PartTimer | 5 ways to improve employee retention and motivation

5 ways to improve employee retention and motivation

Jan 29 2018

Something many employers struggle with is maintaining employees and finding out what keeps them motivated. Since everyone is different, it can be hard finding something that suits everyone. This New Year, make sure you don’t lose any valuable employees.


1. Open door policy

If you remember going to talk to your boss as an employee (especially a younger one), you’ll remember how intimidating and nerve-wracking it was. The open door policy is a move to help your employees feel more connected with you as an employer. It means that your door is always ‘open’ and anyone from any sector of the business can come in and talk to you on a horizontal level. This encourages even the new employees to come and speak to you if they have any comments, questions or problems. This offers a new approach to usual protocol which might be to speak to a manager about your problems first, which further distances the relationship between employer and employee. The open door policy is a better alternative to hierarchical systems, as it helps to make you more approachable and relatable. It also improves transparency within your company and helps to improve employee retention, as they will feel as though you’re willing to listen to them. Feeling as though their opinions and comments are valued is important for retention. It is a much better practise to communicate directly than to pass the information along a hierarchical chain to the employer.


2. Know your workers motivations

What motivates your workers? Something which motivates one worker may not necessarily motivate others. A common misconception is that everyone is motivated by money. A higher wage or salary must automatically increase their motivation. This actually isn’t true. There are many other motivating factors, and everyone is motivated by different things. For many people, having more time off or working less hours each day is more of a motivator than a salary rise is. This may be particularly relevant for staff with families, and trying to juggle many pressures at once.

If money is a motivator, make sure they have earnt the pay rise, and that it reflects the effort they put into their work. If you give someone a pay rise for the work they’re currently doing which is satisfactory but not above satisfactory, their work ethic won’t improve with the pay rise. They will simply think they are doing a good enough job as it is. If they aren’t currently working to a high enough standard, let them know that a payrise is possible if they meet x, y and z standards.


3. Listen to their needs

A happy staff member is a good staff member. Listening to the needs of your workers not only makes them feel more valued, but increases your employee retention. This is because they will feel as though their needs are met if their employer is understanding. Sometimes there are family issues going on which may affect their work, or time they need to take off. Sometimes workers family situations are an added stress to work, such as young children. They are unlikely to perform better if there is added work pressures on top of this.  If this is a short term problem, being understanding and accommodating will mean a better relationship and a more motivated worker in the future.


4. Celebrate their successes

Feeling appreciated is one of the most motivating things for an employee. Recognising their hard work, or exceptional results encourages them to work hard to maintain this in the coming months. If an employee is constantly producing great results, putting in a lot of effort and feeling as though it goes unnoticed, they are likely to become unmotivated to keep up the work ethic.

A good way of celebrating successes is a monthly morning tea or an end of year Christmas function which highlights the good work that has happened throughout the year. Sharing the successes of individuals with the whole team creates healthy competition and motivates the other staff members to follow suit.


5. Provide pathways for both personal and professional growth

Providing opportunities for your staff to grow both personally and professionally is important for staff retention. If they see the job as a dead end, they will be unmotivated and may leave after a short period of time. Ensure they are aware that they can move up in the business, and diversify their job when they become more experienced. This is an incentive to produce results. It also means you can train and prepare employees for future roles. You might provide opportunities for personal growth, such as wellness experiences or seminars on how to use office suites. These empower the employee and help them feel more valued by their business.


Save training and recruiting costs this year by maintaining and motivating ore of your staff to perform better. Not only will it be better for your business, but better for your employees too.


- CR