It’s a tough time for hiring and retaining top talent. The record-breaking surge in quitting known as the “Great Resignation” has upended the U.S. job market, resulting in high turnover rates, unprecedented hiring challenges, and serious labor shortages. Improving employee retention strategies has become more critical than ever, and business leaders simply cannot afford to overlook the importance of human capital during this challenging time.
However, growing companies with tight budgets and limited resources can’t afford to waste time or money on employee retention strategies that don’t provide results. So, what are some ideas for employee retention that actually work to encourage workers to stay with your organization longer?
Here are the top five ways to address turnover issues with smart employee retention strategies.
Five ideas for employee retention (that actually work)
1. Reevaluate your compensation strategy
Business trends come and go, but one thing remains the same: compensation is king. In fact, a recent Pew Research study found that a majority of workers who quit their jobs in 2021 cited low pay as a major factor behind their decision.
Unfortunately, we often hear from business leaders who need help with their compensation strategy after losing a star employee. With job search platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever for top performers to get hired away by recruiters—even those not looking for new opportunities—and compensation often plays a decisive role.
That’s why it’s essential to periodically evaluate your benefits and conduct an annual market analysis as part of your HR strategy to ensure you’re offering competitive salaries and wages. If you can’t say for sure how competitive your compensation offerings are, it’s time to reevaluate them.
2. Invest in onboarding, skill development and career development
Train to retain! Successful businesses that overcome the skill and labor gap will take a three-pronged approach to employee training, including:
Onboarding: Quality onboarding and new-hire training improves retention rates, with a structured onboarding process boosting retention over a period of three years by 58% and new-hire productivity by 50%.
Skill development: The opportunity for employees to learn and grow is a driving factor for retention, especially for Millennial employees. Offering skill training—whether peer-to-peer, management-to-employee, or bringing in outside experts—will not only retain more workers, but it will also help hone their expertise and improve their performance.
Career development: Many employees who quit in 2021 also cited a lack of advancement opportunities as a major reason. As part of your overall HR strategy, provide a career development plan for each employee so they feel confident in their ability to advance in their career path and within your organization. This can be a formalized process such as a mentorship program, or as simple as adding career development recommendations to your annual employee review process and conducting quarterly or semi-annual status updates.
3. Know your competitors
Who are your biggest competitors in your segment of your industry, and how do your people processes and perks compare to theirs?
This is a huge factor in being able to retain top talent who could easily be lured away by a promise of better compensation, company culture and career development prospects. Do the research to determine how you stack up to the competition and make a plan to close any gaps you identify.
4. Strengthen your hiring process
One of the best tools for boosting employee retention is putting the right people in the right seats by conducting pre-employment assessments.
DISC II assessments measure temperament and personality traits to determine how successful someone will be in a particular role or as part of a team. By gaining greater insight into job candidate behavior, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, you can develop interview questions that probe deeper into their weak areas and assess their ability to manage them. In addition, in-depth skills testing measures proficiency so you can be sure you’re making the right hire.
The important thing is to build a hiring strategy that draws from a variety of information about each candidate, including multiple interviews and multi-dimensional assessments.
5. Create a company culture where employees feel valued, included and supported
With so many workers today reevaluating their values and workplace expectations, it’s vital to improve your company culture to keep more skilled professionals around for longer.
Here are a few ways to cultivate a company culture where employees want to stay:
Create rewards and recognition programs - A little public recognition can go a long way to boosting morale, motivation and engagement
Conduct ethics and DEI training - Creating meaningful changes through diversity and inclusion will support an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable and heard, while research has found that companies with a strong ethical culture outperform others by 40%!
Offer flexibility where possible - Consider creating flex-time or work-from-home policies for office staff
Perform employee satisfaction surveys - Keep a finger on the pulse of your workforce through quarterly or annual anonymous surveys
Implement a Human Capital lead - Give your manager and employees a resource they can turn to with questions and for help resolving workplace issues
When people are your most valuable and in-demand asset, knowing how to successfully attract and retain them will put your business ahead of the competition and help overcome challenges associated with talent shortages.
Need to upgrade your HR strategy to encourage retention? We can help!
Our expert HR Advisors can assess the individual needs of your organization and create an HR strategy that’s right for you, from implementing policies and procedures, to providing workshops and training, and much more.