Retention is a function of the right hire coupled with ongoing training, benefits, compensation and consistent evaluation of performance. Taking the time to refine your hiring process will produce better results over the long haul, cutting down on costly turnover, morale issues, and employee dissatisfaction.
Employees leave jobs for a variety of reasons, some of which you can control. Advice abounds on how to keep your great employees and there are numerous articles devoted to the topic. Although the list is not meant to be exhaustive, we’ve compiled some of the most common tips:
- Offer competitive salaries and robust benefits packages.
- Flexible schedules help employees achieve a work-life balance. Alternative schedules allow governments to extend their office hours beyond 8:00 to 5:00 at little to no cost. The government is able to take advantage of expanded contact hours and the employee gains a highly valued benefit.
- Be clear about goals and expectations, giving regular feedback to each collector.
- Communicate information, particularly changes within the department or government, quickly and clearly.
- Allow employees to participate in the decision making process, where appropriate. Cultivate a culture where employees can offer ideas and be part of process improvements.
- Utilize their skills and take advantage of their talent. For example, you have a collector who is a great skiptracer. Allow them to train new employees on their methods.
- Be fair and consistent in your dealings with employees. Employees need to know they’re on an even playing field where preferential treatment isn’t an issue.
- Train, train, train. Your top performers want to grow in their job even if the opportunities for advancements are scarce. Cross-train employees give them new tasks, invite them to participate in committees, and encourage them to seek out training opportunities on their own.
- Acknowledge employee contributions. Governments are notoriously short on bonus money or incentives but many employees are appreciative of simpler forms of praise and recognition.
- Have some fun. We recommend watching the FISH! Philosophy video (www.charthouse.com) to get some ideas on how to infuse fun into your culture.
- Build the team by scheduling activities they can do together like a monthly pot-luck or an annual food drive for charity.
- Develop team rules that govern how the team relates to each other particularly in times of conflict. Rules should encourage problem-solving and conflict resolution among team members and provide a safe environment for working out issues.