Employee retention is a puzzle that can seem impossible in a normal year. Enter a global pandemic and hiring shortages, and it is even more critical that you are actively creating a workplace that your employees will feel a sense of loyalty to and want to stay at to advance their career.
Sure, that’s easy to say, but how do you create such a workplace? We have a few ideas that have helped us, and we are always happy to share (and learn if you have ideas of your own!)
It’s important to know that we try to approach every initiative with a lean mindset. If you are unsure what a lean mindset is, we invite you to come visit how it is ingrained in our culture. In a nutshell: lean is eliminating waste and improving quality through continuous improvement. Starting to use this thinking will prove to have positive short term and long term effects on both your people and your product (and therefore - your customers), a win/win/win every time.
With a lean mindset in mind, here are 3 surefire ways to better employee retention:
1. Make them comfortable.
According to Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, extreme heat “can reduce the energy, focus and passion employees can dedicate to their tasks.” Discomfort that crosses dangerously with workplace safety in extreme climates needs to be addressed by facility leaders and planned for ahead of the seasonal changes.
Providing a healthier and more comfortable workspace for your employees is conversation we have frequently with our project leaders – but to be authentic, we needed to be sure that we were holding ourselves accountable. St. Louis, where our headquarters are, is known for its heat and humidity, and our employees could certainly feel the effects. We couldn’t figure out the best path to fix that, until we started working closer to evaporative cooling technology that is designed for high-bay buildings like ours. Now that we’ve designed, manufactured and installed a two-stage direct and indirect cooling unit for our building, there is a great sense of relief knowing that our employees will have a much more enjoyable working environment when the warmer months are back.
2. Create autonomy to better their workplaces.
It’s time to abandon top-down directives that could rely on inefficient, miscalculated or unnecessary processes. A lean culture depends on each employee’s genius to be an expert in their own processes workspace, and to be able to improve upon them as they see fit.
Imagine being encouraged to fix a process or a process that has been bugging you. Is there a better way to log that test? Is there too much back and forth motion between lines? Your employees probably already know a better way to do things, allow them to implement change (with the understanding that quality and safety must be maintained) and everyone will see the reward.
The continuous improvement that comes from having ownership over processes and workspace will not only provide better quality to your customers but will create a higher satisfaction to your workers.
3. Celebrate them.
It’s easy to get caught up in deadlines, budgets and day-to-day crises - so much so that you forget to notice the achievements your team has made. Going too long without pausing to celebrate the progress made, the hard work of your employees and the milestones passed might make you lose sight of what you’ve accomplished and how much hard work your team put in to get there.
What steps are you taking to create a healthy (both physically and mentally) for your employees? We’re always looking to improve upon our practices!