4 Ways Mid-Market CEOs can Overcome Employee Retention Challenges

Companies of all sizes and from all locations are feeling the pinch when it comes to finding and keeping employees that fit their specific skill requirements. But for mid-marketers, the challenge can be more difficult. In fact, 40% of respondents to a recent study say a lack of talent is stifling their ability to grow.

Here are 4 ways to help your team stem the flow of employee exits and improve retention.

1. Keep your team’s confidence alive. Looking for new talent—especially if you’re doing it frequently—is a daunting task. Installed Building Products is one company feeling the pain. “Like most businesses in the construction industry, our installer turnover is much higher than I would like,” explained Jeff Edwards, CEO of IBP, which has 135 U.S. locations. “Making our job more difficult, insulation isn’t a pleasant product to install, so most of our turnover occurs shortly after we hire someone.”

However, CEOs aren’t the only ones suffering the frustration. As each one of IBP’s installers leave, a current employee is left to pick up the workload.

As your team members witness the rolling employee turnover, they begin losing confidence in your firm’s ability to help employees grow. This lack of confidence doesn’t just come from watching their coworkers walk out the door; they’re directly feeling the ripple effects of taking on more work, training new coworkers, and not seeing company growth. This, in turn, affects their own personal development because they don’t have the time or the drive to focus on developing themselves or the company.

“To start growing and developing talent before day one, it’s important to focus on employee engagement, employee experience, and employee retention during the hiring process.”

Help your team gain confidence in their ability to grow by ensuring they have development opportunities available to them. A great way to ensure these opportunities permeate the organization is through coaching and development.

One-on-one coaching provides each individual with a customized learning experience, and it lets them know where they stand with the company on a personal level. This gives them ideas on how they can help the entire organization grow.

2. Discover each candidate as an individual. Employee growth begins with the experience of both your current team and new hires.

With mid-market companies responsible for 60% of all new jobs created (according to a Middle Market Center report), you don’t have time to waste figuring out if candidates are a good fit after they become a new hire.

In Edwards’ case, installing insulation is a difficult job and many find it isn’t for them soon after they’re hired. That’s why it’s crucial to take time to find those specific, talented people who will fit in with your team and are dedicated and passionate about their work.

To start growing and developing talent before day one, it’s important to focus on employee engagement, employee experience, and employee retention during the hiring process. Do this by allowing your team to be part of the process.

During second-round interviews, for instance, bringing employees from the department you’re hiring into the interview process. They will be more likely to evaluate for cultural fit by asking about the candidate’s expectations, values and culture to gauge whether they’ll be a good long-term employee.

Engaging candidates with your team before an offer is made encourages meaningful connections. As those connections inspire confidence early on in the hiring process, both new hires and your current team will bond and become dedicated to the company.

3. Align company goals with your team. As you find and retain talent, you’ll also find that, if the company and the employees are well aligned, their commitment to the company goes beyond clocking in and out to a deeper desire to keep the organization running strong.

In fact, a 2016 Mercer report found that 44% of respondents said they’d stay longer with a company “without a doubt” if they knew what their career path could look like with their current employer.

Sit down once a quarter to discuss where each person sees the company’s future. Get on the same page about how their goals are aligning with that success, and what can be done to further align the company’s, their department’s, and their personal goals.

4. Work to make your existing team strong. If you feel that a lack of talent is holding your organization back, it doesn’t mean it’s time to pull your team apart. Instead, start by creating a strong, united team with your current employees.

For example, bring each team together for departmental and interdepartmental weekly brainstorming sessions. Give everyone the opportunity to showcase their speciality by helping one another with difficult projects or creating innovative processes. Keep the creative process and teamwork flowing by offering tools to collaborate on projects and easily ask each other questions.

Being the CEO of a mid-market company involves many different types of stressors. By bringing your current team together and ensuring new hires are the perfect fit, you can spend more time taking care of your growing company and growing confidence in the talent level of your team.

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Daniel Harris
Dan Harris is Workplace Insights Analyst at Quantum Workplace, a company dedicated to providing every organization with quality engagement tools that guide their next step in making work better every day.

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