Are you a manager who is worried about the retention in your team? I am sure your bonus is tied to retention. If not, are you genuinely interested in keeping your best people with you?

Companies invest a lot of time and money in hiring – precious employee hours to conduct interviews and money to pay job consultants or referral bonus. They definitely do not want to lose their valuable employees and hence retention is one of their key goals.

How do you retain people? There is no magic formula and one universal rule cannot be applied to everyone. Each person is different, so are their needs. If you understand what motivates your employees, you can retain them easily. Let’s have a look at the top motivation factors.

  1. Salary and Promotions

Everyone wants a high increment and timely promotions. But As a manager, you cannot promote everyone and give high increments. There is a bell curve you have to follow.

Among the top performers in your team, you may find some people who start bugging you for their promotion, months before the appraisal starts. These are the people who are driven by growth. Their promotion really matters to them and is their highest priority. If they are top performers, you cannot easily get away if you plan to delay their promotion. But a person who craves for promotion may not be a person who wants a high increment every year. These are separate things – desiring money and desiring growth.

Everyone in your team is not driven by this, you will find people who really don’t care. They are not bothered about their increments or promotions. They are motivated by something else – good work, flexibility or anything as mentioned below

2. Challenging work

If you notice, there are some people who are hungry for work. They love challenges. They are constantly learning new things. If you don’t give them the quality of work that they expect, they will start getting frustrated. If there is some boring, manual work such as documentation, they will not enjoy it. And if by mistake, you put such a person on bench, they cannot sustain sitting idle for long and will resign.

On the other hand, you will find some people who love repetitive work, for which they don’t have to strain the nerves of their brain. They like to do simple tasks such as running a simple report every month, and are content with it. So, understand your employees and allocate the right work to them.

3. Flexibility 

For some people, work quality or money is not important. They have other needs. eg: ability to work from home any day, flexible work hours, ability to take a vacation whenever they want. I am not trying to categorize but mostly these are the people who have kids. For them, it is important to manage their family. So, they prefer a job that is flexible in these terms.

If you have an employee who gets angry when you deny a leave, or when you poke your nose at his arrival timings in office. Reconsider. Try to understand the personal needs. To them, a hike doesn’t matter as much as this flexibility. The key to retaining every employee is different.

4. Engagement 

Office is a place where we spend most of our day. It should not feel like a jail. A place where everyone is glued to their desks all day, is not a happy place. People love to talk, gossip, and have fun at office. If you are providing such an environment, they will love to stick around. That is why, most companies focus on employee engagement. Team building activities really help to bring people together. If employees in the team know each other, they will be comfortable around each other. And smiles will float all the time.

Don’t depend only on the HR to organize team building activities. You should have weekly events within your own team – going together for a lunch, birthday parties, fun games etc. Be creative. Trust me, it really helps. If a person is happy, he will think twice before leaving.

5. Recognition

While everyone works hard, some people crave for appreciation. So, make sure to appreciate whoever deserves it. Some managers keep appreciating everyone in the team, and they rotate the best performer award. Employees also know the trick that it is just a tool to appease them. Are you using this golden rule – “Keep everyone happy by nominating one person for award each month (or whatever cycle your company follows)”

This is wrong and will not help you. Give award to only those who deserve it. Because some people work for real recognition. Don’t cheat them and let others strive to achieve the trophy.

I hope you have noticed some of these factors in your team members. And I hope you will keep these in mind to raise your retention rating.

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