Without your employees, you would not have a business. That is why it’s so important to have retention strategies that keep employees satisfied in their roles. And that’s where HR comes in. As an HR pro, checking in with and ensuring your team is happy may well be the most essential part of your role. Here are the top 10 employee retention strategies you need to keep your employees at your company.
Employee retention is vital to the health of any company. Not only are employees your most valuable asset, but employee turnover can cost employers 33% of an employee’s annual salary. If you keep losing employees, your bottom line will suffer.
Plus, your employee retention rate says a lot about your company culture. A high employee turnover rate is not a good look — and employees talk. A poor retention rate showcases the fact your employees aren’t happy. This will make it all the more challenging to find quality candidates who are excited to work with you. Limiting turnover rate is critical to maintaining a strong workforce.
Without a strong employee retention rate, you won’t be able to keep employees, and you won’t be able to hire new employees because no one will want to work at your company. And what do you call an organization with no employees? Closed.
Unsure of your employee retention rate? Learn how to calculate your retention and turnover rate.
Employee retention doesn’t just happen. As an HR pro, you must be intentional about checking in with employees and keeping them happy. Here are our top employee retention ideas to help boost employee retention.
Onboarding is a new employee’s first and defining experience with a company. Your onboarding process can quickly expose the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to your company’s processes and procedures. If the onboarding process isn’t handled effectively, new hires could arrive to work on their first day to discover an apathetic, disorganized, and intimidating work environment. If this happens, any new employee will be mentally refining their resume before lunch.
As an HR professional yourself, you know any effective onboarding or orientation process must make new employees feel comfortable and confident both in their new role and within the larger organization.
A smooth employee onboarding process can be ensured with brand guides, company guidelines, password access, welcome swag, office tours, calendars, clearly defined responsibilities of the role, and opportunities for new employees to share their own hopes and goals for the position. All of these components together enable employees to hit the ground running as soon as they start the job.
Effective onboarding is important for remote employees as well. While there may be no office tour, getting to know your remote co-workers is all the more important because communication won’t come as naturally. Employees won’t bump into each other in the elevator or when having lunch. A remote onboarding process must include a thorough orientation with the entire team to minimize the initial intimidation new employees face.
Encourage employees to work with their new teams – and to get exposure to other teams as well.
Check out our 9 best practices for onboarding new employees.
If an employee doesn’t feel appreciated, it’s unlikely they’ll stay long with your company. And while you may think you do a good job of celebrating your team members, 39% of employees report they don’t feel appreciated at work.
This is why it’s vital for HR to encourage their company to invest in employee recognition programs. Making a conscious effort to recognize when co-workers succeed is a huge boost for employee morale, as it shows employees that management sees them and appreciates their hard work. Recognize positive contributions, and encourage team members to do the same for their peers.
If an employee shows up every day, never misses a meeting, always goes above and beyond to help their co-workers, and is never recognized for their hard work, they’ll begin to internalize that lack of appreciation. Why are they working so hard for a company that doesn’t notice them? Over time, they’ll move on to a company that does appreciate their hard work.
Recognition programs are essential to an employee retention plan, as they make each team member feel like the work they do makes a difference. When employees feel valued, they’re far less likely to look for work elsewhere. Employee recognition programs boost morale, engagement, and company loyalty, which makes these programs invaluable to any organization that wants to improve employee retention.
As an HR pro, it’s your job to work with management to develop a cost-effective recognition program and seek feedback from employees to make sure it’s something they truly want.
Recognition programs could include:
- Public kudos at a team meeting.
- Private kudos in an email or one-on-one meeting.
- Extra time off for balance and employee well-being.
- An office lunch after a project is successfully completed.
- A gift for notable employee anniversaries.
For more ideas, read our ultimate guide to employee recognition.
Workplace stress is a clear and present danger to employee wellness. Prolonged stress doesn’t just affect mental health with things like anxiety and depression; it can also lead to physical ailments like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart problems. 75%-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for complaints related to stress, and 43% of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
If your team constantly feels overworked, like they never have any free time to relax, exercise, or spend with their family, it’s very likely they will burn out. This burnout could result in a leave of absence. Even worse, the situation may become so strained that the employee sees quitting as the only option for preserving their own wellness.
A healthy work-life balance is crucial to reducing burnout in employees. Prioritizing work-life balance in your company values and making it a key piece of your workplace culture demonstrates to employees their company cares about them. This increases morale and employee retention. Why would an employee leave if they know their company values their wellness and understands they have a life outside of work?
HR pros can encourage management to prioritize a healthy work-life balance with work from home or remote work opportunities and flexible schedules. What about making the last Friday of every month a wellness day? Promoting a healthy workplace culture is hard work, but it is a worthwhile investment.
Employee engagement measures an employee’s dedication and enthusiasm for the work they do. Engaged employees are happy employees; they’re satisfied with their work, they believe their employer has their best interests at heart, they feel safe and comfortable in their work environment, and they identify with the company’s values.
In turn, this makes employees much more productive, efficient, and committed to the company. Considering the fact that disengaged employees make up almost a quarter of the global workforce, it’s imperative that pros in human resources make every effort to keep employees engaged.
Seek out employee feedback through surveys, town halls, or one-on-one meetings. Ask your team if they’re happy in their role or what they’d like to see done differently. Employees want to feel like they’re an important part of the organization. Engaging them directly and incorporating their feedback is essential to keeping them engaged.
Learn more about the essential role of HR in employee engagement.
Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. Workplace perks make a job well done taste all the sweeter.
HR professionals must work with the decision-makers to evaluate current employee perks. What can be improved? What can be added? What isn’t working anymore? Be sure to seek employee feedback when making these decisions. Ensuring employees feel heard is critical to employee satisfaction.
Employee perks could include:
- Flexible hours
- Unlimited paid time off
- “Bring your pet to work day”
- Catered meals and free food
- Fun team-building activities (like an escape room)
- Company swag
- Peer mentoring
- An exercise or meditation space
There are loads of different ways to give your team a little something extra. Work with management and employees to determine which perks will really add value to the workplace and which are most cost-effective.
Similar to employee perks, employee wellness programs encourage team members to prioritize both their physical and mental health. They’re a set of benefits and activities companies offer to their employees to facilitate healthy habits both inside and outside of the workplace to elevate employee engagement, productivity, satisfaction, and retention.
While wellness programs come with a price tag, employees are the lifeblood of any business. If they’re not healthy, they won’t be productive, which will directly impact the organization’s bottom line. Wellness programs are an investment in preventing burnout and illness. They save companies the money they would be forced to spend on employee turnover, absenteeism, and medical costs.
HR pros must make it clear to company decision-makers why wellness programs are such a worthwhile investment. What incentives can you offer team members to encourage them to eat right and exercise regularly? How could you turn it into a friendly team-building exercise?
Think outside the box — and always ask employees for feedback before implementing any wellness program. Wellness programs are an important part of overall employee well-being.
Employees don’t want to feel stagnant in their careers. If there’s no room to grow within the company, they’ll move on to greener pastures. According to Gallup, 87% of millennials rate professional development opportunities as a major factor in job satisfaction.
Considering millennials make up the largest part of the labor force in the U.S., it’s crucial that businesses invest in training programs to help employees focus on developing new skills.
As an HR pro, it’s up to you to make sure career development and training opportunities provide value and are offered to every employee. Ask employees about the skills they most want to optimize, and ask management about a budget. A comprehensive, multi-faceted development program could focus on building technological skills, soft skills, and personal development. It could also include networking or career advancement opportunities. Help employees with upskills while also fostering the development of new skills.
If the company cannot provide robust training programs for financial reasons, emphasizing the importance of professional development could look more like reimbursement for courses or books employees buy themselves to hone their skills during their personal time.
The employee experience is not just one thing; instead, it is a combination of things. HR must monitor the employee experience to ensure each member of the team is satisfied with their current role as well as the company culture. It’s been said many times before: You can’t change what you can’t measure.
Put KPIs and metrics in place to measure employee engagement and job satisfaction. Are your engagement efforts working? Are team members happy with your company’s perks and wellness programs? Do people feel like there’s room to advance their career with your company? Do employees feel recognized? Do they feel they have a healthy work-life balance?
Gauge employee engagement by using routine surveys. Set goals when it comes to your employee net promoter score, retention rate, and current talent. Take time to collect feedback and thoroughly analyze it to determine how your organization can improve the employee experience.
Since employees play a major role in determining and defining your company culture, when it comes to new hires it’s vital for HR to consider not just who is a good fit for a specific job but also who is a good fit for the organization.
Ensure you hire the right person for the job by crafting detailed job descriptions, outlining future professional development opportunities, and showcasing your company culture. Consider bringing in other team members to help gauge the personality and culture fit of candidates.
Having both an internal and external talent pool of potential candidates drastically minimizes the chance of making a bad hire and ensures you choose the best employees even in an emergency.
Despite HR’s best efforts, employee turnover is inevitable, regardless of how well you pay or how phenomenal your company culture is. While it can be sad to see a team member go, you must utilize this time by conducting effective exit interviews. Exit interviews allow you to dig deep into the employee experience and gather direct feedback from someone who is now able to speak openly.
When conducting employee exit interviews, take any feedback seriously, especially if you notice any trends in what you’re hearing from employees. Did they have problems with any team members or management? Did they not feel the organization did not effectively prioritize work-life balance? Did they feel underpaid? Did they feel their feedback was implemented or ignored?
While it might be tough to hear, this feedback is invaluable to HR as well as the organization as a whole. Addressing feedback when someone leaves can help prevent more employees from leaving in the future.
Employee retention is vital to the health of your organization’s bottom line and company culture. Not only will these strategies keep your employees with the organization; they’ll also optimize their performance.
As an HR pro, it’s up to you to help implement these strategies to retain employees to ensure your co-workers are satisfied in their role and performing at their best.
The HRMorning website is filled with tools and resources to help human resources professionals just like you build happy, healthy, and top-performing teams.