A good employee retention strategy plan involves strategic actions to keep employees motivated and focused so they choose to remain employed and productive for the company.
A comprehensive employee retention program can play a vital role in both attracting and retaining key employees, as well as in reducing turnover and its related costs. All of these contribute to an organization’s productivity and overall business performance. It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a new employee. Let’s look at why employee retention is important and how to develop your employee retention strategy plan.
Why Is Employee Retention Important?
Employee retention is perhaps one of the most important factors that contributes to the growth and success of a company. The dynamics between an employee and his/her work place is a delicate balance of give and take. Without the right amount of involvement and support, employees can feel undervalued and ignored.
Key Employee Retention Strategies and Best Practices
Practices that contribute to retention arise in all areas of HR, and all roles within an organization will need to work together to develop and implement multifaceted retention strategies.
Effective practices in a number of areas can be especially powerful in enabling an organization to achieve its employee retention goals. These areas include:
- Recruitment. Recruitment practices can strongly influence turnover, and considerable research shows that presenting applicants with a realistic job preview during the recruitment process has a positive effect on retention of those new hires.
- Onboarding and Orientation. Turnover is often high among new employees. Every new hire should be set up for success from the start. Socialization practices—delivered via a strategic onboarding and orientation program—can help new hires become embedded in the company and thus more likely to stay. These practices include shared and individualized learning experiences, formal and informal activities that help people get to know one another, and the assignment of more-seasoned employees as role models for new hires.
- Training and Development. Make it a priority to invest in your workers’ professional development. Give them time to attend virtual conferences, provide tuition reimbursement or pay for continuing education. If employees are not given opportunities to continually update their skills, they are more inclined to leave.
- Compensation and Rewards. It’s essential for companies to pay their employees competitive compensation, which means they need to evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. Even if your business isn’t able to increase pay right now, consider whether you could provide other forms of compensation, like bonuses and paid time off. Don’t forget about health benefits and retirement plans, too. Every person wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. Improving those valued offerings can help raise employees’ job satisfaction.
- Supervision. Several studies have suggested that fair treatment by a supervisor is the most important determinant of retention. This would lead a company to focus on supervisory and management development and communication skill-building.
- Work-Life Balance. A healthy work-life balance is essential to job satisfaction. People need to know their managers understand they have lives outside of work — and recognize that maintaining balance can be even more challenging when working from home. Encourage staff to set boundaries and take their vacation time. And if late nights are necessary to wrap up a project, consider giving team members extra time off to compensate.
- Flexible Work Arrangements. While many companies and employees have become accustomed to working remotely during the past year, think about what you can offer staff if remote work on a permanent basis isn’t an option. A compressed workweek? Flextime? Or maybe a partial telecommuting option? All of the above can help relieve stress for your staff — and boost employee retention.
- Employee Engagement. Engaged employees are satisfied with their jobs, enjoy their work and the organization, believe that their job is important, take pride in their company, and believe that their employer values their contributions. One study found that highly engaged employees were five times less likely to quit than employees who were not engaged.
- Emphasis on Teamwork. When your workforce feels connected, it gives them purpose. It helps them carve out a niche within their department or team, and it helps them see how they are contributing to big-picture objectives. Promote teamwork by creating opportunities for collaboration, accommodating individuals’ work styles and giving employees the latitude to make decisions and course-corrections, if needed.
These employee retention strategies and best practices are just some ways to help increase your team members’ job satisfaction. Be sure to re-evaluate your efforts regularly. That includes staying current on market standards for salary and benefits, and best practices for developing an attractive workplace culture and strong manager-employee relations.
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