Lean in. Listen well. What I’m about to say is important. It’s one of the hard truths we don’t want to hear like deep-fried chicken is unhealthy; it may be delicious and soul-satisfying, but a steady diet of it fast-tracks you to the emergency room. Ok, here it is. Your employees are not your friends. I know, it sounds harsh, but let me explain. In order to retain good employees, you have to think differently.

How to Think about Employee Retention

You run a small business. Profit is the purpose. Higher callings exist – serve mankind, make the world a better place, elevate the lives of your employees; but none of these worthy goals are met if you don’t make money. Lose money, lose your business, lose your opportunity to change the world.

Your employees depend on you to keep the wheels of progress spinning. And while your employees are very important, they’re not your friends. You treat employees differently. With respect, but differently. If your friend is late for dinner, it’s no problem. You shake it off. It’s Bob, he’s always late. If an employee is always late to off-site scheduled jobs, you lose customers. You can’t be as easygoing with an employee as you can with your friend, Bob. Now let’s dig a little deeper because keeping good employees is vital to your business. Employee retention is best accomplished with the right accountability tools.

You already know how we feel about allowing remote employees to text in, email in, and write in on napkins or handwritten timesheets their hours. This practice is the major source of drain on profits and it perpetuates dishonesty. Our remote employee management clock in, clock out system is the first step in creating an accountability system that’s fair to all employees. But more can be done to improve employee retention.

An Employee Handbook Sets the Right Expectations

Treat employees with respect and have clear, concise, and fair expectations. Put these expectations in black and white. Your employees need this as much as you need to do it. According to a survey about workplace expectations by Chicago-based ComPsych, 31% of the respondents stated that “unclear expectations from supervisors” were a major work stressor. This issue is probably compounded if the employees are remote without direct day-to-day supervision.

Another survey about employee expectations conducted by Gallup reports that “only about half of employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work.” Solve these problems with an employee handbook. A handbook outlines your expectations, policies, and consequences for any violations. According to Legalnature.com, a site that helps you create an employee handbook, they “are a practical and legal way of protecting the company from employment issues arising between employees and the company.”  The article goes on to say that employee handbooks can help “avoid any potential misunderstandings and conflict.”  An employee handbook increases employee engagement, improves employee retention, and creates a more productive environment for your employees. Boundaries are a good thing.

Let Us Help You Change the World

Best business practices require a framework of standards and expectations. An employee management time tracking system and employee handbooks are the accountability tools needed to protect profits and your employees. Then you are empowered to change the world. We wish you the best at it!

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