Your biggest assets are your employees. Period.
What would happen if your employees quit en masse tomorrow morning?
It is almost impossible to wrap your head around that thought, isn’t it?
It is even more devastating when you lose high-performing employees.
Sure, employee churn does happen, and it is inevitable. People are always looking for better opportunities. But shouldn’t you do everything that you can to retain as many employees as possible? This is the exact reason why you should have effective employee retention strategies in place to reduce the retention rate as much as you can.
Here are 7 effective employee retention strategies that will work like a charm
Employee retention strategies #1 Get your hiring right:
One of the biggest mistakes that most businesses make is that they do not have a rock-solid hiring process. If your hiring process has not been optimized yet, it will affect your productivity as well as a result in financial losses. For every new hire who quits or gets fired within a short period of time, the biggest loss is for the company. How? You need to invest again in the hiring process and take the time of your senior executives to conduct interviews, all of which are additional costs to the company.
Ensure that your hiring process is optimized for your business as well as for the candidate. You cannot have a flawed strategy where you promise candidates about practices or facilities that are not available just to lure them in. Once they get to know the ground realities they will feel betrayed and leave the organization immediately.
Do not indulge in sugar coating. If you want to find the right employees for your firm, then make sure that you are transparent to them during the hiring process.
Tell your candidates about what the job will offer for them, not only in terms of compensation but also in terms of the culture, process you follow, and so on. When you are honest with the candidate at each step of the interview process, they will also feel more closer to your organization if they are the right fit.
There is no formula to get your hiring right except for following the basic standards, but getting your hiring process on point is one of the most important employee retention strategies which will fetch you dividends.
Employee retention strategies #2 Offer competitive benefits and salary:
While you can safely say that money is not everything for an employee, it will be a cause for concern if you are not living up to their expectations if the work you get from them is disproportionate to the pay. Money stops becoming a problem to employees when they know that they are being compensated well. If that is not the case, lack of appropriate compensation will surely loom large over their heads and can certainly be a cause for concern.
You shouldn’t be surprised if someone told you that salary is one of the topmost reasons for employees quitting. Career advancement opportunities, poor managers, location, etc., are the next set of reasons for employees quitting, but salary holds the first spot here.
If you look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, basic requirements such as food, shelter and stability are only possible with the help of monetary benefits. If you are paying below industry standards, then you can surely expect a lot of people to quit on you. There is no reason for them to stick with your company when they know that you don’t value them as much as you value the work they put in. At the end of the day, it is a transactional relationship, isn’t it?
Without a doubt, one of your most effective employee retention strategies would be to offer highly competitive salaries and benefits. It will at least keep the best performers in your company to stay with you and that is good news for your business.
Employee retention strategies #3 Encouraging an open environment:
A workplace where the employees feel stifled to share what’s going on in their mind is a place that everyone will slowly walk out of. Many of us have worked in organizations where we are not given the respect we deserve which will also be visible in the way employees are not given an opportunity to air their views.
Not only is it highly problematic for the bottom line of the organization since it will not encourage a different line of thought, but the employees will also feel suffocated in such an organization.
It is certainly not the kind of atmosphere that anyone wants to walk into every day. Have an open-door policy where anyone could walk up to their senior manager or anyone above in the hierarchy and air complaints. They should be able to ask questions without fear or any kind of reprisal. An environment like this is only possible when the leadership team allows for such behaviour. Asking questions to the higher-ups should be normalized.
The leadership team should make the employees feel valued by always allowing for questions and even make their answers public, if necessary. Conduct town halls so that employees get to ask questions or clear their doubts in public.
It is a win-win for everybody involved because the employee feels valued while the organization also puts themselves in a position that could lead to feedback or result in marked changes in the organization.
Employee retention strategies #4 Recognize and reward your employees:
One of the best things that most businesses miss out on during their journey to become a unicorn or a multi-million dollar business is that they forget to recognize the contributions of their employees. Singing paeans for the customer is a common thing that all of us seem to witness on a regular basis, so it will be a much-needed change to see a company that treats its employees like the way they deserve to be.
If your employees feel that the only way you will be recognized is by an email from your boss to everyone else in the team, no matter what was the contribution, then it will be a big letdown for them. Sure, getting an appreciative email once in a while is fine, but if that is the only perk that is being offered every time someone does a spectacular job, it will make the employees question themselves for the hard work they are putting in.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, it is a transactional relationship between an employee and an employer. While you are providing them with a salary for the work they do, if you want to go a step ahead and motivate them to work even better, then you need to show it by providing bigger perks, compensation and benefits.
Also, it is imperative that you create employee recognition programs to make sure that everyone gets adequately rewarded for the work they put in. From a public acknowledgement to a pay increase or a one-time cash prize, there are a variety of choices that you can use to reward and recognize your employees.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to employee rewards. The secret sauce to making a successful reward program is to ask your employees individually what they want. Ask them how they would like to be recognized and give them the choices so that they can vote based on what their favorites are.
Employee retention strategies #5 Provide them work-life balance:
There has been no better time in the world of business than now where businesses are in a position where they must provide work-life balance for their employees. With most of the working population working out of their pajamas, the line between personal life and work has dwindled so much that it looks like a blur.
Mental health of most working professionals has taken a serious hit, and now is the time for employers to be more empathetic towards their team.
We have all heard of horror stories where employees are told to put in more work since they don’t have to commute now because of the pandemic restrictions. Employees are expected to be at their beck and call anytime since “You are at home; you should be available at all times.” Attitudes like these can send your employees scurrying to job portals. You do not want that, do you?
The first thing that an employer needs to have in mind is that they should do everything in their power to keep their employees happy. Your employees need peace and mind. Everyone does.
If you insist that your employees work at least 12-14 hours a day, you are robbing them of their personal time, and it will lead to a lot of stress. There are businesses that are thriving in countries where only four days of work in a week gets done. By providing the right kind of motivation, you can get a lot of work done without having to physically and mentally exhaust your employees.
One of the most effective employee retention strategies is to not disrupt the sanity levels of your employees. How do you know what your employees are feeling? Send them an online survey by drafting questions with the help of a counselor using a tool like SurveySparrow. Find out if they need help and connect them with the right resources so that they feel better.
Employee retention strategies #6 Provide more opportunities for growth:
Even someone who is insanely casual and has a poor work ethic will balk when they get to know that there will hardly be any professional growth for them at your organization. While a business wants to protect its interests, the right way to do that is by grooming its employees to reach the next level in their professional lives.
How do employees develop plans and goals to better themselves? This is where the organization should step in by creating professional and personal goals for each of the employees. When the employees get to know that you have spent time on creating a plan to advance their careers, they will be grateful to you and will even be more enthused about putting in extra work for the organization.
Create a well-laid out path on how the employee can succeed within the organization. You can even go a step ahead and offer the services of a career counselor since some of your employees might even want to study more in their respective fields. Knowing that you have their backs will give them the much-needed confidence for their career and they will also feel closer to your organization.
It is an indicator of how much you value their services, and it also shows that you want them to succeed, all of which are signals for a great employer.
Out of the many innovative employee retention strategies, upskilling your employees at regular intervals is an attractive part of the deal for them. If there is marketing personnel in your time, you need to create a chart for them on how they can learn different marketing concepts and tools which will eventually help them do better at your organization too.
By doing this, you will be able to retain top talent, maintain the level of quality of each department, even bettering the performance at times. Upskilling your employees will also result in you becoming more competitive.
One more crucial thing that most businesses forget is to ensure that their managers are up to the task when it comes to taking care of a team or handling managerial objectives. Since most managers are promoted from within the company, some essential skillsets for managers are ignored, which will result in poor outcomes. It is pivotal that you train managers on how to handle people, conflicts, stress and any other sort of crisis. Give them the confidence that the organization has their backs and provide them with ample resources to get things done.
Employee retention strategies #7 High employee engagement:
The moment your employees feel disengaged with the company, their team and the work they do, they will start looking for another job. Most employees will go through different phases in their work-life, and every one of them will surely go through a phase where they feel out of place and might even start thinking about taking up a new job.
So this means that an employer should always be working towards engaging their employees regularly. Failure to do so will result in them making the decision to leave and even act on it.
If your employees do not feel motivated, then the issue is on your side. You need to give them enough reasons to stay with the company and do what is necessary for their growth and the company’s. Employers need to understand that no employee wants to find a new job if they are already feeling settled someplace else. Why shouldn’t the place where they feel settled and cushy be your organization? If you want that to happen, shouldn’t you make efforts to see that happening?
You don’t want your employees to clock in those eight hours every day alone, right? You want them to feel committed to what they are doing. You want them to enjoy the work. You want them to enjoy working with their team and be responsible for each other’s successes and shortcomings.
If you want all of the above to happen, then you need to ensure that your employees feel engaged. Provide them with learning opportunities so that they are more engaged. The learning opportunities you provide should not only be dependent on them increasing their performance, but it should also harp on increasing their skill set for a variety of things, getting mentored by a senior professional and creating a leadership path for them where they can rise to the top.
Great employees always want to feel as if they are advancing at their job. When they know that every single activity that they do has the word ‘growth’ written all around it, then you can safely say that they will walk into the office every day and feel extremely engaged.
Employee retention strategies #8 Conduct Exit Interviews:
Most companies do not take exit interviews seriously, but it is one of those rare occasions where employees talk safely with little to no consequences as they are already leaving the organization. It is important that you understand why your employee is joining another organization.
If the exit interview process is conducted properly, it will help the organization understand if there are issues that need to be dealt with, processes that need to be optimized, and it will even give you an idea about how employees, especially bosses, treat employees. Once you work on all the above things, your organization will be in much better shape.
Exit interviews are the last touchpoints for the employer and the employee. You can expect the employee to be more forthcoming during an exit interview as they don’t have much to lose. Ensure a fool-proof exit interview strategy so that you could get as much information from the employee as possible.
Once you have a bunch of data from various exit interviews, you will easily be able to find a pattern that will help you understand where you went wrong and what can be done to offset issues that some ex-employees might have had with you.
Your employees are not machines that can be automated or passed on instructions where you expect results that would even flummox the Six Sigma trainers. They are people in flesh and blood who have many desires and are always looking out to better themselves professionally and personally. If your organization is not the right environment from where they can improve themselves, they will certainly start looking for another opportunity.
A caring employer knows that their employees have many options, so they would have employee retention strategies in place to ensure that they give their all to keep employees happy and satisfied. Employee retention strategies are nothing out-of-the-world; these are just conscious steps that businesses should take to keep their staff happy and cared for. It is as simple as that.
As a part of varied employee retention strategies that are being implemented, you will also want to indulge in employee engagement surveys or employee 360 feedback to hear directly from them. It is best done with the help of an online survey tool which makes it easy to send feedback forms to your employees.
You can make use of an online survey tool like SurveySparrow using which you can know about the effectiveness of your employee retention strategies or employee engagement. Once you can identify that, you will be able to retain as many of your employees as possible.