Boosting employee retention rates requires a strong strategy and the will to make organizational culture a priority. The last year saw a rapid increase of resignations all over the world. This phenomenon did not only apply to young workers still finding their footing.
Even experienced and hard-to-replace workers are reassessing their work-life expectations and reshaping their careers at an unprecedented rate. In 2022, holding talent takes effort but a strong retention strategy is bound to pay off.
Why employee retention is important
Effective employee retention is associated with a healthy work environment and a successful management style. Holding to talents instead of looking for new ones is not only a better option when it comes to managing knowledge within the company, but it also saves time and resources.
The scouting, recruiting, and hiring process is costly, and together with the necessary training period, hiring a new person can cost up to twice as much as a single employee's yearly salary.
Moreover, employee retention allows a company to maintain a steady, uninterrupted workflow and a constant productivity rate. It creates a safe work environment where people work efficiently not out of fear of losing their job but out of genuine good cooperation with a well-navigated team.
How high turnover rates affect company culture
We’ve talked about the dreaded loss of knowledge that inevitably comes with a high turnover rate. However, another regrettable consequence of employee turnover is a quality decrease in terms of organizational culture and the company's reputation in general.
If staff comes and goes, there is no time for your employees to effectively become one and act as a team, there is no opportunity to form meaningful work relationships and cooperation becomes almost impossible.
The impact on morale and productivity of a high turnover rate is not to be taken lightly: whenever an employee leaves, it's not only the company that pays the price. The former coworkers do too, as they are often left picking up the extra workload.
Overall, a high employee turnover rate will create a work environment characterized by constant disruption, impacting productivity and administration at every level.
10 Employee Retention Strategies for the Modern Workplace
In order to keep your employees, you need to be proactive and put effort into creating a positive work culture, as well as into detecting potential issues that might make employees leave. Employees can leave for various reasons, but most of the time it will boil down to a lack of communication, support or growth opportunities. Here are 10 employee retention strategies that will help you do just that.
1. Regular Check-ins
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to retain employees is to check in with them regularly. By staying in touch, you'll show your employees that you care about them and their well-being and that you're invested in their professional development. Having a regular conversation about career direction and developing together a realistic timeline will help you hold on to your talents!
You can also use this time to ask your employees which aspects of their job make them want to stay, and what might drive them away. Don’t just guess what your employee might want, because that won't probably get you anywhere.
The way to go is to just ask directly. You may think: what if I am not able to give them what they want? Sure, the first answer to the question “what would you like?” is often a promotion or a paycheck raise. But in truth, there is so much more than an employee may want and that you can realistically offer to them.
2. Informal and open communication
One of the most important aspects of a healthy work culture is open communication. This means that employees should feel comfortable voicing their opinions and bringing up concerns, without fear of repercussions. By fostering an environment of openness and trust, you'll encourage employee engagement and creativity.
Open and informal communication also plays a huge role in driving down retention numbers by creating cohesion - employees that feel like part of a team are much less likely to leave. Innovative platforms such as Lorino can facilitate the communication process, allowing for informal announcements, conversations, and brainstorming, which again fosters a greater feeling of unity amongst employees and makes them feel like they are truly part of a team, rather than just workforce.
3. Look out for signs of burnout and take action
When it comes to burnout, it's important to be proactive and look out for signs. Make sure your employees are not feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work, or by their schedule. When an employee is being less productive, or less efficient than usual, there may be something more going on.
Don’t ignore signs of distress and take action. This could mean giving them extra time off, providing counseling services, or simply listening to their concerns.
It's also important to encourage a healthy work-life balance. This means ensuring that employees have time to relax and recharge outside of work. When employees feel like they have a good work-life balance, they're more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
4. Implement work-life balance programs
Every member of your staff has a personal life, with goals and expectations that go beyond their career. If a company, for instance, lacks a good maternity and paternity leave system, doesn’t allow for sick child leaves, or has a strong stand against flexible hours, employees are going to eventually leave.
So one way to reduce employee turnover is to implement a work-life balance program. By giving your employees the freedom to manage their work and personal lives in a way that best suits them, you'll show that you care about their wellbeing.
5. Hold management responsible
Promote empathy and ensure a healthy and functional management style throughout the company. The decision to resign or start looking for a new job can have more to do with an employee being dissatisfied with their direct management than dissatisfied with their paycheck.
When the employee-manager relationship goes south, the work environment suffers deeply and at that point, there is not much that HR can offer to make the employee stay.
6. Avoid pay dissatisfaction
As aforementioned, turnover can be much more costly than one may think, making hiring a new employee always more expensive than keeping an existing one. With dissatisfaction being one of the main reasons behind resignations, fair compensation is thus not only ethical but effectively convenient for the company.
So be sure to review your employee compensation regularly to ensure that it is still appropriate. Additionally, you can keep your employees happy by offering other forms of compensation, such as bonuses, stock options, or employee referral programs.
Employees that feel rewarded and appreciated for their work are more likely to develop loyalty toward a company. The reward system though has to be transparent, credible, and trustworthy. For this strategy to be effective, the reward system should be based on achievable and observable goals, with predefined standards whose details are disclosed to everyone.
7. Make a good first impression
It's no secret that making a good first impression is important. It's so important to put effort into ensuring your new hires feel welcomed and comfortable from the moment they start. This not only makes the employee feel appreciated but also sets the tone for the rest of their time at the company.
A great welcome package, a special introductory tour of the company, assigning a “sponsor” to your new employee to help them get into the company’s groove and workflow are all welcoming strategies that have been linked to a lower turnover rate. When a new employee feels like an integral part of the company from day one, is more likely to quickly grow a sense of belonging and is less likely to leave the company.
8. Employee development opportunities
Another way to keep your employees happy and engaged is by providing them with development opportunities. This could mean offering training and professional development programs, or simply giving your employees the opportunity to take on new challenges and grow their skills.
As mentioned earlier, regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings are a great way to connect with your employees and map out future steps for their career and professional development.
By providing your employees with the opportunity to learn and grow, you'll not only help them advance their careers, but also keep them motivated and committed to your organization.
9. Create a positive work environment
A positive work environment is key to employee retention. By creating a supportive and encouraging atmosphere, you'll help your employees feel happy and valued, which will in turn reduce turnover rates.
Some ways to create a positive work environment include
- Encouraging employee feedback and input
- Promoting teamwork and collaboration
- Fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility
- Recognizing and rewarding employee achievements
By creating a positive work environment, you'll strengthen employee morale, and help your employees feel happy and appreciated, which will encourage them to stay with your organization for the long term.
10. Hire the right person!
This may sound obvious, but it is better to invest more time and money in developing an efficient scouting and interviewing process, than having to replace new employees in a matter of months.
Employee retention starts from the moment you decide to bring a new team member on board and by choosing someone who is a good fit for your company and culture, you'll reduce the chances of them leaving in the future.
When screening candidates, be sure to look for qualities that indicate they will be a good fit for your organization. Discussing expectations from the start, and mapping out what the next few years in the company may look for the future employee will help you find someone whose goals are aligned with what the position can offer.
The employee retention rate of an organization is one of the best indicators of how well it cares for its employees. By implementing employee-friendly policies, listening to your teams, and providing a positive work environment, you can help reduce employee turnover and keep your team happy and engaged.