How to retain employees during low unemployment

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Unemployment is at an all time low. While this is good news for the U.S. economy, it can mean tumultuous times for business owners. When unemployment is low, it means it’s easier for workers to bounce from job to job. It also means that top talent is already employed so other companies will be trying to recruit your employees.

Want to keep your employees from roaming? Consider deploying the following to keep your employees enthusiastic and engaged.

  1. A culture that excites

Building an exciting company culture starts with a mission people can get behind. A great mission gives your employees a reason to come to work in the morning. An example of a mission that can excite comes from Life Is Good®, which aims to spread the power of optimism.

Of course, you need to hire people who believe in your mission to create the shared mindset that is one of the keystones of a strong company culture. To hire people who are interested in your mission, ask questions during job interviews that will help you determine what they care about.

Once you have hired a workforce who embodies your values, create written actions that describe what you want the culture to be and then ask management to abide by them. Eventually, attitudes will trickle down and you’ll have something close to the culture you want. Just remember that culture is a living thing and can change at any moment.

  1. Personalized employee perks

A trend starting to pop up in some companies is personalized employee perks. Personalized perks are benefits that the employees choose based on what motivates them.

Employees earn points for good performance and then can redeem their points for a number of rewards at different redemption levels in categories. At the company N6A, the categories are “health, travel, experiences, transportation and housing, quality of life, cash and dream pick – packages actual employees listed as a dream reward.”

Personalized employee perks are so successful at inspiring a workforce because it sends the message that all employees are valuable to the company - not just the ones who might fit into a certain mold. The program is particularly well suited to Millennials and Gen Z who like new ways of approaching office standards.

  1. Onboarding that integrates

The quickest way to lose an employee is a poor onboarding process. Make the onboarding process easy on yourself by creating a checklist. This checklist from HubSpot is a great start:

Before the first day:

1. Acquire necessary paperwork (W-4, I-9, Insurance forms, Direct Deposit forms)

2. Ask new hire to review company employee handbook, and sign non-disclosure agreement

3. Prepare a workstation for your new hire 

4. Gather necessary tools, including technology such as a computer, and/or access to required software (i.e. Photoshop)

5. Provide new hire with company email 

6. Give new hire reading material, including company-wide policies and procedures, an organization chart, and a description of her role, as well as the company's values, mission, and culture (unless this is included in employee handbook)

On the first day: 

1. Provide new hire with all necessary information, including dress code, where she can park, what time she should arrive, and what she should bring

2. Prepare team ahead of time -- let them know the new hire is arriving, so they can greet her when she gets to her workstation

3. Reserve time on your team's calendar for a "Welcome" lunch for the new hire, and tell the new hire ahead of time

4. Give your new hire a tour of the office, including bathrooms, kitchen, and support desk

5. Set up a one to one between manager and employee, so manager can explain what is expected of the new hire, how the department is structured, and answer questions the new hire might have

6. Assign the new hire a mentor, and ask mentor to set up a time to have lunch with the new hire

7. Give new hire a "30-day plan", with reading material and important information regarding what is expected of her first month on the team

During the first week, consider asking both the new hire and her manager to take the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment if they haven’t already as a part of the hiring process. For the first month, check in weekly on performance. For more checklist items, refer to the article on HubSpot.

Conclusion

If you keep your workforce enthusiastic and engaged then you can rest easy that you’ve done everything you can to keep them from roaming. Aside from a payday they can’t resist, your employees should be here to stay through this time of low unemployment. Now sit back and enjoy the better things a good economy brings, like more customers.

About Steve Picarde

Steve Picarde, Jr. Headshot

Steve is the President of PI Midlantic, the largest Predictive Index® Certified Partner in the world. PI Midlantic is breaking the cycle of disengagement in the workplace. It starts with hiring the right people for the right jobs, igniting enthusiasm, and then unleashing their productivity as part of an all-encompassing approach to talent optimization.

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