Employee retention is so important. It’s much harder to have to hire, on board, and train new employees than it is to work hard to keep your current employees.
Having employees that are engaged will obviously make people less likely to want to quit, and will improve your retention rates.
A lot of the things we talk about in order to increase engagement are so simple, and often free, so they really shouldn’t be an afterthought.
You want people to enjoy coming into work, knowing they’re getting paid fairly, and are well-respected by their peers.
As a manager it’s up to you to create that type of environment for employees, since it will have an effect on your company’s bottom line.
Employee Retention Definition
Employee retention is the process of keeping your current employees from leaving, reducing your company’s turnover rate.
Retention strategies usually include keeping employees happy and helping them grow to avoid the costs of rehiring, retraining, and lost productivity.
By investing in your employees, you can make them even more efficient and productive, instead of wasting your money trying to onboard new employees.
One of the first things required before getting started on implementing these strategies is to measure things that will influence retention. You’ll want to measure employee engagement, an employee’s perception of their work-life balance, their growth, salary expectations, and clarity of their job roles.
Your long term goal is to have engaged, productive employees that are loyal to your company.
Employee Retention Facts
There are serious financial, and non-financial costs to employee turnover.
The financial costs are hard to estimate, because there are so many factors, and I’ve read so much different research on this, but a good estimate is around 25% of an employee’s salary.
Another reason it’s so hard to estimate is because of all the unmeasurable things, which I think are more damaging to someone leaving.
For example, if someone leaves, and another employee has to help out, that’s time lost doing whatever they were doing before, which is lost productivity.
The emotional damage that it does to the rest of the team is also important to mention.
It’s hard to measure, but even if it’s for a brief period of time, there is a drop in engagement across the entire team when one of their coworkers leaves.
They might start to spend a considerable amount of time worrying about their own jobs, distracting them from their work.
If there was ever any doubt into whether employee engagement played a role in retention, here are 8 employee retention facts that clearly show how important employee retention really is.
Employee Retention Ideas
At the end of the day, if you want to keep your employees with you, you have to treat them with respect.
It’s really that simple.
Don’t ask them to do something you wouldn’t do, don’t underpay them, give them recognition if they deserve it, listen to them, involve them, and make them feel like they matter.
It’s surprising why this is still such an issue, because it’s all common sense.
Here are a few ideas you can use that should help you with employee retention.
Create A Solid Hiring Process
The first step to retaining your employees is to make sure that you’re hiring the right ones in the first place.
You need to take your time with hiring. Make sure each employee fits with your culture, has the same values as your organization, and is there for the right reasons.
The time (and money) you spend on hiring is so important that you can’t afford to get it wrong.
Use structured interviews, where you ask candidates a set of predetermined questions and are judging them on a predetermined set of criteria.
The best way to do a structured interview is a to ask either behavioural or situational questions. Behavioural questions look at past behaviour (“Tell me about a time when…”) and situational interviews look at future situations (“What would you do if..”).
Train Your Managers
50% of employees that quit their jobs leave because of their managers.
If you want your employees to stay with your company, they need to get along with their managers. Many managers, for many different reasons, aren’t equipped to lead a team. It’s possible they were promoted too quickly or have never dealt with certain types of employees, but this will only lead to problems.
Managers need training on emotional intelligence, giving and taking feedback, and communication, among other things.Bonus for struggling managers: This free 11-day leadership course will help you become a leader employees love working with.
Give Frequent Recognition
According to the book How Full Is Your Bucket by Donald Clifton, the number one reason employees leave companies is because they don’t feel appreciated.
When someone does something good, and they know they deserve recognition for it, but they don’t get it, they’ll be understandably upset.
Employee recognition isn’t hard to do, you just need to be more mindful of your employees. Make sure they feel like they’re respected and well recognized for their hard work.
Otherwise, they’ll go find someone else that appreciates them.
Employees should be getting sincere praise from you at least once a week.
One easy way to keep employees at your company is to make them feel like they’re listened to and that their ideas matter.
Many companies don’t collect feedback, or even worse, if they do collect feedback, they don’t do anything with it.
Don’t do that.
Make your employees feel like they’re part of the process, and that they have a say in the decisions that are made.Using a tool like Officevibe, you can automate the entire feedback collection process, making your life that much easier.
Measure Loyalty Frequently
The best way to keep retention high is to keep an eye on it frequently.
One way to do this is to simply ask employees every now and then how happy they are.
There are many different questions you could possibly ask, but if you had to pick just one, a great thing to focus on is the employee net promoter score, where you ask employees how likely would be to recommend your organization as a good place to work.
The reason this score is so popular is because of its simplicity and its power. If someone really enjoys where they work, they should be willing to recommend it to someone they know.
Offer Flexible Working Options
Work-life balance is going to be the biggest issue that employees struggle with in the future. It’s already the thing that most companies get wrong.
Our employee engagement research shows that people are overworked, stressed, and tired.
This is going to be a huge problem, and if you want to ensure your employees stay with you, take note of this and do something about it now. Offer employees flexible options like the ability to work from home if they need to, and encourage them to practice good work-life balance.
Help With Personal Growth
Employees get frustrated when they feel like they’re not progressing or growing professionally. Everyone wants to get better at their jobs, and expect companies to help them with their growth.
You should invest in your employees, because if they’re smarter, better, and more excited about what they do, they’ll produce more good work for you.
Send them to conferences, pay for courses they could take, have lunch and learns, and ask them what they need to grow.
How Would You Improve Employee Retention?
Any other ideas you can think of? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.