Ibrahim Alkurd is CEO of New Mine, a blockchain mining hardware and software company, and a partner at Lavaliere Capital, a digital asset hedge fund.
There’s an old saying in the business world that you should hire slow and fire quickly, meaning that you should take your time when onboarding new employees and let people go quickly if they aren’t a good fit for your company. Hiring is a complex and timely process to navigate. Once you’ve successfully completed your hiring process, it’s incredibly important to have measures in place that retain your employees. If you’re not paying attention to the happiness of your employees, you risk losing them. Losing good talent can have a detrimental effect on your company. So as a business leader, what can you do in order to retain your employees?
1. Identify employees who will stick with you.
Retention starts in the hiring process. You need to ask the right questions in the interview process to see whether someone genuinely wants to work for your company. A good way of assessing this is by looking at the number of companies that person has worked at over the last five to 10 years. If they’re constantly changing jobs, this can be an indication that they will struggle to settle with your company.
Moving into a new company can be a challenging process for anyone. Make sure that you have regular discussions with new employees in order to see what issues they might be facing. This can be done by having reviews at quarterly intervals throughout their first year. If something is bothering them, show that you genuinely care by taking steps toward resolving their issue.
However, don’t neglect older employees. Just because they’ve settled into the company doesn’t mean that they aren’t still facing challenges. I’ve found that speaking to team members in an informal setting, such as a restaurant, can foster very healthy discussions. People can be far more open when out of the work environment.
3. Honor their contracts.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen some companies, especially startups, fail to fulfill the contracts that employees sign. An example of this was when a competitor of ours failed to pay out the sales bonus to one of its employees. As a result, the employee of the competitor ended up applying for a role at my company.
Incidents like this can create friction between the employer and the employee. Doing your utmost to honor employee contracts is necessary in order to build trust and healthy relationships which I believe is the foundation upon which all successful companies are built.
4. Allow remote working.
Covid-19 has caused a massive spike in remote working, and I believe this is one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. Offering your employees the option to work from home can come with a lot of benefits for them and for the company, a topic I’ve previously written about. In fact, a recent survey conducted by IBM found that 54% of employees would prefer to primarily work remotely even after the threat of the virus has passed.
Of course, the amount of remote working you can offer will depend on what type of company you run. Many technology companies can easily offer remote work. Unfortunately, this is not the case for other industries.
5. Offer competitive benefits.
Benefits such as health insurance, gym memberships and travel assistance can go a long way in keeping your employees happy. Although it may seem like an added cost, you can expect to earn it back through a more motivated and loyal team. For benefits, you can allocate an annual budget per person and give your employees the option of which benefits they want to choose. Having employee-selected benefits will help you to tailor to the needs of different team members.
The longer employees are with you, the more productive they become. A good leader will look to not only hire the right people, but also to retain their team members. Listen to the needs of your team, and take actionable steps toward creating a better work environment for all.