Do not encourage your employees to keep their personal and professional lives separate if you want to increase employee retention.
Strategy 5: Redefine Workplace Professionalism
Everyone has been told at least once in their life to keep their professional and personal lives separate. And in some cases, that is solid advice.
But if taken to the extreme, this advice can make your greatest advocates (employees) question the authenticity and integrity of your business. Asking someone to separate their personal and professional lives is like asking them to be a completely different person. A fake person. A person wearing a mask.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when employees need to separate these two lives (like when a self-entitled customer starts screaming about an incorrect charge), but most of the time employees are happier and better at their jobs when they can merge the two selves and just be one genuine, authentic person.
When you promote employees to be themselves in the workplace, they become much happier with their work and are more likely to view your business in a positive light.
And remember that bit about advocacy? When employees enjoy working for you, they’re much more likely to talk your business up to family, friends, strangers in line at the grocery store, etc.
They’ll also be more likely to leave good reviews about your business on job hunting sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. This is especially valuable if the review comes from an exiting employee. When former employees leave glowing reviews of past employers, that’s big. It shows potential employees that someone enjoyed working for this place so much that they set aside time to tell others about it. And from this action alone you can get piles of qualified applicants for positions.
And what’s the best part about this retention strategy? It’s not going to cost you a dime.
You don’t need state-of-the-art break rooms with air hockey tables and free food to help employees enjoy working for you. All you have to do is let them know it’s okay for them to drop the fake self and be true to their real self (while being responsible and courteous, of course).
Drop the Dress Code
Dress codes are stifling and limiting. And more often than naught, they’re also unnecessary. Giving employees broader dress options is a simple way to allow them to show their individuality.
So if your business doesn’t need a dress code for safety issues or branding, consider loosening the tie a bit.
True story, I once stayed with a low-paying job way longer than I should have because they didn’t have a dress code at all. I enjoyed the freedom to wear sweatpants to work so much that I ignored other, better-paying jobs because of it.
People are emotional beings more than they are logical. Appeal to their emotional side and you’ll see great results.
People aren’t just emotional, they’re also social. Let people talk.
We want to share what’s happening in our lives with others and hear about everyone else’s success, even if it’s not work related. This not only makes us happy but also forges deep bonds between employees that make leaving difficult and emotional (which could be the deciding factor in whether an employee stays or leaves).
Promote Individual Skills
Sometimes, even the weirdest life skill translates to something usable in a business.
I’ve talked about Arby’s social media strategy before. It started off with someone making nerdy references with cardboard art. Now, it’s a full-blown strategy that’s been nurturing online audiences for months.
Who knows what kind of skills your current employees are keeping to themselves that you could be capitalizing on right now? (Hint, your employees know. And they aren’t going to say anything unless you give them the chance to.)
When you promote individualism, you give employees a chance to do something they can’t do anywhere else, so why would they ever leave?
That’s it for the 5 simple employee retention strategies for any business. Try out one or two in your company and see what happens. You may be surprised.