Work Environment

The Stakeholder Advisory Group suggests the following work environment features to help retain employees.

Structural/administrative

  • Allow employees flexible scheduling
  • Use a distributed decision-making structure
  • Attractive workplace (includes appropriate space to do work)
  • Employee input (satisfaction surveys, suggestion boxes, review formal job descriptions in light of actual duties; formal job descriptions; furniture)
  • Team building staff events for team building (cook out, ropes courses, day shift make dinner for night shift); events with clients (chili bake off with clients judging)
  • Value and support diversity - in hiring and in education/training programs, and in practice
    Diversify duties
  • Reduce paperwork
    Support involvement in community
  • Staff recognition - for quality, for birthday or other event, for productivity; employee of the month, gift cards, regular thank yous - in person; a card, a call-out, dinner/lunch with CEO; excellence conferences; give staff feedback on their impact or let them tell about their own impact
  • Use and open support of best practices
  • Supervision - regular/quick daily check for all; use TAP 21A and TIP 52; make extra supervision available
  • Strong performance appraisal tool used regularly
    Promote from within
  • Training offered onsite
    Front load vacation earlier in job tenure
    Assistance with housing
    Employees get their birthday off (with pay)
  • Employees get a day with pay to reflect/regenerate
  • Training for those who are promoted (supervision, management, leadership)
    Preceptor program
  • Review job descriptions to be sure they are accurate and current, and create a potentially successful workflow. Where they do not create the potential for successful workflow, those job descriptions should be revised.  Dissatisfaction with work can come from structural problems like this in the way the jobs are designed.
    Review jobs as performed and look for ways in which they do not match the job descriptions.  Dissatisfaction can come from a disconnect between expectations (of the worker, supervisor or client) and reality.

Increasing availability and quality of supervision

  • Use retirees as part-time supervisors,
  • Recruit from local SCORE for part-time supervisors
  • Provide Supervision onsite
  • Provide Supervision training (for example, SSTAR and Bristol County provide supervision training onsite)
  • Link training to supervisor’s competencies

Management Qualities

  • Managers are perceived as being accessible, listening, having an open door policy
  • Visibility of manager and "lead from front", "do whatever it takes" style
  • Avoid chastising for mistakes
  • Emphasize the importance of mission
  • Foster individual growth