Employee Retention Strategies: How to Keep Your Brightest Talent
Recent year brought us the Great Resignation, swfitly followed by the Great Regret. In both cases, employees have felt undervalued or have not experienced a sense of belonging, and organizations are struggling to retain employees. Healthcare, hospitality, retail industries, and those on the other end of a merger or acquisition are facing a harder time with employee retention.
Employees have options, and while the grass may not be greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it. Organizations must get creative in how they retain their teams. Here are six innovative strategies to retain your workforce and reduce employee turnover.
6 Innovative Employee Retention Strategies for your Workforce
1) Promote work and life integration
Employees and job seekers are redefining how work and life integrate, not balance. They don’t want to decide between being good at work and being good at home but being good at both. Working from home during the pandemic granted accessibility to employees – making routine appointments during the day, running a quick errand, and catching up on a favorite show over lunch.
Now, many feel they want continued productivity at home and at work. Employees can only do that if trusted by leadership to not be micromanaged or are given flexible paid time off. Treat employees like the adults they are and let their work speak for itself so long as the employee adheres to the work rules and policies.
2) Prioritize employee well-being
The thought is simple: if employees are healthy, productive, and happy, the organization will be a kind and empathetic place. Harvard Business Review reports there is a much greater awareness that workplace factors contribute to poor mental health. Here are ways you can promote well-being at work:
- Offer regularly scheduled mental wellness days
- Review benefits offerings for mental health coverage and regularly share the resources
- Designate no-meeting days to allow everyone to catch up on their work
- Remind employees to use their paid time off
- Promote wellness in all staff meetings
- Encourage managers to build meaningful relationships with employees
- Be the example – leadership who never takes time off sends the wrong message. Everyone deserves time off!
3) Play to employee strengths
It is important that employees feel like active contributors to the organization’s success. Workload distribution should consider employee passion and strength to keep employees engaged. Those who feel their work is too administratively heavy and does not utilize, enhance, or promote their skills may be less motivated in their work.
- Bring new players onto emerging projects
- Allow for shadowing opportunities
- Encourage development conversations between employees and managers
- Promote strong skillsets of employees when questions arise and designate them as the go-to person for such skill
4) Ensure belonging
Many organizations have prioritized and incorporated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into their strategies. Belonging takes DEI a step further by ensuring one feels accepted, included, and can identify as a participant in a certain group. Ways to do this include:
- Ensure consistent experiences when welcoming new employees and recognizing existing ones
- Be mindful and respectful of differences in how employees work, communicate, and collaborate
- Organize optional in-person events for employees to get to know each other
- Identify ways to gather virtually through online game rooms, happy hours, or events
- Create Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for like-employees and allies to gather and share insight
5) Give retention bonuses
Consider conducting stay interviews or surveys to understand how your employees are feeling about the organization and its competitiveness and offering a retention bonus following its completion. Welcome their participation with a heartfelt and transparent explanation of why the organization is seeking this information, what the organization hopes to do with it, and what the employees seek to gain.
Organizations underestimate the outsider knowledge their own employees have. Employees may be well connected on social media or are having discussions with friends working in other industries who discuss employment differences. Offering an opportunity to suggest a new idea could come at the perfect time to prevent a core contributor from leaving.
Retention bonuses can be delivered in different ways and for different amounts:
- Half of a lump sum following completion and the other half after a certain milestone date. In this case, have a signed agreement that employees will only earn such bonus if they are active employees at the milestone date.
- Delivering the full lump sum after the milestone date.
Some factors to consider when determining retention bonus amounts are the costs of recruitment, competitor job offers for like-positions, and the loss of productivity should their position become vacant.
6) Offer professional development opportunities
Keep employees engaged and continuously learning by having development discussions with projected achievements. Ensure your management team has a solid pulse check on employees and their career goals.
Don’t wait for employees to bring their interest to grow to the organization; incorporate development into employee and manager discussions and if applicable, share leadership’s faith in the employee’s future. Experienced employees have historical knowledge, champion process, are dependable, and promoting from within saves on recruitment costs.
Most of these strategies cost very little to the organization and can help retain and engage employees, while simultaneously building a strong and welcoming environment where employees can thrive.
Need help with employee retention strategies? Book a no-obligation call with a Helios HR expert today!