Strategies for Improving Employee Retention

Employees are an integral part of every company, as they bring the vision to life. It is nearly impossible for an organization to stand without talented people, which is one of the reasons that retention is an area employers should invest in.


As an employer, you may be wondering how you can keep your most valuable employees around — a good question to ask, and one you should find answers to ASAP, seeing as high turnover rates could result in major losses. Specifically, studies predict that when a business has to replace a salaried employee, it costs an average of 6-9 months salary to train the new hire, which quickly adds up.

There are multiple approaches you can take to reduce your turnover rate and keep your employees happy. While there is no perfect formula, here are a few strategies for improving retention worth exploring.

Create Opportunities for Growth

It’s very unlikely that people go into a company hoping to work in the same position for years on end. Despite this, many organizations make the mistake of not creating opportunities for growth within the chain of command, which can result in talented people leaving. To prevent this from happening in your business, it’s imperative to invest in training and development. This is a way of supporting your employee’s personal development and ensuring they grow and acquire new skills. If they have noticeable skill gaps in areas like IT, for example, developing their skills could be of huge benefit to your business. It also enables them to perform at an optimum level and flourish in their roles.


Especially when you hire new employees, offering optimized training could help them settle in better and more quickly. However, you don’t want to put the entire burden on managers, so consider outsourcing training. Doing this will enable managers to focus on other aspects of meeting employee needs and in some cases, save you money.


Effective Leadership

Research has found that leadership has a direct impact on employee retention. This is no surprise, as leaders can influence the experiences of employees in an organization for both the good and the bad. For example, one goal that leaders can focus on is creating a sense of community amongst employees and their coworkers. In doing so, you help employees feel safe, connected, and supported. Such feelings could make them more inclined to stay long-term.


One such company that emphasizes this ideal is CollegeWise, which has an impressive near-100 percent rate of retention. One of the reasons is because of their dedication to one-to-one meetings with employees. Managers are required to only ask questions and listen with the sole intent of empathizing and learning. This is a way of creating a platform for ongoing and effective communication, and may also help employees feel comfortable sharing their struggles, and feel as though their voice matters.


For instance, if employees feel connected to and valued by their managers, they may be more open to discussing sensitive topics like sexual assault or harassment within the workplace. It also creates learning opportunities for management — not only will they learn more about employee’s needs, but it could result in more effective problem-solving.


Look for Ways to Avoid Burnout

When employees feel overburdened, it could lead to them quitting. In light of this, explore ways to avoid burnout in the office, especially if you’re a small business. One way to do this would be to outsource a portion of work to freelancers so that employees aren’t doing more than they can handle. It may also help if you encourage work-life balance by offering a flexible work schedule, such as options to work from home or make up some hours later in the week if they have to attend a doctor’s appointment during the day. Also, encourage them to take annual leave so they have time to recharge and spend time with loved ones.


Employees are the most valuable resources that you have, so protect them. By making sure they’re mastering the art of work-life balance, you could  increase your chances of creating a happier and more productive workforce.


Offer Competitive Salaries

Paying your employee market rates could help them stick around longer. The 2019 Employee Engagement Report found that for a ten percent increase in a current salary, 43 percent of workers would leave their company for somewhere else. To prevent this, check what competitors are offering money-wise for similar jobs, and match it or offer better. There should also be a compensation package that includes a range of perks, such as bonuses or profit-sharing.


Also, don’t shy away from offering pay raises to employees that are pulling their weight. Aside from the fact that most people would appreciate more money, it shows employees that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed and they’re valued.


Make Them Feel Comfortable

You don’t want your employees to feel isolated when working in your company, which is just one reason why you should make an effort to ensure the workplace environment is as comfortable as possible. One means of doing this is by promoting diversity in the workplace. Not only can it help attract more talent as in this day and age, but people enjoy being a part of companies that embrace diversity. Doing so may also improve employee performance as equality can make your employees happier.


Another way that you can make employees feel comfortable is by making the environment they’re in more vibrant. Ensure there is enough space for them to work independently as well as collaboratively. If your physical office space is too cramped or too spacious, consider moving to a new space entirely. Ultimately, you want to create an office that they’re keen on spending hours in every day.


Enticing employees to stay with your company doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. If you focus on the people you hire and meeting their core needs, you could increase their loyalty to your business, plain and simple. Connecting with employees, paying them what they feel they’re worth, and supporting their growth are a few good places to start.


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