The economy is booming, and unemployment is at record low levels. The biggest burden business owners now have is HOW to retain employees. Needless to say, retaining employees isn’t easy. Talent is DIFFICULT to attract, especially in smaller markets/cities. Employee retention is a simple, and effective method of keeping your best employees, and keeping them happy and ENGAGED. The better your employee retention strategies are, the better off your employee retention rate will be.
If you’re looking for ways to retain employees, here are some great ways to help improve employee retention.
What is employee retention?
It’s your companies ability to keep employees encouraged, and satisfied. Your retention rate is the % of your employees you retain. Generally speaking there is a formula you can use to calculate it:
Number of employees retainer for a period of time / number of employees at the beginning of that time period X 100
Employee Retention Strategies
Employee retention strategies are essentially tactics you use to increase a company’s retention rate. The strategies can be:
- Culture based
- Team based
The goal is to help motivate your team so that productivity and efficiency is increased, which should result in a more positive employee experience.
Student Loan Repayment Benefits Are One Example
We exist in an economy where business owners are struggling to fill vacancies. One strategy that could have a positive impact on your ability to make your employees stay, or to offer the best quality of employees, is to offer student loan repayment benefits. Right now, many employers are paying off student loans as a way to attract better talent.
Why is Employee Retention Important
It takes time and money to train an employee. That training is an investment and turns into positive growth when the employee starts operating at their full potential.
- Employee retention ensures your talent stays in your company and willingly puts in their best effort
- It makes sure that critical employees don’t leave you when you need them
- Allow the company to function without need for more resources
- Ensure that employees feel valued, and make them more motivated
Benefits of Employee Retention
Companies with retention strategies
- Improve employee morale
- Little to no turnover
- Reduce costs in long run
- Reduce time spent on talent acquisition
- Better customer experience
Companies without retention strategies
- Employees with mediocre performance
- High turnover rate
- Increased costs / lower profits
- Immense time spent on recruiting due to revolving door of talent
Below are some great pieces of advice provided by fellow thought leaders
— Deborah Sweeney, CEO
I am a business owner with a team of nearly 40 employees. A few of our team members are also ‘boomerang’ employees, meaning that they left the company and returned back a few months or years later to work for us again. I think one of the greatest keys to retaining employees is to create a strong company culture. Our company culture is nimble and collaborative. Because we are a small business, we are able to seek out opportunities for growth and create strategies for how to implement these ideas and take action. This allows us to innovate as a team and create incredible new offerings for our customer base. We all work together and work hard to get the job done.
— Paula Rauenbuehler, CPC, ELI-MP
— Andrea Joy Wenburg, MA
— Topher Reynoso
— Tyler Butler
Employee retention is an extremely important matter where companies efficiency is concerned. And all too often it is linked with the level of engagement that employee have with their employer. According to the Cone Communications Employee Engagement Survey 93% of employees surveyed want to work for a company that cares about them as an individual; 51% won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social and environmental commitments and 74% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact at work.
So, it would hold true that companies whose priorities include engagement activities would have a greater retention rate, as well as, a more productive and happy workforce. Employees can often become complacent in their roles though. A main byproduct of this complacency is lowered productivity and increased churn. In today’s fast moving society employers can improve upon employee commitment and retain top talent by implementing the right engagement offerings. Programs that serve to inspire, develop and connect employees are a key component in keeping employees committed.
By implementing meaningful programs that excite and motivate employees companies can continue to develop and inspire team members. Creating a fervent employee volunteer program that allows for paid time off to volunteer and facilitates company organized volunteer activities can be a key way to ensure employee’s engagement and commitment. Through these offerings team members can authentically connect with causes that matter to them and at the same time develop skills that can help to support and enhance their careers. Not to mention the opportunity to potentially elevate their station in a business where promotions are concerned.
Employee resource groups (ERG) or diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs are another equally important offering that can serve to garnish greater commitment from employees. The opportunity to bring together disparate members of your employee population in order to champion a cause, educate them on issues relevant to them and create a sense of community are amazingly effective when looking to improve upon employees commitment and retention.
Through effective engagement activities you can not only create a more motivated employee base, but companies can also foster a greater sense of loyalty from their teams and in the process create great brand ambassadors. After all, happy employees are often the best tool where recruiting and retention are concerned.
— Jesse Silkoff, Co-Founder and President
— Jeff Arnett, Founder of Arnett Designs
As a business owner myself, I try to create an environment where my employees feel valued. Make sure you are recognizing your top performers, whether it is verbally or even with a small gift such as a gift card, a special parking space, a free lunch, etc. When employees are recognized for their hard work, they’re more likely to continue to work that way and stay motivated.
A great way to retain employees is to have great internal communication. Employees look for a great work environment to work at in which they can be collaborative with other team members. When you have a good company culture, it makes employees look forward to coming to work every day.
Keep employees involved and show them you care about their growth and development in the business. Employees like to know their way to promotion and what that consists of for them to be on the right track. It is important to keep current employees happy and motivated as they were their first day.