8 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

BY -

Phil Strazzulla

September 18, 2020

Hiring top talent is only the start to creating an outstanding workforce. The next step — and just as vital — is keeping them around. Let’s dive into employee retention: your company’s ability to maintain a work environment that supports staff in remaining with you.

Employee turnover is often a symptom of deeper unresolved issues, such as low employee morale, unclear career development options, lack of recognition, or poor employee-manager relationships. In addition to lost productivity, employee exits also hurt your bottom line. One analysis found that businesses spend about one-fifth of an employee’s annual salary to replace that worker. Costs come in the form of recruiting and training, as well as institutional knowledge.

Ready for new ways to keep strong employees with your company? Below we’ll explore specific strategies for creating a better work culture in which your people want to stay and grow.

Strategies for employee retention

By focusing on the fundamentals, you can go a long way toward developing a high-retention workplace. To further develop your retention program, consider the following strategies.

Listen to the employee voice

As part of your new retention program, it’s vital to pinpoint the root cause of employee dissatisfaction or turnover. Collecting and analyzing this information will help ensure your employee retention program meets your company’s needs on an ongoing basis. Try out the following tools:

  1. Employee surveys: By surveying employees, you gain insight into your employees’ motivation, engagement, and satisfaction. It’s important for your organization to understand the employee perspective in order to create programs that works well for them.
  2. Exit interviews: To gain insights from departing workers, request an anonymous survey as part of the offboarding process. Were they lacking career development? Employee recognition? Work flexibility?

Hone your onboarding process

A new employee’s first few days are extremely important. It’s critical to offer respect, transparency, and clarity from the beginning. An effective onboarding process may include a company overview, a team lunch, and a CEO meet-and-greet. The idea is for the employee to be integrated as quickly as possible, so they can connect with colleagues and dive into their new role.

Embrace remote work and flex scheduling

Now is the time to consider flextime and telecommuting. Beyond COVID-19 workplace responsiveness, these perks demonstrate to employees that you value their work-life balance and are willing to accommodate their personal needs.

However, if you’re only emailing or chatting on Slack, messages may be lost in transmission. To maintain a face-to-face rapport, be sure to frequently connect via Zoom or other video services.

Develop a value-driven culture

Feeling connected to the organization’s goals helps employees feel part of something greater than their day-to-day work. One study revealed that employees who mesh with their company, colleagues, and manager demonstrated greater performance and were more likely to stick with their organization.

To hire and retain the right talent, be sure to clearly define your company culture. What are the common experiences, beliefs, and behaviors that create your organization’s environment?

Your human resources team plays an important role in communicating your company’s values and desired behavior. Beyond hiring and onboarding, HR needs to reinforce the company culture to current employees throughout their lifecycle.

Weave your company values throughout your people processes — peer-to-peer recognition, learning and development, performance management — so that employees know what is driving the organization and themselves to succeed. Keep an eye on progress with tools like CultureIQ, below, which links company culture to business strategy.

Culture exploration survey

Leverage performance reviews to propel employees

To hold onto your best talent, it’s essential to provide opportunities for advancement. High performers value career development, and when your best employees can progress with you, they’ll stay with you.

Managers need to encourage an ongoing, two-way dialogue — not only about deliverables but also about career aspirations. Ideally, employees should be empowered to share their goals so that when it aligns with the company’s needs, they’ll be the first to hear about the opportunities. Your HR team can implement technology like Eloomi, shown below, which auto-suggests plans and goals based on a real-time digital performance conversation.

performance management application

Invest in professional development

Providing opportunities for learning can keep employees motivated and poised for future growth opportunities. This is important — lacking career development is a key driver of employee attrition.

If employees don’t see you investing in their future with you, they’ll begin looking elsewhere. On the other hand, better-trained employees are not only more likely to stick around but they’ll also be better equipped to contribute. Consider offering opportunities for job-specific and industry training, as well as furthered education and tuition reimbursement.

Show appreciation for good work

Rewarding your employees for jobs well done can have a massive impact on employee morale. Check out our list of the best employee recognition software, which organize the likes of peer-to-peer recognition, birthday celebration programs, and personalized perks like quality coffee, craft beer, or team outings. With a solution like Bucketlist, shown below, your HR team can tie together your programs for recognition, awards, and spot bonuses.

employee recognition software

Beyond praise, you can reward employees specifically for outstanding work. Think of these as spot awards: a dinner out or personal day after completing a challenging assignment, an early release before a holiday weekend, a celebration on work anniversaries. Yes, feedback is essential, but actions speak louder than words. Show your teams support with tangible rewards.

Engage your employees

At its core, retention is really about employee engagement. You can hold onto your high-performing employees by helping them truly care about their work and company. For support along the way, lean on technology in our lineup of the best employee engagement software. For example, employee experience solutions such as Kazoo, below, bring together rewards and recognition, performance management, and engagement surveys in one platform.

employee engagement software

Final thoughts on employee retention

Be sure to revisit your employee retention strategy at least once a year. This means staying current on best practices in workplace culture, developing strong manager-employee relationships, and ensuring market standards for salary and benefits. That’s the way to keep top talent happy — and at your company.

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