Employee Retention: What it is & Strategies

You need it. Just like you wouldn’t go to war without your best warriors and sharpened spears, you need the best people to launch that best product. The product can make unicorns rain from the sky and still won’t survive long in this modern, cut-throat global marketplace if you don’t have a team that can weather the hard and good times. So why has it taken so long for companies to actively outline an employee retention strategy?

What is employee retention?

Employee retention is the steps or processes taken by HR professionals and managers to ensure the organization retains employees. Employees leaving an organization affect the organization’s productivity, morale, and engagement.

For U.S. organizations, it is estimated that disengaged employees cost about $550 billion every year.

Did you know? Facebook has the World’s longest employee retention rate with employee tenure lasting over 2 years at an average. In contrast, Uber is said to have one of the lowest employee retention rates in this category with about 1.23 years being the average employee tenure span. This data is as per Paysa, a company that reports on employee statistics.

Job-hopping is something that hasn’t spared the hotshots of technology or any other industry. A leading interviewing technology solution provider states that, 80% of business managers feel that employee retention is a major issue that companies are facing these days as 27% of employees change jobs each year, 17% are actively job-hunting, 46% are passively looking (ADP) and 35% of the employees consider giving up their current role in a year’s time (Mercer).

Due to this scary state of employee retention, around 75% of the companies are considering redesigning their hiring and employee retention processes.

Top 8 employee retention strategies that you can use in your organization

Employee Retention Strategies

  • Ensure the right people are hired

It’s said that supervisors spend a whole day in a week in managing poor-performing employees, and 11% of financial supervisors suggested that if they hire the wrong employees, they lose out on productivity.

Every organization would want to hire the right people to make sure it doesn’t take a toll on the finances of the company. A lot of companies have aptitude tests or pre-placement tests to understand the caliber of to-be-hired employees. Some organizations also conduct personality tests to make sure no stone is left unturned in evaluating candidates.

  • Allot responsibilities as per employee’s interests and specializations

An employee looks forward to attending a day’s work when the assigned duties match their interest. Designing milestones by incorporating employee interests and likings will go a long way as it’ll be a motivational factor for employees to come to work. They’ll appreciate the efforts the organization is putting in to make sure the employees are happy to be working with the company.

  • Avoid hierarchical structure and create an accessible work environment

A lot of organizations assume that high-pressure can get the best out of the employees but sadly, that isn’t the truth. Around 80% of doctor visits happen due to stress and 80% of accidents at work also happen at high-pressure jobs.

In case there’s a hierarchical structure, most employees feel that they can easily trust their peers but not their bosses. An “open-door” policy company, where employees feel free to talk to the highest authority without any hesitation is where these losses are minimized and the output delivered is maximum.

Companies, where the managers don’t put blame on the team members for things that go wrong have a positive culture which leads to some path-breaking work.

  • Appreciate good work to encourage them to stay for longer

It’s noted in the recent times that 69% of employees say that they would work harder if their work is appreciated.

Employees come every day and contribute towards business and that’s the reason why they need to be constantly motivated and appreciated. Managers who value their team members have much better performance results than those who don’t.

A “thank you” for a simple task finished brilliantly can boost the morale of the employees. Offering fair incentives, appraisals according to the caliber of the employee makes it clear to them that they’re valued. This reflects in their performance and in turn, improves the performance of the company.

  • Performance appraisals and other perks are key to happy employees

The employees are always eager to know whether they’re delivering according to their manager’s expectations. For them to be assured of their work, the managers need to have regular performance review meetings, constant coaching and feedback sessions.

Create realistic goals for the employee during appraisal and strengthen the bond shared with the employees so that they work harder to achieve their goals. Having an appraisal once a year is not enough to keep the employees motivated, keep all factors in mind and try to conduct appraisals more than once a year.

  • Ease employees’ work-life balance

Due to the constant challenges that employees face day in and day out, it seems impossible for them to not think about work after leaving office. Most overworked and exhausted employees talk about work-life balance (as they don’t have it!).

Employers are not responsible for the employee’s work-life balance. But, they can mend their policies to make sure they support it. Offering employees flexible working hours, some paid time off (PTO) apart from the usual leaves can be exactly what the employees need.

Employees pick up nuances from their managers. So, the managers need to be very careful in the way they conduct themselves while they avail PTO. If the manager sends out emails on a vacation, the message given out to the employees will be that even they’re expected to do the same.

  • Come up with appropriate training programs for employee growth

Hiring the right candidates is just work half done, it’s what comes after hiring that matters. Training the employees constantly according to the new developments in the company is what will keep them from leaving.

This is one of the most challenging employee retention strategies that would require continuous effort from employers for arranging training at regular intervals.

If the right candidates feel they aren’t in a workplace that’s exploring their true potential, they’ll quit and leave you in a position where you’d have to look for a replacement. By having training modules in place, one can encourage new employees to work better and deliver better.

  • Cultivate Team Spirit

Introduce the employees to a culture where they can share their thoughts about topics under discussion without hesitation. This will bring out different work cultures to the table and encourage them to be true to their work styles.

Create transparency about team goals, roles, and responsibilities and promote the employees to share their thoughts in every small and big decision.

Keep these pointers under check every year so that you don’t overlook parameters like salary, appraisals and other benefits. 

Employee retention software or tool

An online survey platform or software such as QuestionPro Workforce is ideal for getting started on your employee retention initiatives. Here are some key reasons and benefits of using an Employee retention platform or tool.

  • Deploy surveys: Conduct staff surveys to know what employees are feeling and experiencing. You can deploy surveys at regular intervals automatically or manually do it. But make sure you design one and send it out.
  • Gather data from employees: It is most crucial to understand why your employees are leaving the organization. Without reason, you cannot possibly think of arresting staff churn. Once you have data directly sourced from the employees, you can start making plans to counter workforce attrition.
  • Analyze the data: Once you have employee data, you will have some idea about what they feel with respect to employee experience, processes, and the organization. Analyze the data to zero-in on problem areas and devise plans to fix them. With surveys, you can make informed people decisions and improve your staff retention rate.
  • Quick deployment: The most important aspects of using a tool like this are that they are fast and effective. You can design and deploy online surveys in short durations, gather responses in a limited time frame, and start looking at results.
  • Effective: Online surveys are effective and have high response rates as they can be taken anywhere and at any time. This ensures that management and HR professionals have large sets of data to make sound and informed decisions.

Top employee retention benefits

It is crucial to understand and believe in why employee retention is beneficial to organizations and why it should be a key priority. Let’s look at some key benefits of staff retention:

  • High efficiency: Tenured or retained employees are more experienced; they know the organization, the processes, people, and objectives. This is highly efficient and improves the overall productivity of the employees and the organization.
  • Save resources: Hiring to replace old employees is quite a task; it takes a toll on the time, money, and other resources of the organization. Retention protects you from such costs and efforts.
  • Improve customer experience: Employee retention keeps your employees glad, productive, and engaged. This is automatically transferred to the customers they serve, improving the overall customer experience.
  • Boost staff productivity: A recent study showed that engaged employees are 21% more productive than less engaged employees. Organizations that have robust retention strategies are highly productive.
  • High workforce morale: A high attrition rate negatively impacts employee morale. On the flip side, when employees see their colleagues retained, it boosts their morale. This, in turn, positively affects staff engagement, employee productivity, and workforce engagement.

Top employee retention ideas

Using employee retention ideas that are simple and cost-effective will go a long way in arresting staff attrition. Below are some ideas, you can view more and in detail on our employee retention page.

    • Fun and games: Introduce a recreation room, have fun games that will help build team relations, and relieve employee stress.
    • Employee benefits: Perks such as telecommuting, discounts at stores, hotels, etc. go a long way in letting your employees know they are valued and cared for.
    • Activities: Having themed days or family days keeps the employees happy and excited to go to work. Try doing some of these and see how the employees respond and welcome it.

Ready to create a workplace culture where everyone can reach their full potential? Learn more about how to get ongoing feedback from your employees and start taking action to make a positive impact in your organization with QuestionPro Workforce.