Companies lose a lot when employees quit, especially if the one who leaves is a new hire. The money and manpower it cost to recruit, hire and train the new employee is wasted, and the business is required to start the process all over again. Technology and social media have made it a lot easier for workers to search for jobs, so companies need to be more strategic on how to recruit new employees and also how to keep them motivated.
A new study from the Harvard Business School found that instead of forcing new employees to adhere to the company’s culture, employers should focus on what their new hires want in a working environment. This will reduce turnover and increase performance.
The nine-month experiment at an Indian call centre divided workers into two groups; one whose introduction to the company focused on the organisation and the other whose orientation was individually focused. The organisation-focused group had a 250 per cent greater chance of turnover than the individually focused group.
The orientation of the latter group asked new hires the following questions:
1. What is unique about you that leads to your happiest times and best performance at work?”
2. Reflect on a specific time—perhaps on a job, perhaps at home—when you were acting the way you were born to act.
The group got similar results with a lab experiment with students doing data entry, and found that the individually focused groups worked harder and produced better work than others.
People feel less nervous and uncertain in a new position when they’re playing to their strengths as a person and employee. They also know that they’re adding worth to the company, which gives them a sense that what they’re doing also has purpose and isn’t some mindless, useless task.
Also, knowing what makes an employee happiest at work gives managers insight to motivating them in the future.
“When you understand how people work and how they want you to communicate with them, then you can be a better manager,” says Nate Bagley, the director of communications at The Bold Academy. “If you’re having issues with your employees, ask them what they don’t like about their jobs and don’t be offended when it’s not what you want to hear.”
We asked Eddie Lou, a founder and CEO of Chicago startup Shiftgig whether compensation makes a difference or not for employees in their decision to stay at a company, and he says that “it is rarely about money as most small businesses can’t afford to pay as much as large corporations can pay.”
Here are four tips that have helped him keep young employees on board at Shiftgig:
- Hire the right type of people that have a conviction for the company’s mission
- Set expectations and give them room to make an impact
- Reward them based on performance
- Have a fun corporate culture with open communication
These new hires have applied to your small business because something about the business has appealed to them. Find out what it is, and make it a focus of how you treat them.
Read the full paper here.
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