Actionable Employee Retention Strategies That Work
Employee retention should be a top priority at all times. If you don’t pay as much attention to employee retention as you do to recruiting, you may find yourself having to replace your best performers as they seek greener pastures.
Employee turnover has increased in recent years, and with the new normal of remote work, people have a larger selection of possible employers to consider than ever before.
Rising turnover rates have sweeping consequences that go beyond temporary operational interruptions. For one, finding and training a replacement is costly in terms of time, money, and effort. Aside from these costs, high turnover has an impact on the employees that remain. As they watch their colleagues leave, their workload often gets heavier, and this can lead to a vicious cycle of burnout and resignations.
HR professionals must devise and implement a range of retention strategies. Here are six areas where deliberate action can help improve employee satisfaction and strengthen your ability to retain talented employees.
Provide an Outstanding Onboarding Experience
Every new hire should be set up for success from the outset. Create an exceptional onboarding process that teaches new employees not just about their role and responsibilities but also the corporate culture and how they may contribute to and flourish within it.
Help new employees in making the transition from outsider to insider by building an environment where they feel welcome and equipping them with the resources they need to complete their tasks and goals.
Pay particular attention to this critical first step. The training and support you provide from the beginning may set the tone for the employee’s entire tenure with your company.
Invest in Training and Development
Provide opportunities for professional development and advancement through virtual training or corporate videos. There is a direct correlation between low investment in employee development and high employee turnover. Most workers say they would have stayed longer with employers who invested in their career development.
Supporting professional growth and ongoing learning boosts staff morale and increases retention. Employees today recognize the need to keep their skills sharp to remain competitive and advance up the corporate ladder.
Furthermore, don’t overlook succession planning which highlights growth opportunities and provides employees a more optimistic view of their future at your organization.
Educating your staff, establishing clear career paths, and implementing coaching programs make everyone at work more creative, engaged, and productive.
Equip Your Managers to Become Better Leaders
You’ve probably heard the expression, “People don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses.” People do not want to work for a manager who does not support them or whose poor and ineffective behavior jeopardizes their career and advancement opportunities. Even when people enjoy their jobs, bad managers can destroy their motivation and drive them to leave.
Fortunately, leadership skills can be trained and developed. Organizations need to ensure that management skills are evaluated in performance reviews and that managers at all levels receive training and mentoring, particularly if they are new supervisors.
Recognize and Reward Contributions and Achievements
Everyone wants to be appreciated for their efforts. Whether your team completes a major project ahead of schedule or an employee reaches a fifth work anniversary, take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the milestone together.
Thank employees who go the extra mile and emphasize how their hard work contributes to the company’s success. Some organizations establish rewards and incentives systems to encourage brilliant ideas and creativity, but you can develop attractive recognition programs even if you have a limited budget.
Be sure not to leave out your remote workers. You can create a virtual awards program, offer informal recognition in internal team chats, use celebratory online boards, or even send them care packages with gift certificates and treats.
Offer Flexible Work Options
Most employees will not hesitate to leave an employer who refuses to offer flexible working conditions. Consider adopting a hybrid work model that combines on-site work with some form of remote flexibility.
In a hybrid work environment, employees have more freedom to complete tasks when they are most productive. Some individuals, for instance, work best in the morning, while others are more productive in the evening.
Flexible work arrangements also support work-life balance. Employees who have greater control over their work schedules feel more trusted, respected, and empowered to take care of important personal obligations while balancing work commitments.
Focus on Employee Wellness
While pervasive in the workplace, employee burnout is not inevitable. Give your employees what they need to shift from feeling exhausted and overwhelmed to being effective and engaged. Prevent burnout by offering your employees more flexibility at work and ensuring all responsibilities and expectations are appropriate and communicated clearly.
Encourage employees to use their vacation days, organize a series of health webinars and fitness workshops, or even invite a nutritionist to speak about healthy eating habits. Consider additional perks, such as reimbursement for a gym membership, insurance coverage for counseling and mental health support, and access to digital wellness or meditation platforms.
Happy employees do not quit their jobs. However, making employees happy entails far more than sending weekly inspiring emails, hanging motivating posters on the walls, or installing ping pong tables in the breakroom. Effective employee retention requires a comprehensive approach that encourages engagement, builds a strong company culture, and promotes values that genuinely matter to people.