“We don’t want to be a pit stop in your career.” That’s the powerful statement that Mike Agugliaro used at the beginning of job postings for his service business.
He hired employees for the long term and let them know that’s what he was doing. The service industry is plagued with high employee turnover, but just as Mike developed a culture that ensured long term retention, so you too can stop the churn of high turnover. “We don’t want to be a pit stop in your career; we want to be the last job you’ll ever have (because you can’t imagine working anywhere else).”
Many factors contribute to employees wanting to continue working for your company. When team members feel like they’ve joined a family and they are able to enjoy and excel in their jobs, they will not want to leave. Here are five factors that will improve your retention rate.
Retention starts on Day One
Make Day One a great experience for new hires. Tell them about the company they’re joining. Share your painted vision and let them see your passion to become the leading service business in your area. Explain your core values and show them how important those values are in the operation of your company. We like to give them lunch and have them sit down with any directors and owners who are available. Follow up Day One with nine days of training, mentoring and role play before launching new employees.
To retain employees for the long term, get intentional about designing a culture that emphasizes teamwork, unity and everyone upping their game together.
Design your culture
Workplace cultures that develop by default tend to be dog eat dog so new employees are viewed as potential threats. The way to get ahead is to compete against others and win, even if that involves setting them up for failure. To retain employees for the long term, get intentional about designing a culture that emphasizes teamwork, unity and everyone upping their game together.
Give team members the opportunity to excel
New hires that recently graduated, got licensed in their trade or are excited about training for something new are generally not looking to be mediocre in their jobs. It’s companies and culture that pull people down to just doing the minimum to get by. There are companies where a supervisor will come down on you for finishing a routine job 15 minutes sooner than average. You should be commended and enlisted to help others to improve their time. Become a company where workers are encouraged to excel and they will.
Many believe that rewarding for years of service helps retention, but, actually, rewarding for performance does far more for retention. When you make it possible for employees to earn above their salary, they will go for it. Selling memberships, doing emergency calls and working holidays can be rewarded. Some service businesses even run a bonus program so that employees who exceed a monthly minimum in revenue earn a share of the revenue. Employees who are earning an extra $2,000 a month in bonus pay and perks will think twice about leaving.
Make a difference in your community
Profitable, growing companies are able to give back to their communities and make a difference. Whether it’s fundraising for a local charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or pledging support for all employees who participate in a walkathon, you have the power to do something bigger than the average individual could do. When your employees work together for a charitable cause you’ll discover it does something really good to the team dynamic.
Stop the revolving door of employees leaving by becoming the kind of service business where no one ever wants to leave. When you really build a team, give workers the opportunity to further their careers and make a difference in your community, you’ll find that retention is no longer your biggest challenge.