The mass employee exodus that began on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic has kept its momentum two years down the line. While 2021 was the year of the “Great Resignation”, survey reports show more resignations in 2022. According to the US Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, there were 50.5 million job separations in 2022, an increase from 2021’s 47.8 million.
Although there’s no specific explanation for the mass attrition. Many employees cite unfair compensation, poor career advancement, lack of work/life balance, toxic work environment, and poor management as reasons for leaving previous employment.
It’s now up to employers to adopt a more employee-friendly work culture to avoid losing valuable talents. This article outlines the top strategies you can implement to improve employee retention.
Top 5 Employee Retention Strategies
Employees are less likely to leave an organization where they feel recognized and appreciated, and adopting employee retention strategies is crucial in creating job satisfaction. Here are five strategies that’ll help you easily retain valuable employees.
Offer Competitive Compensation
Let’s face it; no one wants to be paid less than the worth of their time and skills. Many studies have identified poor compensation as one of the top reasons for high employee turnover. Employees typically gravitate towards organizations that offer better compensation for their time and skills.
So if your compensation package is not competitive enough for the industry and specific roles, you will not retain top talents. And the cost of losing talents and hiring new ones is way higher than retaining existing employees in the long run.
Competitive compensation goes beyond the basic salary; it includes bonuses, paid time off, and retirement plans. An excellent way to maintain equitable compensation is by using compensation structures that factor in industry standards, employee role, performance, and duration in the organization.
Offer Career Advancement Opportunities
Training is a crucial part of the employee onboarding systems for most businesses, but it ends there for many. Just as you want your business to grow, employees want to develop their skills and advance professionally. They’ll likely leave if they think their career is not progressing in your company.
Employees need to know that you’re invested in their career growth and not just in making a profit. You show them they have a future in the organization by providing learning and growth opportunities. It makes them willing to stay longer in your company.
Learning opportunities could be paid professional courses, training (in-person or online), mentorship programs, or tuition reimbursements. And it shouldn’t be limited to senior management staff; there should be a career development plan for every employee level. This will boost employee retention and provide a ready pool for management succession.
Give and Encourage Feedback
Open communication is essential for building employee engagement. Employees should be able to air their views freely and make input on issues within the organization. This helps create a sense of belonging and inclusivity, and employees are more motivated to stay where they feel they matter and their opinions count.
Giving employees regular feedback on their performance also fosters employee retention. It helps them gain clarity, improves productivity, and builds their confidence. It also builds employee loyalty, as they feel heard and seen as they improve their skills.
Lack of work-life balance is among the top reasons for high employee turnover during The Great Resignation. Having tasted the comfort of remote work and flexible work hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are unenthusiastic about working full-time in a traditional office. Many opt for hybrid work options and leave jobs that do not offer that.
You can create a work-life balance for your employees by offering flexible work schedules, cutting down on office work days, or allowing full-time remote work options where possible. Refrain from encroaching into their personal time; no employee will be happy to receive a work email at 11 pm or during the weekend. The goal is to ensure that work does not infringe on employees’ personal life. It shows that you respect them and gives you more leverage to hold them accountable for their use of work hours.
Recognize and Reward Excellent Work
Recognition is a fundamental need of every human, including your employees. Recognizing your employee’s efforts and rewarding outstanding performance is essential for building employee engagement and motivating productivity. Employees who feel that their hard work is recognized and appreciated are not only likely to last longer, but they’ll also work harder and perform better.
Employee recognition and reward can take several forms. It could be in the form of bonuses, awards at company events, gift cards, salary increases, or perks like paid vacations. Recognition also shouldn’t always be result based. If your employees put great effort into a project, recognize and appreciate their sacrifices even when they do not meet the target result. It will encourage them to work harder on the next project.
Keep your Best Talent — Improve Employee Retention
The workplace today is very diverse. The workforce consists of people from different generations, and what appeals to one may not appeal to another. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to retaining employees. However, a mix of the strategies outlined in this article will help you significantly reduce employee turnover and retain top talents.