The labor market turmoil currently seen in the United States has left employers scrambling to find qualified employees. Some companies are discovering that the best approach to surviving a time known as the Great Resignation is overhauling their employee retention strategy to ensure they will not need to fill any vacancies.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs companies, on average, anywhere from six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. This means it could cost as much as $45,000 in recruitment and training to replace an employee earning $60,000 a year. Focusing on employee retention can save businesses a significant amount of money in the long run.
Creating an Effective Employee Retention Strategy
Here are the most important elements to consider when creating an employee retention strategy for your company.
Choose the Right Employees
Companies that are experiencing a high degree of employee turnover need to focus their recruitment efforts on attracting the right employees who align with their culture and are more likely to stay with the company. Businesses should ensure that their careers page emphasizes interesting aspects of their culture, and positions their working environment in a way that inspires the right candidates to respond.
Employees who are disengaged can have a surprisingly negative effect on an organization. In addition to lowering morale and setting poor examples, this type of behavior can stop the employees around them from performing at their best. A negative attitude will often carry over into interactions with clients, who may choose to take their business to competitors with a more positive atmosphere.
One significant way for companies to build engagement is by giving employees a voice and allowing them to influence the decisions that affect not only their work but the direction of the business overall. Provide employees with opportunities to give the business candid feedback, whether it is in the form of concerns about problems or suggestions for new projects. In addition to giving businesses the opportunity to address issues before they damage employee morale, they may be able to capitalize on innovative employee ideas.
Offer Recognition and Rewards
Many employees report feeling unimportant or not recognized in their job. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and this should exceed the occasional congratulations on an extraordinary accomplishment.
Instead, build a culture of recognition that includes specific and frequent acknowledgment. Some companies even use recognition platforms with a points-based reward system so workers can obtain rewards that are meaningful to them. Social recognition and financial rewards are both effective in this regard.
Find Out Why Past Employees Left
Companies should reach out to employees who have recently left the company to conduct an exit interview. This can provide valuable insight into an employee’s perspective of the company and highlight areas where employee retention strategies can be improved.
Departing employees often cite reasons such as inadequate benefits, a lack of recognition, or the need for a better work-life balance, all of which are areas that can be addressed moving forward with an employee retention strategy to keep current employees on board.
Focus on Onboarding
Many employees leave a job shortly after hiring because they feel that it is not the right fit for them. Although this may be the case sometimes, creating an exceptional onboarding experience can help ease the transition to a new job and help employees make the important shift from being an outsider at the company to an insider.
Businesses should avoid inundating new hires with too much information. Instead, it should be trickled out slowly, accompanied by regular requests for feedback to ensure they feel comfortable and capable.
Help employees get to know their coworkers and encourage frequent interaction among teammates to build a good rapport. It may be useful to set up new hires with a mentor who can answer all their questions. Positive social connections between coworkers helps to raise employee retention.
Create a Positive Culture
According to Glassdoor, 77 percent of employees consider the culture of a company before they apply. In addition, many employees say they would be willing to leave their job for a lower-paying position at a company that has a better culture.
Companies can develop a strong culture by identifying values that are meaningful to every employee and tying the company’s goals to its products and services. A strong organizational culture can deepen existing relationships among employees while attracting standout talent and improving customer service dramatically.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
There is a strong link between a low investment in employee development and worker turnover, and this can be counteracted by supporting professional development and ongoing learning. Some companies may choose to provide reimbursement for certification programs and continuing education, while others may offer coaching programs that help employees feel more creative and engaged.
Another approach that can help with employee retention is encouraging managers to offer a side project to employees who have shown an interest in a new area. This demonstrates that management cares about their career path and trusts them to lend their knowledge and talent to other aspects of the company.
Offer the Right Perks
Providing new perks is a good way to re-engage current staff and give overall employee morale a boost. For example, offering flexible work options by creating a remote work policy, or allowing cooperative schedules that enable them to plan their working hours around family commitments and commuting logistics, can go a long way toward keeping employees happy.
Focus On Wellness and a Positive Work-Life Balance
Employee burnout is a growing problem, and the negative emotions and lack of energy it creates can affect employees’ mental and physical health and bring down the organization.
A focus on wellness and a positive work-life balance can keep employees from feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Offering flexible hours and encouraging employees to use all of their vacation time is a good start, but some companies also bring in professionals such as nutritionists to talk about healthy eating habits, or fitness coaches to host fitness challenges. Managers should also learn how to identify signs of burnout and help employees who may be struggling.
Request an Employee Benefits Consultation with Business Benefits Group
A carefully planned employee retention strategy can help organizations keep their current talent on board and avoid the expenses involved in recruiting and training. Contact the experienced consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG) today to learn more about our retention services.