Employee turnover is costly. Between the time, effort, and money spent on recruitment activities, replacing a departed employee costs 33% of that position’s yearly salary. That’s not to mention the ancillary costs involved such as quality failures, client dissatisfaction, safety claims, and damage to your company’s overall reputation. If your company is plagued by high turnover rates, that number rises dramatically. Employee retention matters. Employee retention isn’t a single, discrete activity, nor is it a one-time appeal for loyalty. Employee retention is an ongoing set of practices —a corporate culture— designed to support your team throughout every stage of their relationship with your company.
Why Employee Retention?
High turnover rates indirectly affect your company’s prosperity. There’s the time spend associated with hiring and training new employees. Then there’s the loss of profitability and efficiency that comes from being short-staffed. There’s the real dollar cost of administrative tasks related to the departure and the new hire. And of course, there’s the issue of employee morale as remaining workers watch their friends and colleagues leave.
By implementing solid employee retention practices into your company’s culture, you stand to reap the benefits. Not just the financial ones. By encouraging loyalty, and installing programs and attitudes that directly support it, you build a corporate environment where camaraderie and teamwork drive your business, where talent and innovation aren’t lost in the churn.
Strategies for Improving Employee Retention
Keeping your employee retention rate high is critical to your company’s long-term success. For a gauge of your business’s health, LinkedIn found that the tech sector historically has one of the highest levels of churn, sitting at 13.2%. For B2B professionals addressing employee turnover is equally important. Here are ten strategies that, when deployed together, can help you radically decrease your employee turnover rates.
1. Start at the Beginning
Employee retention practices aren’t just a one-time HR activity that your human resources department employs when an employee resigns. Retention is an ongoing practice that starts the moment your professional relationship begins with an employee. That means paying special attention during the recruitment process to identify suitable job candidates with a history of loyalty. But it also means turning a critical eye toward your own practices and building a place where people want to work.
2. Focus on Benefits
Money may not be everything, but it is a good start if you want to attract loyal, top-tier talent. It is essential to carefully consider your company’s compensation package, from base salary to health care, to fringe benefits. According to CIO, 88% of companies realize the role that compensation plays in employee retention. Even if your company isn’t capable of offering top-tier benefits and compensation, focus on wellness programs and other fringe benefits that can help attract loyal workers.
3. Build Employee Engagement
According to Forbes, a workforce that is properly engaged in their job is 21% more productive. Engagement matters. It might be the most critical aspect of employee retention. That same study shows that employees who are engaged in what they do are 59% less likely to leave the company. The secret is providing a workplace with the tools, resources, and infrastructure necessary to help your employees do what they do best.
An environment that fosters teamwork and engagement will in turn drive your corporate alignment. Try building employee engagement by sharing client success stories and positive feedback from customers. If your employees move mountains in the course of their job duties, celebrate it!
4. Don’t Forget to Engage Leadership
People crave managers and executives who lead from the front. If company leadership isn’t engaged in what they do, the company will experience a trickle-down effect which hurts employee productivity and engagement throughout the organization. Make sure to set the right example for your workforce.
5. Employ Regular HR Check-ins
While retention is a top-down cultural attitude that starts with executive leadership, HR holds ultimate custody over the process. That’s why HR must take an active role in employee relations. Forbes found that 89% of HR professionals were in agreement: routine check-ins and feedback are critical to employee retention. The traditional model included contact with the HR department at hiring, firing, and yearly benefit enrollments. Yet ongoing employee recognition can make a substantive difference regarding your company’s turnover rate.
6. Make Your Employees Feel Heard
HR check-ins work because they give employees a forum where they can share concerns —and ideas— freely. According to Forbes, employees who feel that their voices count are 5 times more likely to do their best work. Making your employees feel heard is a cultural shift though, not just an HR-driven function. Leadership must step up and give their workforce an open forum for job-related conversations.
7. Be Transparent/ Involve Employees in the Decision Making Process
The best way to foster a communicative environment is to include your workers in operational initiatives and company-wide decisions that impact them on a daily basis. If employees are allowed to take ownership over the company’s direction then engagement and loyalty will skyrocket.
8. Invest in Tools, Technology, and Infrastructure
There is nothing more frustrating than having the knowledge and drive to do a quality job, but lacking the proper tools to complete it. Using antiquated technology or outdated infrastructure can have a cascading effect on your employees and their job performance. If you want productivity, invest in the proper tools.
9. Offer Educational Opportunities, Management Training, and Internal Promotion
Employees need room to grow. For some, that means opportunities for future advancement within the company. For others, it means access to educational opportunities and resources that help them better themselves and prepare for the future. According to CIO, 80% of employees feel that skills training is one of the most attractive benefits that an employer can offer. When a company invests in its workers, it creates a stable environment that people want to work in.
10. If Separation is Inevitable, Work the Exit Process
Despite your best retention efforts, turnover is a fact of life for any business. If an employee does decide to leave, make your exit process work for you. Exit interviews are a great tool if used properly. By offering exit interviews that ask deep and meaningful questions, you can better refine your internal processes as well as part ways amicably with your former employee. This is critical for preserving your company’s reputation, especially in the era of websites like Glassdoor where former employees are free to rate their job experience for the world to see.
Engagement and Investment: the Keys to Employee Retention
A solid, stable workforce composed of committed, talented employees will take your company far. But a high churn rate can hang around your neck like an anchor. The keys to boosting your employee retention rate —and the long-term success of your company— are investing in your people, and your company culture, making your business a destination for reliable job seekers.
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