When you run a small-to-medium business in the technology sector, high employee turnover is an expectation. A quick Google search brings pages of stories about tech workers job hopping all over Silicon Valley. If that’s the environment at perk-saturated technology giants, how are you to adapt? You don’t have the same resources to weather turnover, much less a floor full of gourmet food and game rooms. What’s an SMB to do?
Money and perks matter, to be sure. But they aren’t the only reason employees stick around. Feeling challenged and appreciated play a big part in employee job satisfaction. Employees want to work for a company whose mission is to build relationships and deliver real value to customers. They need their work to have meaning. (This is especially true with Millennials, who have proven themselves quite savvy in workplace happiness.)
Simple, frequent communication with your employees keeps them informed and involved. No need for anything elaborate. Here are a few ideas that are easy to set up.
Intranet: It isn’t necessary to build a company intranet when tools are available to give you a nearly instant setup (think Microsoft SharePoint 365). All you have to do is sign up to the service, follow some initial steps, and send your employees a link. SharePoint is the perfect office communication platform for announcements, projects, calendars, and event planning.
Newsletters: This can be on a company intranet or via email. Newsletters don’t need to be lengthy to be effective. They can have a few simple items and announcements about goings on in the company. Maybe even short introductions to new employees. Perhaps a feature where employees can ask questions of the CEO, anonymously?
Marketing to employees: How do you market your company to the people who already work for you? You don’t. This isn’t about selling to them. You can, however, recruit them to help promote the business. Providing everyone with marketing material cements the company brand and identity. If your workers feel invested in getting the word out, they’re more likely to stick around long term.
Social Media: Your company probably has one or more social media accounts run by your marketing department. What if you let employees take over those accounts once in a while? Marketing will oversee the project, of course. But having your tech staff answer customer questions on Twitter or assigning employees to do a Q&A on Facebook can be good for everyone.. Customers get some insight into your company and meet new personalities. Your employees interact in ways that may not happen in their daily jobs. They’re also trusted with important platforms normally guarded by your marketing department.
Spend time and save money: Losing employees costs money. Not only do you lose productivity from the employee who leaves, but the problem compounds with the time spent hiring, onboarding, and training new employees. One of your most potent tools against this is communication. Talk with your employees. Write to them. Remind them of the value they provide to customers. In return, you’ll have less turnover, higher productivity, and deeper relationships with your client base.
Our team at RAY ALLEN has implemented the social media and marketing to employees for years now, and we are working on the final edits to our Intranet site which will link to all off our social sites and posts, providing a real time experience for our team members in a variety of locations and time zones. I would appreciate any other suggestions from my fellow leaders out there on what has worked for your teams and where you are going in the future as our workforce and workplaces continue to evolve.
Find me on twitter anytime @toddring to continue the conversation