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The 7 Secrets to Employee Retention

By: Eleanor Hecks


Perks Your Employees Want

Finding highly qualified employees and training them to your standards takes time and money. The last thing you want is to hire the perfect person, only to have them leave shortly after. Your staff is a vital part of your company’s success. Keeping the right ones often means the difference between success and failure.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs at least $1,500 to replace an employee. The more skills the person has, the higher the cost. However, there is also a loss of momentum that isn’t as easy to measure.

Once you understand how churn negatively affects your business, you realize the importance of employee retention. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure you keep the workers you have.

1. Focus on Hiring

One way to avoid employee churn is by giving more attention to hiring the right candidates. You don’t want someone who is looking for better pay or something to do. You want a person passionate about their work and a good fit for your company’s culture.

While you won’t always make perfect choices, bringing more than one person into the decision process ensures you see any major issues and avoid the options that might work six months and bounce away. One of your interview questions should include the future goals of the interviewee.

2. Audit Your Culture

COVID-19 forced companies to shift the way they operate. More people work remotely, and company culture has changed to match the demands. Now is a great time to audit your workplace and get feedback from your employees about their needs.

Your leaders’ values impact your business’s culture. Talk to your workforce about what they like and don’t like. Train your leaders to understand their success is dependent on how happy employees are. Look for ways to better engage those working from home.

3. Pay People’s Worth

The economy is tough at the moment. People may be out of work and willing to take whatever you offer them. However, it won’t always be that way. If you can afford to pay your workers a decent salary and choose not to out of greed, you can be sure they’ll leave the first time someone offers them a little more money.

While money isn’t the deciding factor for why people stay or leave, it is part of the equation. How much someone receives in salary impacts how they feel you value them. It also can make it difficult and cause a financial struggle which brings additional stress to work.

4. Create an Amazing Onboarding Experience

Do you take the time to onboard new employees or throw them into their roles? Anyone who starts a new job feels a bit off-kilter for a few weeks. You can ease that transition by offering training in company culture.

Give new employees a mentor. They can ask questions about the job they just accepted and other topics like when to take a break and how long lunch breaks should be.

Take the time to check in with your new employees after the first week on the job. Is there anything they still feel uncertain about? Do they have concerns? How can you fix any issues they’re facing and make it easier for them to be a part of your team?

5. Develop Career Growth Programs

Surveys show one of the top reasons people leave their jobs is the lack of growth opportunities. One survey showed about 77% of employees feel they have no support in developing their careers and must figure it out independently.

Offer opportunities to go to conferences, take college courses, participate in workshops and work their way up in the business. Make the path of progression clear. Your workers should never wonder what they need to do for a promotion. The rules should be laid out and abided by.

6. Offer Flexibility

Another reason some people leave the workforce is to care for children or aging parents. If you can offer some flexibility in your scheduling, you may retain those experienced workers. For example, you might implement a job-sharing program where two working parents can come in part-time and share a job.

You should also consider remote options for employees who want to reduce their commute times. While workers can’t complete every job from home, many translate well to a home office environment.

7. Provide Unique Perks

You may not be able to pay as much as the larger corporations. Your benefits package may be a little less desirable. However, you can offer unique and personalized perks the big guys can’t and still attract like-minded, top-notch staff.

For example, you might offer so many days your workers can take and use toward volunteering for a local charity they believe in. You could provide free pizza for lunch on Fridays. You can offer stand-up meetings, rewards for a job well done and a community not found at a large corporation.

Know Your Employees

Although the ideas above help reduce churn, the top thing you can do to keep your employees happy is getting to know them and what they need. Take your workers to lunch, rotating between different ones. Ask what they need to do their job better.

Know them personally, so if they face a tragedy, you can rally around them. Think about how you’d want your employer to treat you and give that to your workers. You’ll soon become a family, and people won’t want to leave your business for a different one.

Published: March 12, 2021

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eleanor hecks

Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

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