12 ways to ensure employees stay put
Developing an employee retention strategy requires organizations to capture honest and anonymous feedback from those who know your organization best: the employees.
An effective employee retention program is essential for companies looking to attract top talent and reduce unwanted employee turnover. It’s also critical to business performance because it’s more efficient to retain your best employees than to recruit, onboard, and develop new talent.
We compiled a list of 12 successful strategies for improving employee retention.
1. Evaluate and address employee pain points: Want to uncover why employees want to leave? Ask them. Seek feedback through one-on-one conversations, team meetings, or employee engagement surveys. You’ll also strengthen the connection with employees by making them feel valued and heard.
2. Offer competitive pay and benefits: Understand the market. Benchmark salaries. Offer a variety of optional benefits. Encourage feedback about pay and benefits.
3. Prioritize employee engagement: Employee engagement starts with leaders who know what matters most to employees, listen to feedback, and act on that input.
4. Emphasize effective leadership: Poor management drives people away. Put effort into developing strong leadership and hiring the right managers.
5. Focus on building a people-first culture: A workplace culture is either created by intention or develops on its own. Accidental cultures can be toxic, leaving employees to feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and undervalued. Promote connection and inclusivity and encourage two-way communication.
6. Prevent burnout: Employees are looking for great workplaces that respect their personal lives and don’t have unrealistic expectations. Recognize employees based on what they do, not the hours they work. Done right, employees will be more productive, energized, and engaged.
7. Offer professional development: Employees want to know they are working toward something bigger and better than where they started. When they sense there’s little room for growth, they’ll look elsewhere.
8. Honor employees: Appreciation is a key driver of employee engagement. It’s also one of the simplest, least expensive ways to show employees they are valued.
9. Encourage creativity: Employees sometimes leave because of simple boredom. Incorporate ways to encourage creativity in the workplace. Creativity makes work fun. It also encourages innovation, which is essential to growth and success.
10. Hire the right employees and onboard effectively: Hiring the right employees is the difference between a revolving door and a team that sticks around. Make sure the experience of joining your organization is an exceptional one.
11. Build a strong employer brand: Clear company values serve as a strong foundation that holds your company together, especially during challenging times. A sense of pride gives employees a reason to stay.
12. Avoid significant and sudden changes: Jarring shifts can leave employees feeling anxious and unbalanced. Frequent changes also can cause them to pack up and leave. Transparency and strong communication help employees feel more secure.
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces.