4 Creative Ideas for Reducing Employee Churn

You already know that you need to pay employees fairly and offer them a comprehensive benefits package. But today’s hiring environment is more competitive than ever. Today, we’re sharing 4 creative ideas for reducing employee churn.

Many companies focus their efforts on hiring the best and brightest employees, but what about making sure the great ones you have stick around?

After all, when an employee leaves your company, it will cost you about 33% of their annual salary to hire a replacement, according to Employee Benefit News. That means that you’d be paying $15,000 when an employee earning $45,000 a year decides to leave. That’s a lot to leave on the table.

A high churn rate is also bad for company culture and morale. According to TalentKeepers, 71% of organizational leaders believe that employee turnover has a very large effect on morale and culture.

Not every employee can stay forever. However, the study by Employee Benefits News found that 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable. That means your company can make efforts to reduce employee churn, ultimately saving costs and improving overall morale.

You already know that you need to pay employees fairly and offer them a comprehensive benefits package. But today’s hiring environment is more competitive than ever. Today, we’re sharing 4 creative ideas for reducing employee churn.

1. Hire the Right People– Especially the Right Managers

Company cultures matter a lot in retention– employees are 40% less likely to look for a new job if they feel positively about their work culture, according to a report by TINYpulse. What’s backing your culture and making it great? The people you hire. It’s essential to hire the right people– those who believe in your mission– at the start.

This is especially important when considering who you hire to run your teams. The TINYpulse study revealed that employees with respectful managers are 32% less likely to think about a new job and employees who are micromanaged are 28% more likely to think about a new job. When it comes to hiring, be deliberate. Look for people who are committed to your mission from the get-go, especially managers who are capable and willing to coach and inspire.

2. Offer Unique and Unexpected Benefits and Perks

Unemployment rates are at an all time low. That’s good for employees, but hard for employers who want to staff their companies with the best possible talent. To increase retention and encourage employees to stay, employers are increasingly offering unique and unexpected benefits and perks.

These perks go far beyond a pool table in the break room or free snack– the newest, most attractive perks work for all generations and help employees build better, more fulfilling lives inside and outside of work.

Here are some of the unique perks employers are offering:

  • Student loan repayment plans – Companies are now offering assistance with student loan repayment, as 70% of today’s emerging workforce have substantial student loan debt, according to the New York Federal ReservePrograms like Peanut Butter can help manage student loan assistance.
  • Career coaching – Employees want to grow their skill sets, and career coaching can help. Coaching helps employees develop leadership skills and improves their overall satisfaction.
  • Financial wellness education – Regardless of their salaries, employees often have financial goals such as buying homes, saving for retirements, or funding college savings accounts for their children. The more resources you can provide, the better.
  • Digital health solutions – From smoking cessation programs, to diabetes management, to mental health portals, there are more new digital health solutions available to employers than ever.

While these options are great, simple recognition from management is also extremely important, and a great way to get started.

3. Give Flexibility that Accounts for the Whole Person

Your employees work for your company, but they’re also people. They have hopes, dreams, families, obligations, and personal goals.

Today’s workers want to work somewhere that’s flexible and can accommodate who they are outside of work. A study by EY reports that 74% employees want “the ability to work flexibly.” They want to take time off for doctor’s appointments and events at their kids school without much fuss. They want to be able to work remotely and at hours that work best for them.

Remote work, in particular, can have a positive impact on employee retention. A study by TINYpulse found companies that don’t support remote work gave a 25% lower retention rate than those who do. While it may not be realistic for you to allow workers to work from home all the time, you may be able to update your policy to account for occasional days from home.

4. Prioritize Communication, Goal-Setting, and Future Career Growth

Your employees want more than a steady paycheck. They want to learn, grow, and advance their careers. That’s why access to professional development increases retention by 10%, according to TINYpulse.

Although Indeed reports that 46% of employees stay at their companies less than 5 years, 90% of millennials would choose to stay in a job for the next 10 years if they knew they'd get annual raises and upward career mobility, according to Qualtrics. Additionally, 64.4% of employees cite further career advancement the #1 consideration for employees switching roles.

In order to prioritize communication, goal-setting, and future career growth, be sure to sync up regularly with 1:1 meetings, set quarterly goals with employees, and offer employees career coaching to help them get to where they need to go.

When it comes to reducing employee churn, there are a number of avenues you can turn to. You can’t keep everyone around forever, but you can hire the right people, offer smart benefits, give more flexibility, and prioritize communication and career growth for employees.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018.

Can Diversity Help You Attract and Retain Employees?

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability, and today’s job-seekers look for companies that prioritize it. In this post, we’re sharing the facts about why diversity is good for business, and how it helps attract and retain employees.

Having employees from different backgrounds creates an enriched, engaged company culture that’s good for business. Even so, there’s a large wage gap in the U.S.– with women making 20% less than their male counterparts. Additionally, racial wealth gaps continue to be a widespread problem.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact sources of these disparities, it’s clear that diversity helps attract and retain employees at a company. In fact, according to a 2017 report by the National Institute for Public Relations, “Nearly half of American millennials say a diverse and inclusive workplace is an important factor in a job search.”

This is likely because employees who feel that they’re accepted and appreciated for who they are – no matter what their gender, age, or ethnic background – are happier. Happy staff is more productive and less likely to leave prematurely. A study by Social Market Foundation revealed that happy employees are 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability, and today’s job-seekers look for companies that prioritize it. In this post, we’re sharing the facts about why diversity is good for business, and how it helps attract and retain employees.

Diversity leads to a more positive and inclusive company culture

Valuing and respecting different perspectives leads to a more positive company culture. In an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, employees feel safe sharing their perspectives. This creates an engaging, motivating environment for all employees, one where everyone feels included. And of course, the more engaged your employees are, the more productive they will be.

Company culture should play a big role in your recruiting process as well. For example, out of 14,000 professionals surveyed on LinkedIn, 51% stated that when interviewing with a company, they want to visit your office to learn more about your culture. Plus, 46% want to hear directly from your employees about the what life is like at your company. You can’t exactly create brand ambassadors when your company culture is weak.

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability

Diversity serves to include people from all walks of life and is good for a company’s bottom line, according to McKinsey.

McKinsey found that companies in the top 25% for ethnic diversity at the executive level were 33% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. Similarly, companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above-average profitability.  

Profitable companies are better equipped to offer competitive wages, opportunities for employee development, and other benefits that can help attract potential employees.   

Plus, according to a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY, diversity also leads to a myriad of additional benefits such as: continuous innovation, enhanced team performance, better decision-making, increased motivation, and enhanced reputation. Employees want to work for profitable, innovative companies with good reputations, as evidenced by the 57 million unique visits to Glassdoor's employer review site each month.

Diversity fosters innovation at all levels – making the company a better place to work

In a world where everyone’s the same, it’s hard to think outside the box. How can you come up with new innovative solutions? Diversity has been proven to lead to better brainstorming. Not only that, but a new study from North Carolina State University postulates that diversity in the workplace is good for innovation.

“There is a business case for diversity,” Richard Warr, a professor of finance and coauthor of the research, told Fast Company. “It’s not just about trying to be nice. It’s good for business. It not only helps in terms of perception. It actually produces better outcomes.”

When employees are motivated, creative, and connected, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

Diversity makes employees feel at home – and prospects seek it out

Imagine if you walked into an office where everyone looked the same and seemingly offered the same perspective. If you didn’t share the same perspective as your colleagues, this could make you feel uncomfortable, and it’s why some of the best and brightest seek out companies with diverse cultures.

As mentioned earlier, according to a 2017 report by the National Institute for Public Relations, “Nearly half of American millennials say a diverse and inclusive workplace is an important factor in a job search.” Additionally, SHRM found that 65% of employees consider respectful treatment of all employees as a very important contributor to overall job satisfaction.

Now imagine you walked into an office with a variety of different people from varying backgrounds. All of these different perspectives help to build a rich company culture, which is what many employees are looking for.

Prospective employees are seeking businesses that value diverse and inclusive workplaces, and are more likely to stick around when they feel appreciated by successful organizations. The advantages of workplace diversity – a more positive company culture, an increase in profitability, and an atmosphere of inclusivity – are just a few of the many benefits of creating a diverse working environment, helping to attract and retain employees.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018. 

How to Write Job Descriptions That Attract the Right Candidates

Attracting the best candidate means creating the perfect job description, and we’re sharing the steps to create one here. You want an employee that will step into the office and get along with their coworkers, know how to get the job done and be able to bring new insights and ideas to the table.

Attracting the best candidate means creating the perfect job description. You want an employee that will step into the office and get along with their coworkers, know how to get the job done and be able to bring new insights and ideas to the table.

Up to 60% of US employees are currently considering looking for a new job, according to Gallup. Given those numbers, there are a lot of people on the lookout for the perfect position. So, how do you find someone who understands (or will quickly learn) how to use your systems and fits right in with your current team? An important step in finding the best person is at the very beginning: your job description.

The job description is often the candidate’s first glimpse into your company’s culture, and if done right, will encourage the right candidate to apply while also minimizing applications from unqualified candidates.

Use Clear and Searchable Words in the Job Title

People search for jobs in the same way they search for most things– through a search engine. Creating a clearly stated job title that is relevant to the job and easily found on job boards and search engines is the first step in hiring the right candidate. The job title is not the place to show your quirky or creative side. For example, some company cultures encourage cute nicknames in their job titles (ninja, guru, etc), but no one is going to search for a job using those terms. Use a job title that explains exactly who you’re looking for, for example:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Aircraft Mechanic
  • Project Manager
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Electrician

You can get more creative in the company culture description, but keep the title more straight forward and searchable.

Outline Job Responsibilities Clearly

When you’re interviewing a new hire, you want them to have a good idea of what the job entails. That’s why it’s essential to outline responsibilities clearly in the job description. This ensures that a prospective hire is on board with the position before the interview process starts, ultimately saving you from interviewing candidates who aren’t very good fits.

Here’s an example of some clear job responsibilities for an administrative assistant:

  • Provide administrative support to business owners and senior leaders
  • Strategically manage calendars in a fast-paced environment
  • Coordinate, manage, and schedule conference calls, events, meetings, and company outings
  • Plan and book travel arrangements for employees when necessary
  • Work with little supervision to support staff

Set a Salary Range

Setting a clear salary range in the job description helps to screen candidates before the interview process begins. It allows for differences in experience, education, and negotiations to be made. A range will also protect your company against bias. While legal in Hawaii, in some states and cities, it is now illegal to ask a candidate about their previous salary during the interview process, therefore it’s important the range is established before the interview process begins. And because salary is often a reason people look for a new position, listing salary ranges can save time on both your end and the prospective employee’s. Providing a competitive salary for any position is key to finding the best candidate and may require a little research. Look into what competitors are offering for the same position, taking into account your budget and needs. Salary tools on Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn.com can offer some more clarity here.

Describe Your Company Culture

While on the job hunt, potential candidates will envision themselves at your company based on your description of your company’s culture within the job description. This is your opportunity to showcase your differences and describe what it is like to work for your company. For example, does your team do monthly pau hanas? Have offsite meetings? Do you have a great team culture? Are you family-friendly? Share the qualities that make your company different from the rest.

Keep the Skills List Short and Sweet

List the skills that are most important to the job. Many job descriptions list skills that are not directly applicable to the job or are so broad no one feels as though they have every desired skill. Be sure to include both “soft skills” (like communication, problem solving, or strategic thinking) as well as “hard skills” (for example, proficient in a foreign language, a specific certification, or expertise in a program). List exactly what you need from the right candidate, and the perfect candidate will apply with confidence.

Highlight Working Relationships

We know that building employee relationships is crucial to productive and efficient employees, and these quality relationships can begin in the job description. Tell the candidate who they will be working with and reporting to. Providing a short segment about the current employees will show people are proud to work with the company and give the candidate names and glimpses of personalities before they’ve even walked in the door.

A good job description will help attract the right candidates for your company and make the hiring process much easier and efficient. Include these details, and with a little fine-tuning and patience, you’ll be able to fulfill any position with the right candidate.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018. 

What Hawaii Business Owners Can Learn From Other Businesses’ Parental Leave Policies

Whether family leave becomes state mandated in Hawaii or not, business owners in Hawaii can enable people to find a balance between their personal and professional lives – so in the long-term, employees will be encouraged to stay with your company.

With all the recent buzz around the advancement of Hawaii’s paid family leave legislation passing through the House and Senate, with the addition of a study to conduct a thorough analysis on the best way to frame the law awaiting the Governor’s signature, it’s no surprise that leave policies across the globe are quickly becoming a hot topic amongst business owners, people managers, and HR experts.

In fact, in today’s candidate-driven job market, family leave policies can give companies a competitive advantage in not only attracting and hiring, but also with retaining top talent. On top of that, businesses benefit from greater employee loyalty and productivity.

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), covered employers in the United States must grant FMLA leave to eligible employees for one or more of the following situations:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

For this blog post, we’ll be focusing primarily on parental leave policies.

So how are other companies and countries approaching leave? What are some of the top companies here in the United States today regarding parental leave in their benefits packages? And what can business owners in Hawaii learn from them in order to create their own leave policy?

How the U.S. Compares with Other Countries

From coast to coast and country to country, parental leave policies differ greatly. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents. This intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, and by their definition, parental leave can be segmented into four main categories:

  • Maternity Leave

Commonly referred to as “pregnancy leave,” working mothers across many countries have their employment status protected after birth and/or adoption. One of the best maternity leave policies comes from Norway. New Nordic moms can take 35 weeks at full pay or 45 weeks at 80 percent pay.

  • Paternity Leave

Employment-protected leave of absence for employed fathers during the first few weeks or months after childbirth is gradually starting to improve in countries with supportive workplace policies in place. Take Iceland for example, where parents can split their nine months of post-childbirth leave.

  • Parental Leave

While family leave – or maternity and paternity leave – is what most American consider when they think of parental leave, there are countries that offer employment protection after the initial family leave period. The reality is, in almost half of two-parent households, both parents now work full-time and require flexibility and time-off in order to care for their families. In Lithuania, parents get an additional 156 weeks to share after their maternity/paternity period. Parents have the option to have it paid out at 100% for the first 52 weeks (until the child is turns 1) or 70% for the first 104 weeks (until the child is 2 years old).

  • Home-Care Leave

While this type of leave is the least common across the globe, some countries do offer employment-protected leaves of absence that allow at least one parent to remain at home to provide care until the child is two or three years of age. Which countries are leading the way with this? The Czech Republic provides two years of leave while Finland, Slovakia and Estonia all provide three years of paid leave.

While it’s smart to know what other countries are doing in regard to best business practices, there are also plenty of U.S. companies making great strides in their parental leave policies that we can learn from.

Learn from the Leaders of the Pack

Generally speaking, tech giants have been the leader in setting the most flexible and generous parental leave policies. From Facebook to Amazon, these brands understand the value of offering their employees flexible work schedules and parental perks, such as on-site child care, extra cash towards baby necessities, and designated nursing rooms to name a few.

But it’s not just tech companies that are attracting talent with their benefit offerings.

Companies like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers 52 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave, while Etsy has an inclusive policy with 26 weeks of paid parental leave over the course of two years for biological, adoptive, and surrogate parents. Some of the best parental leave policies even include egg-freezing services and adoption fee reimbursement.

Getting Started: Developing a Parental Leave Policy

A supportive working environment can help employees feel they can bring their best selves to work, benefiting both employees and employers. As business owners in Hawaii evolve their benefits to meet the needs of employees, here’s how to get started when developing a parental leave and perks program:

1. Do Your Research

We shared a snapshot above of what industry leaders are offering in terms of benefits, because it’s always smart to start by looking outside of your four walls. Many companies today have great programs in place, so take some time to research how other organizations are supporting parents. Don’t feel the need to stick to a “traditional” plan either. Some companies put innovative solutions in place that are customized to their own company culture and people.

As you plan for what works best for you, here are a few components to consider:

  • Parental Leave
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Spousal and Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Extended Family Care
  • Work Environment Accommodations
    • On-Site Child Care
    • Nursing Mothers Stations/Private Rooms
  • Child Care Reimbursement
  • Reduced/Flexible Work Hours

2. Figure Out What Works Best For Your Company

While it’s tempting to take the best aspects of all the policies and try to make them fit into your handbook, the reality is every company has unique needs and challenges. Narrowing down your research to companies in your space, at a similar stage of growth, and with a similar employee base can offer you a blueprint of what can potentially work and what could go wrong. From there, you can start putting together pieces and parts of what you think works best for your specific needs.

For example, a real estate firm might be able to offer flexible work-from-home hours while a local furniture shop would not be able to provide employees with the same benefit.

3. Run the Numbers

It’s important to balance between generosity towards your employees and practicality for running a business, so make sure to take a hard look at the data before rolling out a program. At the same time, while it's wise to consider your company's expenses, and the cost and time to replace new employees, should an expecting mother quit due to a company's poor policy, it could cost more than the maternity leave itself.

Try modeling potential programs and considering how they would each impact your workforce and your ability to run the business given the number of potential parents down the road. Being able to back your program with data will make it a better sell if you have to present it to the leadership team as well.

Overall, what can we learn when it comes to parental leave offered in other developed countries and the top companies in the United States?

The most apparent lesson is simple: The U.S. is significantly lagging when it comes to mandating policies to strive for family-friendly workplaces. A supportive working environment can help employees feel they can bring their best selves to work, benefiting both employees and employers. Whether family leave becomes state mandated or not, business owners in Hawaii can enable people to find a balance between their personal and professional lives – so in the long-term, employees will be encouraged to stay with your company.

And when you’re ready to kick off your updated parental leave policy, we’re here to help you manage these benefits.