20 Secrets to Improve Employee Retention

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Sometimes staff turnover can be good for a business; it brings fresh ideas, new approaches, and renewed energy to an organization which all employees can benefit from. However, every organization still needs to have a strategy in place to retain the best employees in order to benefit from their investment in them.

High turnover is not only detrimental to a business in terms of costs, but it can also damage the reputation of a company. Potential employees and recruiters may be concerned about what negative factors are present in the company that are causing employees to flee. Turnover can also affect staff morale to the point of driving some long-standing employees out of the company as well.

It's essential to try to understand and address the reasons why people leave a job. Maybe more attractive jobs exist elsewhere, or individual circumstances change, in which case it might be out of the company's hands to retain these employees.


Why do employees leave?

Recruitment companies often carry conduct surveys and have found that for most people, the main reasons for leaving a job are:

  • Poor salary and benefits
  • A lack of training and development opportunities
  • Dissatisfaction with management
  • Not getting along with colleagues
  • Long or stressful commute to work
  • Lack of work/life balance
  • No recognition

Some of these reasons may be out of an employer's control, like harmony among workers or commuting frustration. However, there are still things that can be done to support employee well-being. For example, you can organize away days where colleagues can bond and move past their differences, which can also increase productivity.

Even the dreaded commute to work can be looked into. If this is a common issue in your company, then perhaps you can provide carpooling or courtesy bus services.


20 secrets to improve employee retention


1. Create the Right Culture

Finding employees is difficult, especially when you have to make sure they fit in well with your current employees. You should also make sure that they embrace your company's values and policies. The work environment you are portraying to potential candidates needs to paint a true picture of your company's culture. You should search for employees who enjoy your company culture and want to be a part of it, so it's vital that you don't give them misleading information about your workplace.


2. Hire the Right Employees

When you're screening candidates, look deeply and read between the lines. You should pay close attention for signs indicating that someone may be job-hopping. It's not always a bad thing, in industries like retail, for instance, employees move around quite often to advance their career and build their experience. It is often best to look for someone who is genuinely interested in what you are trying to achieve and committed to growing with your company.


3. Provide excellent training and advancement opportunities

When recruiting, businesses ideally go for candidates who already have certifications or experience in the role they're trying to fill. While these things help, employees must practice what they know and maintain up-to-date experience, so providing training is still necessary. There are many ways to train your workforce; you can send employees to outside sources, provide e-learning, or invest in in-house trainers. In-house trainers can help all employees advance and generate a strong culture of achievement within your organization.


4. Give Them guidance

Once employees are trained and hired, they should receive feedback on how they are performing. Work plans are an excellent tool to use to provide regular feedback on an employee's performance, which is helpful to both the employee and the employer. If an employee feels unsupported and unappreciated in your organization, they're more likely to look for another job elsewhere.


5. Pay a good salary

It can be challenging to offer competitive salaries when company budgets are tight. However, if you add up the costs to replace employees, from agency fees, advertisements, training, and various other resources, you could actually save money by offering a higher salary. On average, it costs between 30-50% of a new employee's annual salary to replace them. Jumping ship for more money can be attractive to almost anyone, even those who love their current role, so paying a good starting salary with room for regular salary reviews can fix this problem.


6. Manage performance effectively

Managers sometimes tend to only pay attention to those employees who are struggling with poor performance, and in turn, neglecting the productive ones. This can lead to resentment if strong employees begin to feel unsupported and unappreciated. It's just as important to acknowledge exceptional performance and not let hard work go unnoticed.


7. Be a flexible employer

Workers sometimes need flexible working conditions due to busy circumstances in their personal life. High performing employees can become motivated and more committed to the business if the start or end time of their day is flexible. Of course, the needs of your business have to be considered first, but allowing for a compressed workweek or the ability to occasionally work from home can go a long way in retaining good employees.


8. Offer great benefits

Depending on the scale of your business, it may not always be feasible to match the benefits that big companies offer, so try to think outside the box when determining what to include. Benefits don't have to be monetary, but they are essential to awarding good performance. They can come in many forms including extra holidays, bonuses, on-call allowances, car leasing, free parking, etc. The possibilities are endless!


9. Provide perks that are unique to your business

Providing perks that your employees cannot find elsewhere is a great way to retain talent. Think of Google, with its game rooms and relaxation areas, for example. Perks can be anything from free recreational facilities, bring your dog to work days, discounted meals, special gym memberships, theatre tickets, etc. The more unique perks you can offer your employees, the better your chance will be of retaining them.


10. Be an employer that connects with their workforce

The truth is, employees sometimes leave because of their bosses rather than the company itself. Improving retention rates doesn't always have to be complicated. By being a positive role model and directly connecting with your employees, you'll be more likely to understand what they need to stick around and help your business thrive. Treating employees with fairness and respect can be very beneficial for your company.


11. Communicate targets and expectations

For target goals to be meaningful and effective in motivating employees, they need to involve everyone in the organization on all levels. Team members should work together to achieve a common goal, so keeping everyone on the same page is essential for motivation and success. Thoroughly explaining expectations to everyone in your workforce will prove to be a great strategy.


12. Encourage everyone to communicate openly

Surveys, suggestion boxes, and team meetings are all effective ways to gain insight into what is bothering employees. You should be open-minded and encourage your workforce to express their ideas and gripes without criticism, so you can fix the problems before losing workers.


13. Promote values and ethics

Employees want to feel like they share the same values as their company and support the products being sold. To make sure they feel connected with company values, consider donating to the charities your employees support, for example. You should also sponsor their personal interests; this could mean supporting the marathons they're running marathons or persuading you to make changes to the carbon footprint of your business. The key here is listening and supporting.


14. Consistent feedback on the positives

Providing someone with positive feedback can have a positive influence on their work ethic and boost their morale. This is not to say you should ignore any weaknesses they may have; just don't make them the sole focus of your feedback.


15. Give immediate feedback

Feedback is two-way communication, allowing both the employee and the manager to share and discuss how they are feeling. It's a great way to fix any issues and express support simultaneously. A good way to provide feedback is known as "the sandwich" method; you start with positive feedback, then highlight any issues, and finish with additional positive feedback to end the meeting on a high note.


16. Act on the feedback you receive

It's vital to make sure staff can see that you are reacting to feedback and acting accordingly; otherwise, the feedback may stop because employees will feel they're not being listened to. It's empowering for employees to see positive changes prompted by their initiative to address something.


17. Encourage and support growth

Training, coaching, leading by example, and encouraging achievement always brings positive outcomes and molds happy employees. The majority of people would not want to leave a job where they're encouraged to grow, so be sure to lead with encouragement.


18. Incentives

Everyone loves an incentive, and they certainly work! Be creative though, because it's not always about money for everyone. Many people get motivated by different things, even something as simple as providing free doughnuts every Friday!


19. Celebrate all achievements

Above all, employees need to feel valued. It's important for their morale, and it ensures continued achievements when management recognizes success. Feeling valued is one of the most important pieces in the employee retention puzzle.


20. Hire better managers

As discussed previously, sometimes employees leave because they don't get along with their managers, so it's important to be objective and consider the possibility that talented employees are leaving because of poor management. If this is the case, hiring new management could have a major effect on employee retention.


Taking all the above secrets into consideration, retaining your employees should be easier than ever!


Artificial Intelligence in Talent Acquisition


About the Author:  Adam Reynolds has been writing for well over a decade, writing for many well-known brands and companies. He has helped these brands gain exposure and brand visibility, which has enabled them to increase their sales and build relationships with many influential people within their respective industries. He has mainly provided coaching and ghostwriting as a service and has been very successful. He covers many topics, including business, politics, finance, accounting, insurance, and his personal favorite sports!

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