At a time when employees are walking away from their jobs in droves, employee retention is coming into sharp focus. No business wants to lose the time and expense associated with employee turnover, not to mention the lost productivity that occurs during employee onboarding and the burnout that remaining employees might experience when they have to take on the tasks of those who leave.
While good hiring practices and careful candidate selection can go a long way toward ensuring employee satisfaction, there are several other approaches that can also prove fruitful for businesses looking to raise their employee retention rate. Outlined below are the top solutions modern businesses are using to keep their top talent on their payroll.
Implement Mentorship Programs
During employee onboarding, pairing new hires with a mentor can make a significant impact on keeping them on board in the long run. This is particularly helpful in remote work environments where new hires may otherwise feel isolated. Although the benefits to new employees of having a mentor are obvious, this approach can also be helpful to the seasoned employee who is serving as the mentor as it exposes them to a fresh viewpoint.
However, mentorship can be just as beneficial when both parties involved are existing staff members. Setting up mentor-mentee relationships can help workers form deeper bonds and foster company loyalty.
Offer Continuous Performance Feedback
For companies that are still performing annual feedback reviews, switching to a continuous feedback model can help them to see what their future holds with the company. This helps them to identify a path forward while also inspiring loyalty.
Provide Opportunities for Professional Development
It should come as no surprise to learn that there is a direct link between a low investment in worker development and employee turnover. Supporting professional development and ongoing learning in employees uplifts them and makes them more likely to stay on board.
Therefore, it is important to set up clear career paths for employees and offer education and coaching programs to help them feel more engaged and creative. Consider offering employees reimbursement for certification programs, continuing education and for attending industry specific conferences. Some companies host internal knowledge sharing sessions where their employees can teach each other new skills. Finding ways to give employees room to grow is a great method of encouraging development and showing them that management cares about their career trajectory.
Implement Reward Systems
Offering rewards programs that are tied to employee performance can help boost motivation, encourage collaboration and give your employees something tangible to work toward.
Businesses can set up an informal program or use one of the many employee rewards systems that are offered by third parties. They allow workers to accumulate points for completing their work on time, going above and beyond what is asked of them, closing a set number of tickets, receiving positive feedback from clients or a specific type of behavior the business chooses to reward that can eventually lead to a specific benefit.
For example, accumulating a certain number of points could allow an employee to earn a day off, a better parking spot, a technological device, restaurant gift cards, a paid weekend trip or some other reward that is meaningful to them and can be selected from a customized group of rewards. Even if something spectacular is not in your budget, even the prospect of an afternoon off or free parking can be incredibly inspiring. Keep in mind, however, that these systems work best when they are tied to rewards other than cash.
Offering rewards boosts individual involvement at work as well as commitment to the company. Rewards systems can also encourage friendly competition among workers and improve productivity as those who are trying to reach their goals become more efficient with their time and energy.
Create Remote Work Opportunities Where Possible
Even though most companies have reopened their offices after the pandemic, many employees prefer to continue working remotely. For positions where it is not realistic to work remotely 100 percent of the time, offering flexible work arrangements or part-time remote work can go a long way toward keeping employees on board.
A recent survey by Robert Half found that 50 percent of professionals who are currently working from home said they would look for a new job if they had to return to their office full-time. In cases where remote work is not a possibility, consider offering a partial telecommuting option or a compressed workweek to help alleviate employee stress and give your retention efforts a boost.
Consider Flexible Schedules
Whether or not working remotely is an option at your company, you may be able to find opportunities to offer flexible schedules. When employees can adjust their hours to accommodate their family caregiving responsibilities, medical appointments or even simple errands, they will feel more in control over their work day, which can increase their satisfaction on the job. This holds true even when their overall total number of working hours is the same.
Compressed work weeks are a good option. This may include an employee working their required 40 hours across four days rather than five so they can have an additional day off each week to tend to personal matters. Another approach is allowing them to work the second or third shift, which allows some employees to prevent their working hours from overlapping with those of a spouse in order to facilitate childcare and other responsibilities.
You might also consider allowing employees to choose their own starting and ending hours so they can enjoy a greater sense of flexibility and control. In some organizations, there may be certain core hours that some employees must work that overlap with other team members so that everyone is present for team meetings or other important events.
Acknowledge Important Employee Milestones
Employees who feel recognized are more likely to stay with a company and are often more productive as well. When an employee has a noteworthy achievement, whether they have reached their 10-year anniversary with the company or a team finishes a big project well ahead of the deadline, take a moment to celebrate the milestone. Acknowledging the dedication and hard work your employees have invested in the firm gives them an important sense of belonging and ownership that can motivate them to go above and beyond in the future because they understand their efforts will be recognized.
Some ideas for celebrating bigger employee milestones, such as meeting goals, earning new certifications or anniversaries with the company, consider offering some time off or treating them to lunch or dinner. A gift card, financial bonus or new electronics are other popular options.
With some budgets, the approach just needs to be a little more creative. Any type of acknowledgment at all, even if it is a public congratulations during a meeting, can make a difference, allowing businesses with smaller budgets to still reap the benefits of recognizing employee milestones.
Create a Culture That Employees Enjoy Being Part Of
Company culture has never been more important than it is right now, with the Associated Press reporting that almost half of employees say they would leave their current job to take a lower-paying one with a business that offers a better culture. Meanwhile, studies have shown that when employees decide to leave their job, a toxic workplace culture is 10 times more the reason than compensation. When members of staff do not feel comfortable with the business environment, they are more likely to leave.
A strong organizational culture can help to strengthen existing employee relationships, attract standout talent and improve customer service. One way to develop an exceptional culture is by rewarding those who act on the company’s values. In addition, leaders should ensure that the company’s goals are tied to the products and services offered.
Some of the traits that strong corporate cultures share include strong commitments to inclusion and diversity, support for leadership, seeking out and valuing employees’ opinions and possessing clearly articulated values.
To prevent a toxic workplace culture, set up a web-based reporting portal that allows employees to report any workplace concerns and financial or wellness challenges they may be experiencing so they can get assistance. Ensure there are policies and codes of conduct in place and that they are being followed.
Take a Closer Look at Management
There is some truth behind the saying that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. In fact, a study carried out in 2019 revealed that 57 percent of employees have quit a job due to a poor relationship with a manager. This is why it is vital for companies to make sure that performance reviews consider management skills and provide ongoing mentorship and training to all levels of managers, particularly if it is their first time in a leadership role.
When employees support one another in teamwork, their morale is higher which can lead to higher job satisfaction as well as greater employee retention. Employees are often happier when they feel that sense of community and cohesiveness that comes from teamwork. It helps them feel comfortable and safe in their workplace, which makes them less likely to seek new jobs. It can also increase productivity and, by extension, the bottom line of the company.
All employees should be encouraged to contribute solutions and ideas. In many companies, it is often only the top performers who feel comfortable offering solutions; be sure everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas regardless of their position or performance. Foster a culture of teamwork by making new opportunities for collaboration and giving people some latitude when it comes to decisions and course corrections.
Improve Your Wellness Offerings
Employee wellness programs don’t just improve workers’ health; they also boost productivity and enhance employee morale and loyalty. At a time with skyrocketing health insurance and healthcare costs, it has never been more important to offer employees a comprehensive wellness program.
Work with benefits advisors to survey your workforce, evaluate the personal wellness needs and interests of employees and carry out a health risk assessment. A wellness program may have goals, such as reducing the number of obese employees by a certain percentage or reducing the number of employees who smoke by a certain percentage by a set date.
A wellness program can include a broad range of components. Weight loss and stress reduction are some of the most common inclusions, but exercise programs and nutrition education are growing in popularity. Some businesses are implementing regular sessions for greater engagement, such as Monday motivation sessions to kick off the week on the right note. There may even be incentives or rewards tied to them, such as offering a weight loss competition or setting up walking challenges with step trackers. Some wellness programs also include gym discounts or memberships, yoga workshops, and healthy cooking competitions.
Reevaluate Employee Benefits
Competitive pay is just one part of the equation. Offering a competitive benefits package can reduce the chances of employees leaving for better offers. Traditional healthcare plans will always be desirable, but increasing numbers of employees are looking for dental and vision plans as well.
In addition to the traditional insurance offerings, there is an increasing emphasis on mental health. The pandemic has left many people feeling unhappy, uncertain and stressed. Employee benefits with coverage for mental health services are growing in popularity and demand. Pet insurance and coverage for fertility treatments are also playing a bigger role in benefits programs. Companies should also reassess their parental leave offerings and ensure they are competitive if they want to keep valued employees on board.
Talk to the Premier Benefits Consultants
Although some employee turnover may be inevitable, the right strategy can give your retention rate a significant boost. This can have a positive impact on your company’s productivity and bottom line. For guidance in developing an effective strategy to show employees they are valued members of your team and inspire them to stay on board, get in contact with the experienced benefits consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG) today.