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Employee retention strategies: 4 step approach to keep your team happy

Solid employee retention strategies are necessary to keep your team functioning and fully engaged.

HR teams have to fight a lot of battles internally and externally. Not only do they spend hours discovering and recruiting top talent in a severely competitive market, but they also meet employee needs across the business day-in and day-out. The best thing a company can do to navigate these waters is to develop working employee retention strategies. 

Great employee retention strategies not only increase retention but also have secondary positive effects in problematic areas. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Better Customer Experience
  • Improved Morale
  • Reduced Training Time
  • Reduced Turnover
  • Increased Productivity
  • Reduced Costs
  • Dedicated Employees 

Improvement in these areas can lead to the achievement of short and long-term goals for a business. They can also help with employee engagement and overall happiness. 

Culture

With the employee pool becoming a very competitive space, the candidates are able to demand more from their employers. To stay competitive, businesses must do all they can to attract these talented individuals. These days, culture can be the most important thing an employee looks for at a company. In a recent survey conducted by Jobvite, 88% of job seekers surveyed cited culture as of at least some importance and 46% cited it as very important.

Organizational culture can impact many different aspects of your business: from performance to reputation. A great culture can be very positive for your existing employees, help you attract top talent, and even grow your business’s role within the community. 

Shared beliefs and values are an important part of a company’s culture. A healthy culture is one where all employees know the core values of the business and work together towards the company’s goals. The way business leaders can achieve this is by being mindful of what their actions and attitude communicate to their employees. and The boundaries and expectations of your team and customers will naturally develop in this environment.

In terms of retention, strong and employee-driven company culture will help attract, recruit, and retain the best talent. Dedicated employees want to work for dedicated employers which will, in turn, lead to ongoing organizational success. 

Management Training

There is a connection between effective management and effective employee retention strategies. Improving one of these factors will naturally improve the other. Managing is a very different skill to the others commonly used in the workplace. It rarely comes naturally and can be hard to learn.  Managing can be difficult because different people will interpret your words and actions differently.  Managing well is important, because, as the old saying goes, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.” There are many managing styles and often an approach tailored to the situation is required. 

One of the ways to reduce friction between employees and managers is to implement management training. Sometimes companies only train senior management as they have the greatest influence. However, this is a mistake, since middle management are the ones with the ear of employees.

It's imperative that companies offer training to newer managers, especially those who are new to management. Without proper training, new managers are set up to fail. 

Official management training, or even regular annual workshops, can have a greater impact on the company's workforce. They could include coaching on constructive criticism, conducting disciplinary actions, etc. Knowing how to gracefully navigate these different areas of management can be critical to the connection between employees and managers. 

Aiding these individuals not only helps improve performance and retention but also helps foster leadership throughout your workforce. Work with your management team to help find a management workshop or strategy that aligns with your company and employee goals. 

Employee-First Mindset

Adopting an employee-first mentality can help businesses gain the highest caliber of talent. This means the entire company should be aware of how employee well-being is integral to the success of the business. Developing a nurturing environment as an organization will lead to long-term success. 

Developing sustained relationships with employees from the get-go will aid in a company’s culture of caring for their talent. Taking an interest in employees' career paths and aiding them in their personal and professional growth will help with this. This shows employees that the organization has an interest in keeping them long-term. Offering opportunities for growth and talent development demonstrates commitment to the employee, and is one of the most effective employee retention strategies there is.

While it's important to bond on a professional level, it's also important for the company to show interest in the personal lives of employees. Showing interest in the mental, physical, and emotional health of an employee will aid in the development of this employee-first environment. 

Making wellness a priority in the day-to-day of the employee, being understanding of the hustle and bustle that comes with simply being alive, and showing interest in the personal lives of employees will help create the loyal relationship that will lead to increased retention. Some options for this are the implementation of a flexible working schedule, the promotion of taking mental health days, and having an open-door policy so employees are comfortable speaking with management when they are having conflicts. 

Competitive Pay

The last of our employee retention strategies may seem like a very obvious factor in why employees may leave. However, while almost 90% of employers believe their employees leave for higher salaries, 90% of employees leave for reasons other than money. That being said, competitive pay and compensation are still major factors in attracting and retaining employees. Higher salaries may still be cheaper than replacing employees. 

With the market being candidate-friendly and there being a new necessity for employer transparency, employees know the value of their work. If the pay is simply not competitive enough for the market or industry, employees definitely won't stick around very long. That being said, be aware of the promotions and raises given out as well. Research from 2017 shows that a 10% increase in base salary leads to a 1.5% increase in the chance that a worker’s next move will be within the company. . 

A transparent pay model that explains everything from base salary up will leave employees knowing where they are. If the pay model is changed unilaterally, this will lead to employee frustration. This is typically common in commissioned positions or in the gig economy, such as with DoorDash and other popular food delivery services.

While compensation is obviously important to employees, what truly impacts job satisfaction at a company is investment in the employee. If your team is investing in its people, whether it's an interested employee, current employee, high-level manager or C-suite executive, you will see a sense of loyalty to your organization from these individuals. 

Pay attention to employee needs and encourage communication, work on making the culture of your business meet these needs, compensate and reward them for their successes and productivity and engagement will reach new highs. Happy employees will stay with companies that make them happy. 

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