Increase Employee Retention with These 3 Easy Steps

This article was provided by our friends at The Million Dollar Solution, a coaching group for lawyers and finance pros helping firm owners tackle their marketing, talent management, work-life balance, and more. Learn more about The Million Dollar Solution by clicking here.

Throughout the past two years, the staffing industry has never looked so chaotic. The struggle to retain employees has immensely grown as wages and inflation pushed people to look elsewhere for new opportunities. In fact, a recent government survey found that the average length of tenure of an employee is only 2.8 years and seems to be on a downward trend. So how do you combat the struggle to keep quality employees and be competitive with companies much bigger than your own? Well, this is a question that we have tested with various law firms across the U.S., and below we will highlight some of their best successes.

Step One: Onboarding

  • When you welcome a new employee, they find it incredibly helpful to have some structure. As you do this, record videos on Zoom of how to access a site, edit files, and create a new procedure – these are great resources the new hire can use as a quick refresher down the road as they adjust.
  • Have them meet with the team. Whether big or small, it pays dividends just setting 15 minutes to formally meet each team member so the awkward “Hi my name is…” doesn’t happen in the break room. 
  • Take them out to lunch during their first week. The owner, supervisor, or most direct employee can do this. Personalized time outside of the office allows for some transparent discussion that will create a better relationship from the start! 

Step Two: Employee feedback

  • A simple email survey asking what they feel are the companies’ values, what their workload is, or if they are happy in general is valuable – we found that doing this anonymously will get you much more feedback from your staff.
  • Include staff in decision-making. Careful – we did NOT say “include everyone in the decision,” which most certainly is not the case.
    • Inviting 1 or 2 key role players in your office to take part in the discussion will expand your range of ideas and options. This will also make those employees feel valued just by hearing their perspective, whether or you select their idea or not. 

Step Three: Employee Development 

  • Do you have any type of check-in or review process with each employee? Typically, a once-a-year review meeting has a negative impact on the employees’ view of the company. 
    • If husbands and wives were only allowed to tell each other about their marital performance once a year, how would you feel going into that meeting? Way too much PRESSURE!!! 
      • You may think that is a drastic example, but if you break down the hours in the day, (8 working, 8 sleeping, and 8 doing whatever else) you spend one-third of your time with your staff/co-workers. 
  • We found that a quarterly meeting with each employee has proportionally increased their engagement & development. This can be very structured or relaxed depending on your leadership approach.
    • These are great opportunities to push the employee to share their goals both professionally and personally. 
    • Let the employee drive the meeting – give them questions to discuss and reflect on their own performance, the company, or how each can be improved on in the future. 
      • Usually both parties involved walk away learning something! 

Regardless of what you do, it all comes down to whether or not they feel valued. Something as simple as a hand-written appreciation letter can make all the difference.

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