You might wonder why you should take time out of an already overcrowded schedule to focus on investing in entry-level employees. But the young people at your company are your leaders of tomorrow. If you invest in them now, then in 20 years, they will be the executives making the big decisions and keeping your business healthy and thriving.
Of course, there’s no guarantee they’ll still be with you then, but investing time in these team members today will also cultivate loyalty and increase retention. With a better understanding of the business, these employees are also more likely to come up with a new idea that propels your business to the next level. And of course, an employee who feels valued will provide great customer service, leading to increased customer loyalty.
How to Invest in Your Team
The most obvious way to invest in your team is through training. Taking the time to teach your entry-level employees useful skills now will pay off down the line. For example, at Abstrakt Marketing Group, we provide 50 hours of training per year for each employee through in-person training, guest speakers and an online portal. These training opportunities include topics that directly impact on-the-job performance and personal growth, such as finance and wellness. Additionally, our employees meet with their managers one on one each week to discuss any setbacks they’ve experienced and the goals they have for their personal and professional development.
Additionally, you can strive to offer competitive benefits packages, additional HR support such as mental health and wellness programs, company events to motivate employees, and cultural initiatives to help with retention. Our culture-focused activities and events include weekly food trucks, monthly themes and challenges, parties, picnics, an annual give back day and annual participation in The Dragon Boat Races, a national charity event. Work-life balance consistently ranks among the most valued aspects of any job. According to McKinsey, it’s one of the top three motivators for job searchers. Look for opportunities to invest in employees by offering more flexibility. At our company, we offer a flexible schedule with remote workdays based on tenure.
A salary is an essential part of your agreement with employees, but bonuses can be solid, visual reminders of your investment in someone. At Abstrakt, we offer monthly challenges where team members can win cash, gear and much more. Listen to your team members to find out what kinds of other hands-on perks might put smiles on their faces.
How to Monitor ROI on Investments in Employees
Employee investment benefits not only employees, but also your entire company. How? It pays off in the form of improved employee retention, increased performance and more innovative ideas (which can lead to potential revenue streams). Not sure whether your efforts are working? Here’s how you can ensure that your investments in employees are well-placed:
1. Increased referrals. One way you can determine the success of your business’s investments in employees is through referrals. If you didn’t enjoy a job, you wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. Your team won’t, either. If employees recruit their friends, you know that something about working for you appeals to them. Being labeled a “great place to work” is nice, and it garners valuable media coverage, but it also attracts top talent as word travels around that your company takes employee growth and development seriously.
2. Constructive conflict. It might seem counterintuitive, but conflict is an important step in getting a business to the top. Your team should be audibly questioning your new (and old) ideas to root out the bad ones and make room for good ones. Right or wrong, staff should feel able to question processes.
This is also a great way to ensure they have respect for management. Encouraging debate is crucial. Through conversation, you can find and correct flaws in your employees’ understanding of the company and head off any problems. And, of course, management might occasionally make mistakes, which makes employee feedback all the more welcome.
3. Improved morale. People should feel good about going to work. They should understand that it’s a place where they can grow and achieve. When they feel positive about stepping into the office, it raises the energy of your entire organization. If you sense poor morale, it’s your job to combat it. Continually communicate the results; this shows that you care and are invested in change. Make sure managers are conducting weekly check-ins with employees and focus a portion of the time around their development to find out more about their career and personal and financial aspirations.
You must ensure that they can do what they love, work with other supportive people and do their best work. Similarly, if you have a high retention rate, you know that you are likely nurturing and retaining experts in your industry instead of chasing them to your competition. The best part is that 88% of employers say referrals generate the highest quality hires.
Investing in your entry-level employees is a no-brainer; it ensures you have leaders in the future. The employees you invest in today will be the ones steering the ship and ensuring the financial stability of your company in the long term.