How A Strong Associate Retention Strategy Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Associate experience impacts the customer experience more than you might realize. With the recent pandemic, small businesses are especially vulnerable to employee churn. The engagement your associates have in their work stems from how they are treated by management and their peers. An engaged associate is a prime driver needed to help fuel a great customer experience.

How do you know that you're providing a great associate experience? This lies in what your team members do day in and day out to ensure your associates are happy and motivated and do not reach a point of burnout. An effective associate retention strategy is imperative to a distinguished associate experience, and in turn, providing a great customer experience.

Effective Associate Retention Strategies

In order to increase your company's associate retention, you must be willing to have a specific set of strategies in place that will make them want to stay. Here are seven strategies to use in your organization that can increase associate morale and retention at your organization.

Competitive Benefits and Salary

It's essential to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages to your associates due to our highly competitive labor market. While money matters to most, it's the benefits that actually keep your associates around. Are you providing an attractive compensation package that includes salaries, bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, and a retirement plan? It's important to offer comparable salaries and benefits packages to other businesses around the area, and in your industry, in order to retain your associates at your organization.

Create a Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance in your company culture is key to associate retention along with keeping them happy. A leader within your organization can create this work-life balance by encouraging the staff to take time off or providing flexible schedules for personal reasons. Without a work-life balance at your organization, it can lead to associate burnout resulting in a loss of motivation and engagement in their work.

Provide Meaningful Work Without Overburden

It's just as crucial to provide meaningful work to your associates as it is to compensate them for doing the work. This meaningful work should include varied tasks that can help the associate make a difference at the company while also stimulating them to learn, grow and be better in their duties. By providing meaningful work to every one of your associates, you can increase their satisfaction and reduce associate turnover.

On the other hand, this meaningful work should never overburden your associates. When an associate feels overburdened with tasks and assignments at work they will lose focus and eventually give up, either on the project or the job altogether. It's been found that no matter how great the pay or benefits, nothing can compensate for an overwhelmed associate within the workplace.

Establish Associate Policies and Expectations

It can be extremely frustrating for an associate to not have a clear understanding of their job duties and expectations, along with the company's policies. In order to ensure your associates understand what is expected of them along with other company policies, communicate with them. Be open and answer any questions they may have to reduce frustration and potential turnover. On top of that, ensure proper training is set in place for new associates to get them up to speed on these policies and expectations.

Allow For Open Communication

Open communication within an organization must stem and be encouraged from management. According to Forbes, when associates are aware and actively use the "open door" policy, there is an open flow of communication and a closer working relationship between associates and management. Along with open communication, associates feel comfortable going to management with their ideas or concerns which can benefit the greater good of the organization by helping to improve associate retention.

Invest In Their Professional Development

There is a multitude of resources and opportunities to provide your associates with new skill sets and knowledge. Some investments you can make for your associates' professional development can include: paying for them to attend conferences or workshops, encouraging them to join online courses and webinars, and creating an in-house mentoring program. When you encourage and invest in your associate's professional development within your organization, you show them their value to you and their future professional growth within your company.

Understand Why Associates Stay

To gain a better understanding of what effective strategies you need to put in place to ensure associate retention, begin by looking at why your best associates stay. Instead of primarily focusing on why your associates leave during an exit interview, speak with your long-time associates during monthly or quarterly conversations to gain a better understanding of why they continue to stay with your company. These insights can help you see what's working and what's not at your organization so you can improve your associate retention strategy.

The Correlation Between Associate Experience and Customer Experience

It has been found that companies that invest in their associate experience are four times more profitable than those that don't. It's your managers and associates at the front-end of your business, speaking with your customers and providing the proper experiences your company values. Temkin Group found that companies whose customer experience is significantly better than their competitors have more engaged associates. The more engaged your associate/manager is with working at your organization can have a direct impact on their engagement with your customers. In their research they concluded that this type of engagement comes from feeling good, passion for the company, and meaningful work. All the qualities discussed above to help improve your associate retention strategy.

It's important to always remember that when an associate is valued and well taken care of at their place of employment, they'll be happier. As we know and have said before, happy associates equal happy customers.

Contact IntelliShop today and see how we can ensure your associate experience aligns with today's standards to improve your customer experience.

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