Employee retention is critical to your company’s survival in the saturated, competitive international job market.
Moreover, retention is one of the biggest challenges businesses face today. The number of people quitting their jobs voluntarily is expected to reach 1 in 3 by 2023. This sobering projection reflects decade-on-decade increases in churn rates.
As a result of employee turnover, employers are left with many costs to shoulder. These range from dampened team morale to lost productivity to recruiting costs. These costs accumulate to a staggering $1 trillion for the U.S. economy each year.
As more Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, they have a distinctive relationship with their jobs. Unlike their predecessors, they have less hesitation about leaving their jobs for competitors because their offer is more tempting.
But, all is not lost. If you use the following 12 pro tips, you should be able to increase your company’s retention.
1. Make hiring a comprehensive process.
This is an inevitability. Hiring the right employees is often the first step to employee retention. To hire the right people, you need a recruitment process that ensures the right people are hired.
In general, it’s best not to subject candidates to prolonged recruitment processes. The reason? Long recruitment processes might lead to candidacies pursuing other opportunities.
More critical is conducting an interview in a way that allows you to understand the candidate best. Primarily, you want to find out if they have the right skills or can develop them once they join your team.
2. Onboarding, orientation, and mentoring.
Starting off on the right foot should be the goal of each new hire. “Your onboarding process should teach new employees about the job and the company culture and how they can contribute to and thrive in it,” recommends Robert Half.
Don’t overlook this critical step. Robert Half suggests providing training and support to employees from day one, whether in person or virtually. Supporting our new employee sets the tone for their entire tenure at your organization.
“Pairing a new employee with a mentor is a great component to add to your extended onboarding process, especially in a remote work environment,” they add. In addition to providing guidance, mentors can act as sounding boards for new members of the company. ” And it’s a win-win: New team members learn the ropes from experienced employees and, in return, they offer a fresh viewpoint to their mentors.”
Nevertheless, don’t just offer mentorship to new employees. Mentor-mentee relationships boost retention and job satisfaction for your existing staff and your organization as a whole.
3. Promote from within.
“Skipping over a qualified internal candidate for promotion in favor of an external application is a golden ticket to turnover,” writes Leigh Perkins for the USF Corporate Training and Professional Education Blog. “In fact, being passed over for an outside hire is the reason for quitting for 35% of employees.”
In contrast, effective and fair promotions increase the likelihood that employees plan to stay with their company for a long time. With the increase in talent competition, a policy encouraging promotions within makes sense.
“Within,” however, requires clarity. “Don’t allow proximity bias to favor on-site employees over those working from home,” explains Perkins. “Doing everything you can to promote your remote employees will certainly do no harm to your retention rate.”
4. Provide more positive feedback.
To do their best work, employees need feedback both positively and constructively.
But what’s the ratio?
Based on a Harvard Business Review study, the optimal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective).
To motivate employees, positive and actionable feedback should be given regularly. Additionally, constructive criticism is essential, especially when a problem needs to be resolved.
Consider how often you’re talking negatively to your employees compared to how much you’re saying positively. Also, make it your goal to give six positive comments for every negative one. And I would schedule it in your calendar to give each employee some sort of feedback every week.
Also, encourage your team to give you feedback as well. In the absence of feeling heard, workers assume the company doesn’t care about improving.
5. Coach people’s strengths.
Determine the strengths and weaknesses, interests, and potential obstacles of your team. “When employees believe they have the freedom to use their skills and interests at work, the result is that those people feel more satisfied,” said Nanci E. Lamborn, global head of human resources at eVestment, a 9x Top Workplaces winner.
Organize a time block of 30 minutes for your employees to use as creative time. During this time, they can work on their own side projects or brainstorm ideas. For example, you could have a team member run your organization’s blog or social media accounts.
6. Make shout-outs more frequent.
Shout-outs are usually expressions of appreciation, support, or congratulations. Moreover, they can be delivered either virtually or in person. Moreover, shout-outs can be delivered in a variety of ways, including:
- Spotlight your All-Stars in internal newsletters.
- Share your team’s accomplishments on social media.
- Recognize a team players hard work in a dedicated Slack channel.
- Kick-off meetings by naming an employee who has gone the extra mile.
- Host an award ceremony that’s less cringy than the Dundies.
7. Prioritize professional development.
People want to know that they are contributing to something more than they are now. So as soon as they realize there’s no room for growth, they will search for positions that offer this.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- To succeed, employees need the support of their managers.
- Provide continuing education. Some ideas would be offering continuing education credits, starting a book club, or scheduling a lunchtime speaker.
- With interdepartmental manager meetings, managers can stay on top of cross-training or professional development opportunities.
- Publicize newly available jobs within the organization.
- Make sure managers are motivated for their employees’ growth even when it means they move from one team to another.
8. Practice your ABCs.
No. I haven’t been listening to the Jackson 5. The ABCs I’m referring to is “Always Be Communicating.”
Employee retention relies on communication. People are more likely to feel prepared for their jobs when they have clear expectations and clear lines of communication. And they’re also more likely to ask questions when things are not clear.
Similarly, business leaders need to communicate with employees about the state of the business. And, most importantly, how their respective duties contribute to overall success.
Aretha Franklin famously belted out the importance of respect. And more importantly, the Queen of Soul demanded it.
Several surveys indicate that workers likewise want it, but few receive it. As a result, many workers are leaving. As a case in point, nearly 48 million U.S. workers quit their jobs in 2021. In many cases, lack of respect is responsible.
- 10% of workers say they feel disrespected by their supervisors.
- According to a survey of 1,000 early-career workers aged 21 to 34 conducted in 2021, respectful communication is now more important than the perks they previously preferred.
- According to a February 2022 survey by Pew Research Center of 965 workers who voluntarily left their jobs, most workers cited low pay, no opportunities for advancement, or feeling disrespected as their reasons for quitting. Among the 57 percent who stated lack of respect as a reason, 35 percent considered it a significant concern.
Respect improves communication, teamwork and reduces stress. It also makes your team feel valued. This can also lead to increased productivity, knowledge, and understanding.
How can you foster more respect? Keep it simple.
Send a warm “good morning” greeting to employees who turn in assignments this week. Then, rather than asking them about their work, ask if they need any assistance from you.
10. Offer competitive compensation, benefits, and perks.
The most common reason for employee departures is the lack of adequate compensation for their work. But, again, Pew found that the main reason for quitting a job in 2021 was lay pay — 63%.
Ensure your employees are fairly compensated, starting with their base salary. You can also promote employees or take on new responsibilities.
But, it’s not all about the money.
Employee retention also depends in large part on benefits and perks. Providing these benefits demonstrates that you care about employees’ well-being, and it can give them a sense of security about their futures. Employees can, for example, obtain adequate health care through benefits like health insurance or being a mental health ally. In fact, Linkedin’s 2022 Global Talent Trends reports that 60% of job seekers prioritize compensation and benefits.
Additionally, you can provide perks like fitness discounts, corporate deals, or free coffee. If you plan to offer perks to employees, make sure to ask for feedback. However, flexibility is the most significant perk you can offer your team.
11. Make your workplace inclusive.
Maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace is crucial to employee retention. Why? The probability of employees remaining at their workplace is higher if they feel valued and safe.
At work, we should promote inclusion, diversity, and belonging. In turn, employees feel appreciated, seen, and recognized.
Among the things you can do are:
- Develop diversity-related programming,
- Provide employees with employee resource groups to connect with others who have similar identities at work,
- Ensure that your writing is inclusive by creating an inclusive language guide.
The main takeaway? When a company does not practice diversity, it experiences retention issues. In fact, approximately 50% of people of color have quit their jobs because of discrimination.
12. Avoid significant and sudden changes.
Humans are natural resisters of change — both in the workplace and in everyday life. However, Towers Watson found that organizations undergoing significant change can negatively impact employee attitude. Specifically, the company’s image, leadership, career development, performance evaluation, and communication.
In short, frequent changes can also cause employees to quit.
Changes are inevitable. But you should avoid drastic, unexpected changes. Transparency sets expectations. Also, it gives employees peace of mind to know what is happening.
Image credit: RODNAE Productions; Pexels; Thank you!