5 Employee Retention Strategies That Persuade People to Stay
Employees are the most valuable asset of any successful business—and employee retention strategies should be one of your top priorities. It’s great to get that top talent through the door, especially in a competitive job market, but how do you keep hold of them?
Interestingly, employee retention begins even before the first interview. Beyond the three C's (compensation, career path and culture), your company’s values can have a huge impact on employee retention.
Read on to discover five ways HR professionals can improve morale, strengthen company culture, and earn long-term employee retention.
Why Is Employee Retention Important?
The importance of employee retention is felt across the business: from profitability and productivity to culture and camaraderie. The cost of advertising for open roles, training and onboarding new employees can be as much as $1 trillion for large companies — and that’s before we mention the knock-on effect this can have on turnover and revenue.
Of course, employee retention also affects the quality of your business. Experienced employees who understand your industry and your brand inside and out are one of the best secret weapons you can have in your arsenal. In turn, they help create a knowledgeable and passionate culture within your business.
This harmony within your enterprise leads to a better employee experience, and the cycle continues. With so many upsides, it’s easy to see why making a winning employee retention plan is a must.
Included. Supported. Retained.
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5 Employee Retention Strategies Every Business Needs
1. Craft Intentional Job Descriptions
The job description is everything. If you’re not clear about your expectations and values from the outset, your new employee may feel blindsided and unprepared. Most organizations list their values as bullet points somewhere toward the end of the job description, meaning a lot of potential employees might just gloss right over them. One of the easiest ways to retain employees is to simply change your attitude to your job descriptions.
If one of your values is agility, highlight the importance of autonomy and fast decision-making in the advertised role. If you prioritize the wellbeing of your employees, advertise your wellness package. As far as employee retention strategies go, this is one of the most straightforward and ensures clear expectations from the outset.
2. Improve Your Total Compensation Strategy
Arguably the most important of the three Cs, compensation is one of the most fundamental factors that can affect employee performance, job satisfaction and, ultimately, retention.
If you’re looking for how to increase employee retention, re-assessing your compensation strategy can have a huge impact.
Some meaningful retention strategies for compensation include:
- Close pay gaps. Use the data available to you from HR to identify areas of pay disparity (between roles, within departments etc.) and close those gaps. This can also have a knock-on effect on an employee’s bonuses, benefits and perks.
- Standardize your compensation strategy. Data is your friend. Comparing your compensation offerings with other businesses means you can remain informed and competitive in the marketplace. Having set bands based on different levels and locations means you’re creating a more equitable experience for all.
- Be transparent. Honesty and transparency go a long way. Sometimes just sharing the rationale behind your pay decisions is one of the best employee retention ideas you can implement. A SHRM survey found that 91% of employees that believe their company is transparent about pay decisions are also more likely to trust their organization to pay people equally regardless of gender, race and ethnicity. Not only do these open conversations make your employees feel more valued and fairly compensated, they also help to create a stronger company culture.
3. Nurture a Healthy Company Culture
Company culture is becoming increasingly valuable to employees. The average American spends one third of their life at work, so it’s important that those hours are spent somewhere safe, happy and enjoyable. Curating the right company culture can play a huge role when trying to think of creative ways to retain employees.
First of all, you want to make sure that whoever you hire is the right fit for your company culture. You don’t just want someone who can do the job: you want someone to flourish within your business. Your vision and their vision need to align.
During the interview stage, ask the candidate where they have demonstrated your company values in their previous role, how they interpret your values, or which value they feel they embody the most. These sorts of questions go beyond the job description and can help you find an employee worth retaining.
If you don’t yet have a clearly defined company culture, begin by considering these three pillars:
- Communication: How do your employees communicate with you and with each other?
- Accountability: What are the consequences of outstanding or mediocre performance?
- Community: How do your employees relate to each other and your business?
Nurturing a supportive, enticing and productive company culture is one of the most effective ways to retain employees.
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4. Prioritize Praise and Feedback
One of the most demoralizing experiences at work is feeling unrecognized. Even if you make your values clear from the outset, it’s still important to recognize employees who exemplify those values in their work. When you routinely praise employees for their hard work, they notice.
There are, of course, some dos and don’ts for employee recognition. One of the most effective, yet most often overlooked, employee retention strategies is simply to increase and improve your praise and feedback initiatives. Celebrating employees enthusiastically and publicly not only makes them feel valued but can inspire others around them. If you can offer monetary rewards for a job well done, too, then there’s even more incentive for your employees to value you and their jobs.
However, don’t let praise and lack thereof be your only form of feedback. Offering advice around areas of improvement in a fair and supportive environment can also motivate employees and give them a sense of progress within your business.
5. Offer a Clear Career Path
As humans, we need purpose and movement. In our careers, we want to feel like we’re contributing to something worthwhile and moving forwards.
Even if you’re giving regular wage increases to your employees, they’re more likely to job hop if they don’t feel like the organization is investing in their professional growth. When considering how to retain employees, pay close attention to an individual’s career path.
Some effective employee retention ideas include:
- Additional training to help employees reach the next level
- Regular target setting
- Creating performance milestones
- Providing internal workshops and seminars of interest
- Internal hires and promotions
- Open dialogue between management and employees around progression plans.
Stop your employees from getting stagnant and your business will stay fresh too. Encouraging internal progression not only improves the quality of your company, it’s also a highly effective retention strategy.
Employees want to be heard. Is your organization listening?
With accurate, reliable employee surveys in BambooHR, you'll gain the insight you need to prevent burnout, improve morale, and stop premature turnover in its tracks.