Do you know why employees leave? It’s not because they are lazy or don’t care about their jobs. The truth is, employment turnover costs American companies $1 trillion each year in recruitment and training expenses alone.
It is not uncommon for companies to end up wasting time and resources when they hire an employee who does not fit their company culture. For example, recent reports from Gallup estimate that the United States’ billion-dollar businesses are losing revenue because of voluntary staff turnover. In addition to this, last year Americans alone quit their jobs a total of 40 million times, representing 26% of the workforce in America.
That doesn’t even account for the cost of lost productivity or the time spent by HR staff trying to fill positions that need to be filled ASAP.
Actionable Employee Retention Strategies
In this article, we will explore the most effective strategies used to retain your employees, increase their performance and decrease turnover.
Before we begin, let’s take a look at why employees leave your company in the first place. Most often, it is not because they don’t care about the work. In fact, employees are often willing to stay and fight if it’s for a company that cares about them.
Why Do Employees Leave?
There are many reasons why an employee leaves a company. Sometimes, it’s a result of the employee not feeling like they are moving forward in their career. Other times, an employee leaves because they do not feel valued or appreciated at work.
There are also external factors that can cause an employee to leave quickly and unexpectedly – such as when there is a change in management or ownership; company shutdowns due to bankruptcy; layoffs during economic downturns; job elimination as part of downsizing efforts; or relocation for military personnel.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what lead them to leave, but here are a few common pieces of feedback we’ve heard from hiring managers in the years we work together. This feedback is gathered during an employee’s ‘exit interview’ before they leave the company.
- The pay was lower than expected when compared to other jobs offered at similar companies.
- They were unhappy with how they were treated by coworkers and upper-level managers.
- There was too much focus on short-term results instead of long-term growth opportunities.
- They felt that they were frequently undermined, in their opinion or abilities by the company and supervisors.
- The organizational culture wasn’t a good fit for them.
- There was a lack of recognition from management/supervisors on an ongoing basis about the work they do.
- A lack of alignment in values between the person sought for the position and those with authority to hire them.
- Their current work wasn’t challenging enough for them, they wanted more of a challenge from day-to-day tasks.
- They just need a change.
In order to combat high turnover rates and keep your employees satisfied, you must invest in them.
No strategy will work if your company culture does not align with what would make an employee happy.
How Do You Retain Employees?
Hiring can be challenging in many different areas and across a diverse span of industries. In some regions, the labor market favors employers with lots of available positions, but this is not always the case in every part of our country or world. Even if you are an employer who never stopped hiring during the pandemic, it may take longer to find a candidate with skills that meet your needs when there aren’t as many candidates out there looking for work.
Reducing your staff turnover is vital for the survival of your business. Here are 10 ways you can help ensure quality personnel doesn’t walk out the door forever:
1 Offer A Competitive Base Salary or Hourly Wage
Salaries for employees should be competitive and employers should consider compensation options, especially if your company can’t increase salaries right now. Healthcare benefits or retirement packages are all a form of compensation that can make your employees happy.
Remember, your team members need to live comfortably as well as feel like their work is rewarding and valuable. While there are tools that can help you calculate a competitive salary for employees (and precisely what they should be paid), it becomes even more important when considering the human dimensions of the process involved.
Employees also need to be able to afford the increasing cost of living, which is why competitive salaries and benefits are so important. If you’re unsure what a fair salary would look like for your employees, research it in advance.
2 Include A Wellness Program
Offering healthy, inclusive work benefits not only ensures employee wellness but also boosts retention and morale.
Mental illness is a global pandemic. The shocking reality exposed many leading employers to the imperative of prioritizing their employees’ wellness — in order to increase their well-being, you must maintain your focus on mental health. This can range from stress management programs, retirement planning services, or reimbursement for fitness classes (just some examples).
3 Offer Cool Perks That Keep Employees Happy
Employees are essential to a company’s success, which is why it’s crucial for companies to establish an ideal culture in order to make sure that their employees feel valued and fulfilled. While most employers often think of salary increases when rewards come into play, there are many other options as well–such as incentives and job perks–that can be used instead.
How To Retain Employees Without Money (or Little Of)
Here are 10 ways on how to motivate your employees without resorting to money.
- Massages and yoga are a great way to keep employees happy, feeling focused, healthy, and productive.
- Flexible Hours: Offer your staff the option of flexible hours so that they can better balance work with personal life commitments such as childcare or elder care.
- Napping pods: Napping pods offer an excellent opportunity for midday naps while on-site–perfect for those who rely heavily on caffeine to get through their day!
- Free breakfast or lunch with your team is a great way to rejuvenate and refuel. This also brings the team together and creates a sense of camaraderie.
- Healthy snacks: Whether healthy or not, make sure that employees have access to nourishing snacks and drinks both on-site and as they’re traveling throughout the day.
- Paid Parental Leave: This is an excellent way for your company to show their appreciation of mothers who are returning from maternity leave with a new baby in tow–not to mention it’s also in line with some state laws!
- No Work Hours: Offering flexible schedules shows your team members how much value you place on personal commitments outside work hours such as time spent caring for children, elderly parents, or even pets. It will also help them better manage their lives so that when they come into work, they’re more productive.
- Adjusting Expectations: You can even offer flexible expectations for the hours your employees come into work each day or week–perhaps instead of coming into the office at a fixed time every morning and staying until a set time each night, you could allow them to arrive early or leave late depending on when they need it most.
- Flexible Work Spaces: This allows your team members to decide where they want to do their job based on what is best for them (e.g., if someone wants privacy while working with sensitive data). It also helps keep people focused since we all know that there are fewer distractions from co-workers popping by unannounced than there would be if everyone was grouped together in one office.
- Incentives: One option is giving new hires bonuses tied to hitting specific goals within the given timeframe (e.g., $100 after being employed for three months). Or, some kind of a gift card can be given to employees who reach a certain level of customer satisfaction.
These are fairly inexpensive ways to show your employees that you appreciate them and want to keep them around.
4 Connect With Your Team
Part of engaging your employees and encouraging them to view this as a long-term investment is taking time to get connected with them. We’ve already seen how engagement has a huge impact on contributing to the success of your company.
When employees feel connected, they have a purpose. This makes them more likely to engage in work-related tasks that are aligned with the company mission and goals–and it helps them see how their own actions contribute to the ultimate success of the company. It also helps new hires get off on the right foot thanks to onboarding materials and training focused specifically on those individuals’ interests and skillsets.
5 Give The Tools They Need To Succeed
If you intend to provide your workers with the tools, resources, and information they need to succeed, consider delivering those things in a timely manner. This ensures they are aware of what’s expected of them and have the chance to hit their work target.
Here are some resources for new employees on their first day at the office.
- Training: Provide employees with the technical training they need to do their jobs. Hold regular meetings, workshops, and seminars where workers can learn about new programs or software updates that could help them in their current role. Consider holding coaching sessions for managers on how best to handle different employee situations so it’s not just a one-sided conversation.
- Resources: Choose quality resources when giving your team what they need at work. For example, offer ergonomic furniture if you have staff who spend hours sitting down each day; provide the right digital assets for them such as laptop computers, tablets, or smartphones if you believe that technology can be a part of their job.
6 Give Employees Work-Life Balance
Employees need to feel like they have a life outside of work, and it’s up to you as the boss to make sure that they do!
Establishing regular work hours, policies for working on weekends, or work-from-home programs can offer your team members the flexibility they need to bring their best to work every single day.
7 Allow Flexible Work Arrangements
With the recent pandemic, an increasing number of workers are looking for flexible work arrangements to ensure that they can manage their responsibilities while still caring for their families.
If your company culture is flexible, why not give employees the option of working remotely or having a flex schedule?
Employees are happier when they can work in an environment that feels right for them while still getting their tasks accomplished. They’ll be more likely to stay with you if they have the flexibility and feel valued at work!
8 Offer Regular Training and Development Programs
Ensure that employees have the resources to continuously “upskill” by providing feedback on areas they can improve. Even though upskilling is important today with technology continuing to change how we work, there are specific ways that top employers are helping people learn new skills.
Consider the time you spend creating and posting a job description, evaluating applicants, interviewing candidates, and extending job offers. Your new employee hasn’t even been hired yet and you’ve already invested tens of hours starting the process. However, this entails more than just investments at the moment; it also takes into account long-term strategic planning for company growth or change.
One way to curate your workforce is by giving employees time to attend virtual conferences, providing tuition reimbursement, or pay for continuing education. However, there can be room to grow within those initiatives as well: and that includes succession planning which can be a highly effective method for advancing professional development and building leadership skills.
9 Regular Communication
With the pandemic, the importance of good workplace communication came into sharp focus. The organization needs to ensure that team members can come to their managers for any issue, with zero fear of retribution.
As a leader, you need to make sure you’re doing your part to promote timely and positive communication throughout the entire company as well as on-site and remote employees.
Make sure you are transparent in communicating with everyone on a regular basis so they know what is going on in both personal issues and work-related tasks each day in order to decommission roadblocks from occurring.
10 Encourage Employees To Give Feedback
One of the most important aspects of making a company great is giving feedback. When workers don’t feel like their thoughts are being heard, they assume your company doesn’t care about improving or acting on any worthy ideas; it only cares about its own interests.
Many employees have a tendency of thinking nothing will change even if they propose something new, as long as you keep them around.
Remember – it never hurts to thank those who offer their suggestions. Create a culture where staff feels comfortable offering their thoughts.
11 Employee Appreciation
Every person wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. And in today’s “anywhere workforce,” an employer’s gratitude can make a huge impact. So be sure to thank your direct reports who go the extra mile and explain how their hard work helps the organization.
Some companies set up formal rewards systems to incentivize great ideas and innovation, but you can institute compelling recognition programs even if you have a small team or limited budget.
12 Effective Change Management
When your company goes through change, it can be difficult to keep employees calm. When a new order is put in place or there is a reorganization, you will want to take the time necessary to talk with an individual at the employee level about what’s happening and how it affects them. By letting employees know what’s upcoming for their department before changes are made, they will have a better understanding of how things work as well as any transition plans that might be in store for them.
13 Make Teamwork Your Culture
Teamwork is important to the success of any organization, which is why it’s so important for you as an employer to encourage collaboration between members at all levels and empower them to feel comfortable sharing their opinions both on the job and off-the-clock.
It’s crucial that team spirit be fostered in order for companies to succeed; this can be done through collaborating on projects, offering feedback about products/services, or even just being supportive when someone has needed emotional support following a difficult day. One way employers can promote teamwork is by making available spaces where people from different departments – whether they work in the same office or not – can collaborate and work together.
14 Schedule Regular One-On-One Meetings
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each employee to get to know them better and find out what their strengths are. These chats can be scheduled on an ad hoc basis, whenever you feel the need for a meeting or when you see potential in a new hire that needs some guidance. The takeaway here is that it’s important not only to have these conversations but also to make time for them so they don’t become stressful events later down the line when your employees start feeling like they could use more support from management.
15 Create A Clean And Safe Work Place
Dirtiness and clutter can affect the morale of your employees. Ensure that they maintain a comfortable environment, where they are not distracted from their work.
Remember that employees spend most of the day (if not all) at work, and they should be more comfortable there than anywhere.
To ensure a safe and productive work environment, carrying out a risk assessment can be helpful. Your company may need to update existing policies and put additional procedures in place so that all employees are at minimal risk of injury or death while they are working.
This concludes our 15 most effective employee retention strategies you can use right now. We hope this helps you to keep your employees happy and, hopefully, with you for a long time.
People are always going to leave a company for different reasons and it is hard to predict why they will actually quit, but there are some key points that can help in the prevention process of an employee leaving.
When employees come into your organization make sure they know what their role is, how long it takes them to get promoted if they do well and why people should stay at your place of work after being hired. All companies want happy employees so this is one step in the retention strategy we have seen as very effective.
The next thing you need to be aware of when retaining talent involves providing great benefits packages like health care and bonuses tied specifically with performance reviews or experience levels or years spent working there.
While it may seem a bit more difficult at first, there are many ways to retain talent. Utilize your resources and put some work into finding the right fit.