4 Ways to Keep Employee Retention High
The unemployment rate is currently staggeringly low. Although this is excellent news for workers and our economy, it might not be the best news for your business. With such a low unemployment rate, workers now have many more options for employment. Employees can quickly bounce from job to job, raising your turnover rate and impacting your bottom line. How can you keep your employee retention high during this time of unemployment (and beyond)?
It is known that losing and replacing employees is expensive and time-consuming. Not to mention, the low unemployment rate means top talent is already employed, which can mean two things for your business:
1. You might have trouble finding qualified applicants to replace employees who have left.
2. When top talent is already employed, you have to worry about other businesses trying to recruit your employees.
Here are four ways to create an employee retention strategy that resonates with your workers, improves engagement, and keeps them from seeking other positions.
1. Onboard New Hires
Onboarding is a make-or-break time for employees. Done well, onboarding can increase your employee retention rate. The latest survey, Factors Strongly Linked to Better Employee Retention Nov 2019, by LinkedIn has this retention rate as high as 60%. Done poorly, onboarding can result in employees quitting within six months of starting.
During the onboarding process, employers should tell the new employees about the business, show them the ropes to successfully do their jobs, answer all their questions, and introduce them to the current staff. If employees are confused about how to do their jobs after onboarding, you could have problems down the road. They could become frustrated with the lack of communication, leading to disengagement or worse, leaving your company. A solid onboarding process is key on day one.
2. Empower Responsible Employees
In the current, telecommuting-centric corporate era, it comes as no surprise that employees want to be trusted to tackle their own responsibilities without overbearing micromanagement.
Employees who are new to the working environment, have grown up under a style of parenting that supported individual empowerment, where they have been almost always included in family decision-making. Now that they are in a corporate setting, they want to be included in the business decision-making process. Autonomy and transparency in the workplace are becoming more commonplace and, as a result, are becoming an employee expectation. What’s holding organizations back? It’s often a company’s concern for their sensitive information and intellectual property that creates work-from-home hesitations.
Businesses are moving to Google Workspace or other online workplaces because they want to improve collaboration, efficiency, and the user experience that today’s employees crave. Modern-day applications allow teams and collaborators to securely share, access and interact with files through Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, even Zoom regardless of whether they have a Google or Microsoft account.
3. Engage Employees
People get bored. It’s human nature. And when they get bored, they might start looking at greener pastures to reignite their engagement. It’s not your job to be an entertainer to your employees, nor should it be. But with the right attitude, leadership, and strategy, you can create an engaging culture.
Engage employees by pointing them in the right direction. Help them see that their work matters to your business and customers. The more an employee can connect their work with making a difference, the more engaged they’ll be. Try setting business-wide and team goals. Not only will this give employees something to work toward, but it could boost camaraderie, which also increases engagement. At HR Service Inc, we encourage teams to set and reach goals, not only for the individual but for the team as well. All the employees pull their own weight when working on the projects, and they are excited to achieve their goals as individuals and as a team.
Another way to encourage employee engagement is to give them ownership over their jobs. That’s why you should avoid the micromanaging of employees. How can an employee engage with a job if you always tell them what to do and how to do it? Not only does micromanaging discourage engagement, but it also hinders innovation and retention. If you micromanage your employees, they might start looking for a job with more freedom.
Lastly, engage employees by encouraging development. Regularly train employees, give them leadership roles, add new responsibilities, and offer educational assistance. When appropriate, promote employees. If you are unable to promote, you can try instituting a job rotation program, which lets employees make lateral moves into different positions.
4. Offer What Other Businesses Can’t
One of the biggest mistakes a business makes in retention is trying to be something they aren’t. I’m sure you’ve seen it, too. Or maybe you’ve even made this mistake! Whether they try to grow too fast, add unrelated offerings, or get too far away from their roots, some businesses can dig themselves into a rut if they focus on keeping up with bigger, more aggressive firms.
The same is true with retaining employees. Large Corporations can likely afford to give higher salaries, bigger bonuses, and better insurance benefits. Although it’s crucial to offer a fair compensation package, you shouldn’t try to spend more than what you can afford. Instead, offer what other businesses can’t. Benefits like job flexibility can be inexpensive to offer. At the same time, they are in very high demand. If it works for your business, let employees work from home, work flexible hours, and even take time off. However, offering job flexibility might not set you too far apart from the competition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77% of employees receive paid vacation days, and 71% receive paid sick leave. And 70% of employees worldwide work remotely at least once per week. So, what else can you offer those other businesses can’t?
Many working individuals prefer to be big fish in a little pond rather than little fish in a big pond—and your business plan can deliver just that. In your growing business, you can give employees more leadership. According to one study, Forbes – Employee Retention 2019, 86% of employees of a growing business reported that their opinions were heard and listened to.
If you want to keep retention high during this time of low unemployment, capitalize on what can set your business apart—treat your employees like family. Thirty-two percent of surveyed business employees said feeling like family was the best part of working for a company. I can attest that the familial feeling in my company is one of the best parts of my job. Many studies have shown that this kind of close work relationship is one of the reasons employees stick around in the age of low unemployment.
In closing, structured processes, defined expectations, and access to resources are also as important to employees as exercising their own passions and lifestyle liberties. Employees want to know that their efforts are in alignment with their teams’ priorities and that they are accomplishing milestones with accuracy and timeliness. Clearly defined processes and directives empower employees with confidence that they are doing the right things, in the right order, and at the right time.