March 18, 2022
Employee retention has been one of the most prevalent struggles HR personnel and managers face, and in modern times it has become an even greater challenge. Frequent employee turnover is extremely costly, and the training and onboarding of new employees uses up valuable time and resources. Financials aside, finding people who will continue to thrive in your existing company culture can also be a challenge. Holding on to the employees you already have helps you eliminate both of these challenges.
If your employee retention rate is steadily declining or has been low for some time, it’s time to consider adjustments that make employees want to continue to work for you. Here are five simple employee retention ideas and strategies to start rolling out this year:
1. Provide Productivity Tools for Success
Do you ever assign a project or task to your team and they completely miss the mark? While it can be frustrating for both employer and employee, it’s often due to a lack of preparedness for success. If employees don’t have clear guidance, and access to the resources they need to complete a project, how can they be expected to be successful?
Ask each team what tools they’re lacking to do their job well or more efficiently. Maybe it’s a new strategy for project management, tools to enable centralized data, or better methods of employee collaboration. Investing in tools that will make your employees’ lives easier shows that you care about their success, which is a great way to improve employee retention.
2. Make Workplace Change Gradual
An evolving company structure is inevitable to stay competitive in most industries. Especially in recent times, changes from in person work to remote (and in some cases, back again) are necessary but greatly impact the employees. Other types of drastic, broad changes can make employees worry about job security, and this can cause retention to take a hard hit:
“For example, an employee who thinks their job is at risk may be more likely to look for work elsewhere, tell others negative things about the organization, and exert less effort in their work if they think they do not have a future there,” explains Jessica Everitt and Laura Heathcock, Employee Engagement Consultants.
Management spends a lot of time planning these changes, but at what point do employees find out? Instead of blindsiding them, roll out changes slowly and with an explanation. When possible, let teams weigh in on changes that will directly affect their day-to-day workflow. This provides them with an opportunity to communicate any issues before new systems are set in place—fostering a sense of trust and respect between employer and employee.
3. Make Taking Vacation Days Mandatory
On average, the number of paid vacation days allocated for U.S. workers is 10. Vacation days are valuable because they ensure workers avoid burnout, improve productivity, and also foster a wellness-centric culture. However, studies show that 55% of employees do not use all of their vacation days. Employees not using vacation days in an organization is oftentimes a symptom of an unhealthy work environment, which can lead to turnover.
Many organizations have turned to unlimited PTO as a way of encouraging employees to take more time off. The best part, these companies find that their employees don’t end up taking much more time off than what is offered in a standard PTO package, making it a win-win for everyone.
4. Pay People What They’re Worth
One of the most effective job retention activities a company can do is pay great employees what they’re worth. While money isn’t everything, proper compensation helps your employees to feel that what they’re doing—and the stress that often comes with the job—is worth it. According to an analysis of Payscale’s crowdsourced salary data, just 51 percent of workers feel they are being underpaid. Additionally, that study showed that employees who believe they are underpaid are 49.7% more likely to look for another job.
It can be difficult for many companies to figure out how to competitively pay team members while remaining profitable. Consider using pay philosophies to manage the current pay of employees, along with raises.
It is also important to be transparent about salaries and the overall compensation packages at your company. Oftentimes, issues around compensation can be solved through open and honest communication.
5. Foster Workplace Friendships & Relationships
It’s important to promote a sense of connection, communication, and teamwork in your company culture. For leaders who think workplace friendships are distracting, studies find that employees who have a best friend at work are actually 7 times more likely to be engaged in their work.
Team building activities such as giving back to the community, company scavenger hunts, and even catered lunches allow your employees to break down barriers and get to know one another. Encourage positive friendships and take a genuine interest in how your employees are doing and you’ll likely earn their respect and loyalty.