Employee Retention: 8 Strategies For Keeping Your Top Talent
January 9th, 2017 Written by: Masterson Staffing Solutions
If you’re like most companies, more than a third of your employees are job hunting. That’s according to a study by Mercer, a global resources consulting firm. It reports that 37% of all employees are seeking a new job, which is up from 33% in 2011.
Senior managers of all ages and millennials are most likely to jump ship.
For businesses, knowing this information presents both a crisis and opportunity:
- It’s a crisis because turnover is very costly. According to Catalyst, the median amount that organizations spend to replace an employee is about a fifth of that worker’s salary. For a worker earning $50,000 a year that’s about $10,700. Those numbers skyrocket when you’re dealing with senior managers, costing up to 213% of an executive’s salary to replace them. Furthermore, churn damages morale while draining the company of experience and talent and the tremendous opportunity that comes with them.
- It’s an opportunity for you to focus on employee retention. Rather than draining cash from your bottom line to replace talent, you can build it up even faster because you’ll retain more of your best and brightest, giving you the competitive advantage.
We want you to mitigate this employee-retention crisis while taking full advantage of its opportunities. So we compiled the eight smartest strategies to help you ensure employees stay happy and stay put.
1. Hire the right people.
This is the single best way to reduce employee turnover. But finding the right employee is both an art and a science, and can be very time-consuming.
When someone has a stellar resume and glowing references, it can be tempting to skip deeper research that may indicate an employee won’t stick around long. Take a look at your candidates’ LinkedIn profiles to see if you have any shared connections. If you have a personal relationship with any of those connections, reach out and ask if they can offer any insights.
If you don’t have time to devote to the screening and candidate research process, consider hiring an experienced staffing solutions firm. A staffing firm will work with you to identify and vet candidates that will thrive in the open position and your company’s culture.
2. Recognize your employees.
Recognition is among the most cost-effective ways to maintain a happy, productive workforce. According to a survey of nearly 1,000 employees from large businesses, 70% who received appreciation for their good work said they’re happy with their jobs, but that plummeted to 39% for employees who weren’t recognized.
The Wall Street Journal recommends simple emails of praise that copy higher-ups, monthly memos outlining achievements of your team to the wider division, and peer-recognition programs. If you need help identifying accomplishments, ask for achievement updates that include examples.
3. Match your culture to who you want to hire.
Most people don’t leave because of the company, they leave because of their boss. According to a 2015 Gallup Poll, half of the 7,272 professionals surveyed quit their job at some point because of they didn’t like their supervisor.
One of the approaches to avoid this issue is to ensure the person you want to employ is a good fit with company culture. Don’t force creative personalities to fit into a strict atmosphere, and don’t force more exacting, by-the-numbers people to be happy in a laid-back office.
4. Offer training.
By investing in employee training, you’re putting your money where your mouth is. You’re doing more than telling your employees you want to see them succeed and advance — you’re paying to make sure it happens. If you think training is too costly, remember how much it costs to recruit a new employee. Here are some training ideas:
- Webinars, webcasts and other e-learning tools
- DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles and pamphlets
- Outside seminars and classes
5. Pay them well.
Most people can expect a 10% raise when they quit their job. That’s a big contrast to 1 to 3% raise by staying employed. In fact, one engineer has increased his wages 31% since 2011 because he’s found a new job every six to 12 months. Make sure you have the current data on industry pay packages, and annually review and update compensation plans.
6. Give benefits and unique perks.
Health insurance, life insurance, and a retirement-savings plan are essential to employee retention. It gets a big boost when you offer additional perks. Inc. advises getting creative with:
- Free snacks and meals
- Tickets to special events
- VIP passes
- Discounts at local retailers
7. Be flexible.
Thanks to the internet most employees don’t need to commute to an office and stay glued to their desks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to get their jobs done — and they know that.
So take this opportunity to pay attention to employee’s personal needs and offer telecommuting as an option. Or if they must show up to the office, consider compressed schedules where they work four 10-hour days. Jobscience even recommends “Freebie Fridays” where you can ditch work a couple of hours early to avoid weekend traffic, or Manic Mondays where staff can come in later. You can always alternate staff to ensure coverage.
8. Genuinely engage them.
When you make an employee feel like they truly belong, they’re not going to want to leave. Companies that do this right make their employees feel that they have a say and are important to their company. Here are a few ways to achieve this:
- Chat with them about how they’re doing.
- Conduct monthly, quarterly or annual interviews to find out what they like and don’t like. (Are there benefits at other employers that they covet? What tools would help them do their job better?)
- Make them personally feel a part of the larger organization by asking for their input or keeping them updated on business plans.
- Show that you care by remembering birthdays or work anniversaries, sending flowers when they’re hospitalized, and condolences when a loved one is sick.
The good news is that you don’t have to offer the highest pay to retain employees. You just need to have the optimal combination of smart hiring practices, culture, and benefits that will make your perfect employee fall in love with your company and never want to leave.