Employee retention is an important target for any company. For those that are able to retain their staff members under contract, they create a more productive and stable workforce. It’s also much cheaper to keep a current employee around than to hire a new one.
There’s just one problem: employee retention is a serious challenge.
You only have to look at the statistics as evidence. According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 47% of HR professionals cited employee retention as the biggest challenge they faced.
After all, keeping employees around can be hard if they are tempted by a bigger wage elsewhere – one which your business cannot match. However, there are various strategies you can implement into your employee retention program to boost those all-important retention rates. Below are six key steps to achieving that goal.
1. It begins with recruitment
The first step towards improving employee retention starts right at the beginning. That’s right. It begins with the application process, how to screen applicants, deciding who to interview for your open position, and the onboarding program.
The last thing you want to do is hire someone that will depart after just a couple of months.
Recruitment is expensive. Due to this, you want to guarantee no mistakes are made when bringing someone into your company. If you highlight your strategy and culture in your job description, it ensures that potential employees are aware of what you’re about. The result: they become fully invested and engaged in your business before being hired.
Of course, this can all be lost if your onboarding process is lackluster. When an employee begins their new job, it’s essential their initial excitement and eagerness is maintained. A frustrated, disengaged new hire can suffer from anxiety and uncertainty, and this will instantly have them questioning if they made the right decision to sign a contract with your company.
2. Supply ongoing training and education
There are various benefits gained from providing your employees with training and education opportunities. Firstly, the push to promote from within gives your employees clear direction, along with the knowledge they can achieve greater responsibility and compensation at your company. Secondly, it makes them feel like a crucial, valuable part of your organization’s success.
Because of this, employee development is essential.
When incorporating training and education, however, this has to be done with a certain level of care and attention. The wrong approach can cause confusion and annoyance rather than any positives. In that regard, Spekit recommends just-in-time learning for training employees with retention in mind.
For the uninitiated, just-in-time learning accounts for what is known as the “forgetting curve”, aka the rapid speed information is forgotten by employees directly after training. Rather than hitting employees with information overload, just-in-time learning supplies access to knowledge only when it’s necessary. This results in greater clarity and a happier overall workforce.
3. Keep remote options available
Remote work may have exploded in popularity due to necessity, but that doesn’t mean you should permanently place it back on the shelf post-pandemic. In fact, it’s highly recommended your business maintain this level of flexibility.
When you’re thinking about what your company can offer employees, increased flexibility is one of the best non-monetary benefits available. Allowing staff members to choose where they work and pick their own set work hours naturally leads to a boost in satisfaction levels. With this increase also comes greater retention and making your business a more attractive proposition for prospective employees.
4. Review current compensation packages
There are other benefits you can provide to your employees. That has been clearly established in this guide already. However, none of these are able to supersede the main discussion point: their wage packet. Even if you cultivate a fun, vibrant work environment with unparalleled flexibility, compensation packages need to be competitive – otherwise, talented employees will cross the road for more lucrative opportunities.
With this in mind, it’s vital you regularly review your workers’ pay. You have to ensure their compensation is reasonable, in line with the competition, and is fair when matched up to what other employees are earning at your company.
Just remember that compensation packages are only the foundation. Even if you supply the best pay rates in your industry, employees will start to look elsewhere if the work environment is toxic or there’s a lack of flexibility available.
5. Avoid overworking employees
Tasks need to be done. Goals have to be achieved. However, it’s imperative you avoid overworking and overwhelming your employees. Health and wellness have moved to the forefront in recent times, and you need to make sure your employees are not suffering from extreme stress, anxiety, and burnout.
Not only will it negatively affect their health, but it can also directly impact your company. Furthermore, employees are unlikely to tolerate a work environment with extreme conditions. Due to remote work possibilities, there’s greater scope than ever for talent to easily switch jobs without having to move to the other side of the country.
With a positive work environment, you are able to keep employee job satisfaction at a high level. Plus, while you may miss out on short-term wins gained from projects being completed rapidly, it’s much better for your business long-term – particularly when it comes to retaining employees.
6. Show your appreciation
A lack of appreciation is a quick way for employees to become dissatisfied with their job. If you’ve noticed that a staff member has “checked out” and isn’t displaying the same enthusiasm they used to with new projects, investigate to see if they have been receiving the right positive feedback from their manager.
Try and avoid a robotic approach. A culture of recognition should be built, one that feels natural yet rewarding at the same time. You could also explore going beyond just a few kind words every now and then. There are numerous ways – from additional days off to cash bonuses – to incentivize employees and further demonstrate your appreciation for their work.
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