10 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

It’s every manager’s misery when one of your best employees resigns out of the blue. Right away, you’ve got a whole new set of challenges to tackle on top of your daily responsibilities.

Not only do you have to find a replacement for such a talented team member, but you also have to consider the impact this departure will have on the rest of your staff.

Whenever a coworker walks out the door, people notice. Some might even start wondering if they should start looking for a new job, too. That’s why employee retention and job satisfaction should be high on every organization’s list of priorities, and why creating effective retention strategies to decrease turnover is one of a manager’s most important jobs.

Below are some tips on building retention plans that will benefit your company:

Ways to improve employee retention:

A successful employee retention strategy requires you to think about things from the team’s point of view. No two employees are exactly alike, of course; each has unique desires and goals. But all of them want to feel appreciated by their employer and treated fairly. They want to be challenged and excited by their work. And they want to be paid at or above market rates with good benefits.

All of these concerns are important, but managers serious about retention do more than just the bare minimum. You should consider every area of the employer-employee relationship in developing your organization’s plan for keeping workers happy and satisfied.

Here are 10 areas where strategic approach can boost employee retention:

1. Onboarding and orientation — Every new employee should be set up for success from the very start. Your onboarding process should teach new staff members not only about the job but also the company culture and how they can contribute and thrive. Don’t skip this important first step: The training and support you provide from Day One can set the foundation for the employee’s entire tenure at the company.

2. Mentorship programs — Pairing a new employee with a mentor is a great component to add to your continuing onboarding process. Mentors can offer guidance and be a sounding board for newcomers, welcoming them into the company. And it’s a win-win: New team members learn the ropes from experienced employees, and, in return, new hires offer a fresh viewpoint to your mentors. Employees’ work supervisors shouldn’t double as mentors, however.

3. Employee compensation — It’s absolutely necessary in this competitive labor market for companies to offer attractive compensation packages like good salaries, bonuses, paid time off, health benefits and retirement plans. Every employee should have a full understanding of the benefits they receive from your organization from the beginning.

4. Perks — Whether it’s paid time off for volunteering, occasional catered lunches or free snacks and coffee every day, perks can make your workplace stand out and boost employee morale. Some companies negotiate group discounts on big-ticket purchases, from cars and homes to smartphones and home security systems.

5. Wellness offerings — Keeping employees fit, mentally, physically and financially, is just good business.  Good and established organizations have mental wellness offerings such as stress management programs. Sixty-five percent of employers offer financial wellness resources, such as retirement planning or credit counseling. And some organizations provide gym access, incentives for engaging in healthy behavior or other physical wellness options.

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6. Annual performance reviews — Even if you’ve met with employees throughout the year to check on their job satisfaction, never miss a regular big-picture conversation. This is when you’ll discuss short and long-term goals and talk about their future with the company. While you should never make promises you can’t keep, you can talk about potential advancement scenarios together.

7. Training and development — Make it a priority to invest in your workers’ professional development and seek opportunities for them to grow. Some companies pay fees and travel for employees to attend conferences or industry events each year, provide tuition reimbursement, or pay for continuing education training.

8. Recognition and rewards systems — Every person wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. Make it a habit to reward your employees when they go the extra mile, whether it’s with a sincere email, a gift card or an extra day off. When you show your appreciation to employees, explain how their hard work helps the organization. Some companies set up formal rewards systems that incentivize great ideas and innovation, but you can institute recognition programs even on a small team with a small budget.

9. Fostering teamwork — When people work together, make sure everyone, not just the stars in your team, has a chance to contribute ideas and solutions. Further foster a culture of collaboration by accommodating individuals’ working styles and giving them the latitude to make smart decisions.

10. Flexible working arrangements — Some organizations allow staff to choose a compressed workweek (e.g., four 10-hour days) or flextime, where employees are on the clock, say, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ability to telecommute and avoid sitting in traffic one or two days a week can be a significant stress reliever and retention booster.

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Some final thoughts on retention

Revisit your employee retention strategy at least once a year. That includes staying current on market standards for salary and benefits and best practices in developing an attractive workplace culture and strong manager-employee relations. That’s the way to keep talented employees happy about working for your firm.

(Robert Half)



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