneficial route, with firms receiving value from cost-efficient resources while their employees enjoy working in a flexible environment minus the pressure of looming deadlines.

From people who’ve remained loyal to the firm they started out in to entrepreneurs founding their very own companies, your manpower is the factor driving and sustaining business continuity in the long run. It follows naturally then, that improving employee retention strategies lets you leverage true potential for the years to come.

It starts with knowing what your people are looking for and identifying opportunities that are of interest to them. Once they finalize what they’ll upskill and retrain in, they’d be better informed of their advancements in the workplace, in turn keeping you informed of what it is that they’re looking to get out of their role.

Consequently, you’d be able to place them on the right projects that utilize their capabilities. Skilled labor is a revolving door, with people walking in and out of it the minute they feel undervalued or overworked. This scenario arises when resource availability within project management is unscientifically guesstimated.

Let’s face it; resource schedules that overlap is no one’s friend. It not only creates an imbalance in productivity scales but also causes your staff to request clarifications repeatedly, which inevitably stalls the sequential flow to tasks planned for the project delivery. Working in an unstructured environment causes a dip in employee morale, leading to a disconnect and the gradual inability to strategically align talent to enterprise-wide objectives. So,

Which 5 Strategies Improve Employee Retention?

It all boils down to nurturing a collaborative environment where your staff are encouraged to ideate confidently. The strategies you use to retain the best minds, therefore, hinges on the transparency and forethought invested in the process end-to-end. Presenting the following 5 strategies to give you a head start:

1. Engineer a Well-rounded Company Orientation Program

50% of the respondents in Quantumworkplace’s survey placed attracting top talent as the first priority for 2018. This is where the Employee Welcome Kit comes into play. By organizing a formal orientation around the company, your current and new hires are informed of ongoing policies being implemented. Irrespective of their job role and seniority, your staff get acquainted with each other, in turn informing you of their personal and professional interests.

Start with a walkthrough of the company history that incorporates employee anecdotes, which keeps them engaged right from the very start. Delegate the responsibility of organizing ice breaker sessions amongst your existing staff in order to let them participate in proactive employee retention strategies that utilize cutting-edge technical and business knowledge.

Employees who’re better acquainted with each other’s body of work stand a better chance of finding people to talk to regarding their progress. You can even initiate seasoned and junior staff into a mentorship scheme where they can benefit from the extra pair of hands while learning the ropes of the business. Moreover, experienced staff can support their mentee’s progress while encouraging them to spot and correct their own mistakes along the learning curve.

HR team discussing on the impact of effective employee retention strategies.

2. Support on initiatives from senior management

Senior management sitting at the topmost rung of the corporate ladder have their fair share of responsibilities to shoulder. But as the face of the company, they can’t afford to distance themselves from employee-centric activities. This is where cultivating an agile culture finds its sweet spot. A flat structure encourages current applicants to get acquainted with the company objectives from those who’ve walked the path before.

Hiring the right people is the halfway point, keeping them is the other half. Winning support from your Board of Directors on enterprise-wide retention strategies lets them weigh in on where your proposed changes apply. Besides, everyone starts small before moving up, meaning that their wealth of experience and knowledge over different aspects of the project can help new hires comb through the lessons learned. They’d feel better supported from senior management who’re aware of these challenges and can draw back to their own personal experience to help counter it.

Moreover, current and new staff would base their decision to remain on how senior managers follow up on the action items promised. The more your senior management shows genuine concern over employee well-being by approving and supporting your employee retention strategy, the more it lets your employees introspect their own fit long-term.

3. Talent Recognition

The first step to recognizing talent is to identify your team member’s primary and secondary skills. The next step in the sequence is to recall projects whose progress can be accelerated if the right quantity of secondary skills are deployed. Instead of having existing team members overwork themselves till frustration levels peak, staff possessing the know-how can integrate their findings and add to the information pool, thereby fostering effective collaborations.

There’s a two-way advantage here to giving your staff the opportunity to diversify secondary skills; your resources get to explore an area of interest outside their BAU while you don’t exceed the allocated resourcing budget with unnecessary external hires.

4. Scheduled Rewarding System

The procedure for scheduling raises requires complete transparency so that your staff know no one’s given preferential treatment. Any monetary or non-monetary rewards need to be awarded purely on the grounds of merit and performance metrics.

This strategy, when extended to temporary hires who work alongside your full-time staff encourages them to cost their work in return for the option to explore various niches before settling into one. Dedicating a wall of fame with pictures of weekly high-performers draws attention to their contributions while encouraging quick learners to follow suit.

On the other side of the coin, your project teams would have employees who require additional support in the form of training programs. In order to give your entire resource pool an equal footing at bringing their capabilities to the surface, it’s worth investing in tutorial workshops that arm your under-utilized staff with the required know-how and confidence to take up projects, which lets them gain first hand experience. Your employees’ future performance would reflect the time and efforts they’ve invested into improvements!

5. Feedback Collection

As the old saying goes, ‘people leave managers, not companies’. Use exit interviews to record what your ex-employees liked and disliked during their association with the firm. Having this information template lets you inspect your processes closely and ensure that the same issue doesn’t sneak up on prospective applicants.

As important as it is to give your employees feedback on their overall performance, hearing what they have to say is a key ingredient to develop employee retention strategies. It brings up concerns that you might have either forgotten about or overlooked in the course of running business processes.

A sure-fire way to improve your employee retention strategy is to implement ideas suggested by your own employees. Be it quirky, different or a fun team-building activity that brings out your staff’s secondary interests, feedback lets your staff know that the company they’re working for is hearing them out.

During year-end appraisals, pass around survey forms to ask the right questions pertaining to how your staff felt about the extent and effectiveness of team collaborations within departments, tasks, schedules and conflicts that transpired over the duration of multiple cross-departmental projects. Include space for non-monetary benefits such as remote work options that let them space their work without compromising on quality.

While there are several means to keeping your workforce happy and healthy, the the perfect launchpad to get you and your resources talking lies within these best employee retention strategies. Tell us which one went the distance for you!

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Namratha Mohan

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