Employees are more empowered than ever. With the onslaught of mobile devices and computing power they now have in their own houses, most workers are now fully able to do their jobs even when they're away from the office. While this is certainly mostly good news for companies because of the increase in productivity, organizations still have a responsibility to invest in the success of their workers.
As a business owner, operator or manager, you need to ask yourself an important question: Do you invest in your employees and provide them with the necessary tools to do their job and advance, or do you simply try and squeeze every ounce of productivity out them? If it is the latter, your employee turnover rate is probably high.
Organizations need to understand their employees are an extension of their business, even after business hours. Keeping them engaged and challenged is paramount to their success and, ultimately, of the success of the company.
Here are three areas where today’s companies must focus on to attract and retain talented workers.
- Invest in technology: This may sound like a no-brainer, but many organizations are still working on outdated, virus-attracting desktops. Technology has become consumer-driven and that has permeated the workforce. Employers must embrace this movement and supply their workers with up-to-date PCs or laptops, smartphones and tablets. This is especially true for new workers entering the workforce—If they have better technology at home they will feel their company is not investing in them or supplying them with the best tools to do their jobs most efficiently. So upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. This is especially true on the mobile device side—People view their mobile devices as status symbols and, like it or not, what they are using will reflect how you value them.
- Invest in training: While there always is a certain amount of training on the job, proper training is essential. You can’t expect an employee to simply know how to do certain things, particularly if it is proprietary and unique to your organization. Training your employees is an investment in their future. It also builds loyalty and future skill sets, and will provide a return on your investment for years to come.
- Plot a career path: One major reason good employees leave their jobs, despite good pay and good culture, is the lack of upward mobility. Good employees need to be challenged and provided with a solid growth path that demonstrates they can do bigger and better things in the organization over a period of time. This not only gives them encouragement and drive to work toward a set of meaningful goals, but it also gives them hope of making more money down the line. If an employee feels as though he or she is in a dead-end job, that employee eventually will leave.
Don’t set up your employees to fail. Set them up to succeed by providing them with the most current tools necessary to do their job, training them appropriately so they can succeed and providing a well-thought-out and well-defined career path that provides them with growth opportunities. That is how you retain good talent.