The labor market is notoriously competitive. So much so, that in some residential and commercial service industries, just pennies on the dollar are enough to entice employees to take a new opportunity outside their current company. The threat of losing top technicians or office staff forces companies to find alternative solutions or bodies to replace lost production. Not to mention the customer relationships you may have to repair. Here are the top three reasons why your employees may be looking to leave, and what you can do to prevent it.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a survey estimating that employers spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary to properly find and train their replacement. Let’s say your technician is making $50,000 a year – it could be costing your business over $25,000 to find their replacement. Not to mention the strain it puts on the rest of your workforce and the lapse in productivity/or number of jobs you will lose. A steep price for underpaying your workforce. Setting compensation levels that are in-tune with market standards ensures you are doing right by your workforce. Offering competitive 401k, vacation, and healthcare policies provides additional incentives for employees to stay. In addition, overpaying a few select employees may be the way to go. If you identify a handful of technicians or crew leads that your business couldn’t function without – consider offering them a higher compensation package. Strategically overpaying select employees further insulates your field service company from the threat of turnover and sets precedent that you value quality work.
Employees invest their time and hard work in making your business a success. They want to feel that same level of investment in return. Put plainly, most employees have ambitions to grow. They want careers and employment that allow them to learn new skills and make more money. Studies indicate that 68% of workers identify training and development as the most important workplace policy. Offering workers a definitive path to advance their skills and career is crucial in retention. Cross training, job shadowing, and mentorship programs are cheap, effective ways to advance the skillset of your workforce. Consider creating hybrid roles or new positions within your field service company for employees who excel in particular functions. Offer employees a clear path for advancement. Be specific when setting short-term and long-term goals. For example, attain an employee satisfaction level of XX% or complete XYZ certification. Offering workers tangible and attainable milestones backed by incentives will motivate them. Staying true to your word once they reach these milestones reinforces your commitment to them, while rewarding them for their accomplishments.
You pay your employees well and give them opportunities for growth – you have you nothing to worry about, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s estimated that 64% of employees feel they don’t have a strong work culture. Additionally, 79% of employees who quit their job cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as a primary reason for leaving. So, are your employees happy coming to work? To put it bluntly, happy employees are more loyal to your field service company. And unhappy employees are more likely to shop around. Strive to create a culture that not only attracts but retains employees. Be grateful for your employees and praise them when they overachieve. Create a sense of purpose that is larger than just work by valuing and respecting work/life balance. Provide social interactions such as yearly events and impromptu employee outings. Reward workers for their hard work and dedication; even if they are just doing their job. Value employees opinions to understand what is working and what isn’t – then put this constructive feedback into practice. Not only are employees who enjoy their company less likely to leave, they generally provide higher quality service as well.