Despite a growing number of layoffs, especially in the tech sector, employee retention is still a major challenge for HR leaders. One reason is the rise of remote work. No longer bound by geography, employees have greater flexibility than ever in terms of who they choose to work for.
It costs $4,700 on average to hire a new employee, which makes employee turnover not only time-consuming, but costly for companies who need to replace departing workers. Employers can avoid becoming a resignation statistic—and spend less time writing job descriptions—by implementing employee retention strategies.
Here’s how to retain employees at your company, as well as attract new ones.
Top 10 employee retention strategies
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that rings especially true when it comes to onboarding. Otherwise, you might find yourself quickly scheduling exit interviews, since 30% of new hires quit within 90 days of being hired. Start things off right by ensuring that all necessary resources, like a company email address, laptop, etc., are ready for your new hire on day one. HR and managers should work together to ensure that new employees have a clearly mapped-out schedule for their first few weeks on the job, supplemented with opportunities to learn about the brand, culture and team members.
Continue the onboarding process by pairing new employees with a mentor/onboarding buddy. Mentors can help new hires feel welcome, and serve as a valuable resource. A veteran employee can help show newbies the ropes, offer guidance on everything from how different departments work together, to where the best place is to grab lunch, to what fun Slack/Teams channels they can join to get to know other team members in a more relaxed way. Having a resource outside of management is helpful, and sometimes more approachable, way to weave new employees into the culture.
People quit a job for a variety of reasons, but 42% of job quitters said it was to take a job with better benefits. This means in addition to keeping an eye on competitors’ benefits, companies should also frequently survey employees to make sure they are offering the type of benefits that their employees actually need and want, like child care benefits, or support for their aging loved ones at home. Benefits should meet the needs of every employee, no matter their age or life stage, so everyone feels supported.
If you want to retain your best and brightest employees around, it’s simple. You’ve got to compensate them fairly. This isn’t to say you should automatically jack up salaries. It means paying employees what they’re worth in a fair and equitable way. It also involves taking the pulse on what workers in similar roles at other companies are earning to make sure you’re not falling behind the industry standard. But remember, compensation is more than the paycheck. Demonstrate the investment you’re making in your employees with custom compensation summaries that break out benefit costs you cover in addition to pay.
The pandemic gave many employees the opportunity to work from home, and in many cases, work more flexible schedules. Employees are reluctant to give that up, with half of all workers saying that they would quit if they were required to return to the office full time. Employers that want to retain employees need to be mindful that the ability to have some say in when and where they work is a top concern for employees now.
- Work/Life Balance:
It’s important to create a culture that promotes a healthy balance between an employee’s job, and their personal life. Encourage managers to walk the walk by not sending messages after hours, and let employees know that barring a true emergency, they aren’t expected to check messages after logging off for the day. Employees with a healthy work/life balance are also better workers. Their productivity is higher, and they have fewer missed work days.
Now that so many employees work at least partially remote, promoting your company culture is something your company should not sleep on. In fact, 56% of employees say a good workplace culture is more important to them than salary in terms of job satisfaction. Employees should know and feel connected to your company values, which should also tie into your company mission. For example, in our case it’s helping families with their care needs, which resonates with our employees because all of us have a care need, even if it’s our own well-being.
- Training and Development:
Providing employees with opportunities to grow and develop their skills is a crucial part of employee retention. Ninety-two percent of employees surveyed say that they consider having access to professional development opportunities important, or very important. Otherwise, they might grow bored and may jump to another company for the chance to challenge themselves. Providing encouragement and training for upskilling is necessary not only for employee growth, but to help your company meet the challenge of quickly evolving technology and platforms.
Getting this right is key to retaining workers. Almost everyone wants their hard work acknowledged, but not everyone responds to the same type of recognition. A recent employee survey found that when asked how they would prefer to be recognized, 34% said with a salary increase, 30% wanted wellness and professional development stipends, and 35% crave perks, bonuses, or a recognition program. Employers shouldn’t lean on one form of recognition, but instead tailor it to the employee. The “wrong” kind of recognition might be worse than no recognition at all if it isn’t meaningful to the employee.
A lack of communication, or poor communication, can frustrate even the most dedicated employee. Not only that, it wastes money—costing U.S. businesses up to $1.2 trillion annually. HR and management should keep the lines of communication open on multiple channels. That way employees can find the information they need no matter their channel preference (email, Slack, Teams, etc.). Team leaders should also be in frequent contact with staff to provide regular updates on projects, and as a place for employees to ask questions.
Download Recruit & Retain Top Talent with Employee Benefits to learn more about how to retain employees.