With the Great Resignation still in full swing and more and more employees leaving their job, companies have been struggling to retain top talent. With the right employee retention strategies, you can boost job satisfaction and retain your top talent. Check out these 16 employee retention ideas that you can easily implement today.

Table of contents
  1. Why Are Workers Leaving?
  2. Why Employee Retention Matters
  3. Proven Employee Retention Strategies for the Post-Covid Work World
  4. Challenge Your Employees
  5. Frequently Asked Questions on Retaining Employee
  6. Moving Forward With Your Retention Strategies

Workers and managers have been quitting their jobs at record rates in search of better opportunities. 

When asked why they resigned, people give various answers, such as low pay, feeling overworked and underappreciated, feeling that their job lacks meaning and childcare issues. This means that there is not simply one one-size-fits-all solution for retaining your employees.

This forces businesses and companies of all sizes to develop creative ways to retain employees and formulate innovative employee retention strategies. While this may seem like a complex task, we’re here to help you out with some winning, creative ways to retain employees! 

Let’s get to it.

What Is Employee Retention

Simply put, employee retention is a company’s organizational goal and ability to hold on to its talented employees and reduce turnover. This is done by nurturing a positive work environment to promote engagement, making employees feel appreciated, providing competitive pay and benefits, and encouraging a healthy work-life balance.

Whether your company experiences high or low turnover, you can prevent top talent from leaving with the right employee retention strategies and practices.

Why Are Workers Leaving?

Exit interviews and offboarding are a great way to learn about why employees leave and gain valuable insight into whether your employee retention strategies could improve. 

When asking your employee why they are leaving, chances are high you’ll run into one or more of the following reasons:

  • Inadequate pay
  • Insufficient perks and benefits
  • Feeling overworked and/or a lack of support
  • Not feeling recognized for their hard work
  • Limited professional development opportunities
  • Feeling unchallenged
  • A lack of work-life balance
  • No flexible work options 
  • Dissatisfaction with direct or general management
  • Concerns about the company’s prospects or financial health
  • Poor company culture
  • More attractive work offers at other companies

Why Employee Retention Matters

Employee retention needs to be a priority of any company as it promotes organizational health and success. The time, stress, and cost of recruiting and training new workers are significant, and employee turnover can negatively impact your business outcomes. 

High employee turnover brings about a variety of issues including:

  • High turnover expenses: Recruiting and training new employees costs valuable time and money. The total cost of hiring a new employee is estimated to be three to four times the position’s salary. 
  • Lost knowledge: When experienced employees leave, their knowledge goes with them. And when their knowledge and skills aren’t effectively relayed to their peers, these can be lost forever. 
  • Lowered productivity levels: When a position is unfilled, hours of lost productivity accumulate. Even once you bring a new hire onboard, it takes a long time to bring them up to maximum productivity levels. Research suggests it takes a new hire one to two years to reach the productivity levels of an existing staff member.
  • Drop in employee morale: Whenever an employee leaves, your remaining workforce may have lost a valuable work friend. This can severely affect your remaining employees’ job satisfaction, commitment to your company, and role in it.

Interestingly, the employer could have prevented 77% of the reasons employees quit. What’s important here is to pinpoint the issues that may be driving employees to leave and develop innovative employee retention strategies to address them in time. 

Proven Employee Retention Strategies for the Post-Covid Work World

From the off, hire right

Glassdoor reported that 35% of employers who hire new employees do so expecting that more employees will quit in the year. If you’re already expected one-third of your new hires to leave, that’s not a good way to start the hiring process!

So make sure that you are hiring the right employees and that you don’t fall into that negative mindset. Many new hires admit that they would stay at a job longer if they were better informed about their role during the hiring process. Therefore be honest about what you expect from the new hire. Whatever you do, don’t omit details of the job just because you are desperate to fill an empty position. Being transparent is crucial in finding the right employee for your company.

The Wall Street Journal suggests you “Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers, and co-workers.”

Create an exceptional onboarding process

Making your employees feel like they are a part of your company starts right from the beginning with their onboarding process. The orientation, training, and support you give them from day one can set the tone for the hire’s entire employment at your company.

Help your new hire shift from an outsider to an insider by teaching them about their job role, responsibilities, the company culture, and how they can contribute and thrive in the organization every single day. Layout goals for them for their first weeks and first months and introduce them to their teammates.

Make sure they have every opportunity to talk with you about questions or issues they have. Consider setting them up with a mentor if your plate is full.

Have mentorship programs

Speaking of mentors, pair a new hire with a seasoned employee to ensure the greatest chance of employee retention. Your veteran employee will act as their best resource and vice-versa, the new hire can offer fresh eyes and a new perspective on how things are done.

However, make sure the mentor doesn’t act like a supervisor, instead, they are there for new hires to lean on, to be a sounding board, and to welcome them to the company culture.

Provide employees with the tools they need

Anything you can do to simplify and automate tasks that are low value and repetitive, like filling out a piece of paper, will free up the power of HR to do something else. There’s so much space for automation to play a bigger role in making the employee experience better.

Tatiana Goldberg, Unilever

In this sense, one of the most effective and innovative employee retention strategies is adopting a digital tool to streamline and simplify your day-to-day. 

One excellent example is Connecteam’s all-in-one employee management app. Specifically designed for managing deskless employees, Connecteam’s provides a complete set of robust tools so that employee retention comes more naturally.

It includes tools for:

  • Onboarding & skill enhancement: Create custom training programs for your teams, upload the latest training materials, and track progress and performance in real-time.
  • Internal communication: Communicate with an individual, a group, or the entire organization through the dedicated work chat or share company announcements and updates on the app’s social feed.
  • Gathering feedback: Create custom surveys or live polls as structured channels for every team member to approach HR and management and have their voice heard.
  • Employee recognition: Recognize star employees, shine a light on achievements, and allow employees to nominate coworkers for awards and engage with every recognition and appreciation celebration.
  • Accessible HR resources: Allow your employees to access and learn more about company policies and benefits at any time by setting up a knowledge hub.
employees receives custom recognition on hi cellphone using Connecteam all-in-one employee management app

Increase Productivity, Retention and Performance

Connecteam helps you drive measurable improvements in employee engagement through surveys, live polls, a suggestion box, work chat, targeted announcements, real-time insights, and collaboration so employee retention is a targeted and fun experience across the aisle.

Communicate Efficiently

When you have an open and healthy line of communication, employee retention is much easier.

Employees should feel like they can come to you with any and all ideas, questions, and concerns. And on the flip side, they are expecting you to be honest and open with them about what’s going on in the company and their own performance. Make sure you’re communicating with them on a regular basis.

The Office Club found that by placing an emphasis on internal communication, you are able to equip your employees to “feel valued, satisfied, and motivated” which in turn, boosts their morale and increases their output in their job role.

Through an open dialogue, you not only strengthen your relationship with your current employees but potential, top candidates will be attracted by such an open company culture that values communication.

Download our free eBook to gain insightful tips and strategies on how to build your own internal communication strategy.

Celebrate milestones, big and small

Whether it’s an individual or team success, make sure you shine a light on it. All milestones should be celebrated! Whether your team finished ahead of the deadline or an employee who just got married, seize the opportunity to mark the milestone together. Opt for a team lunch or a company outing, or even celebrate virtually to create a meaningful and memorable moment for everyone.

Show your employees appreciation

Everybody wants to feel acknowledged and recognized for the work they do. In fact, employees who feel appreciated tend to work harder and stay at their company longer as it creates a sense of belonging and loyalty.

So be sure to express appreciation for your employees’ efforts and achievements, thank anyone who goes the extra mile, and explain how their hard work contributes to the company’s success. To ensure that you provide consistent recognition, you should prioritize both social recognition and tangible rewards, preferably by creating an employee recognition strategy. 

Using recognition software will help you do this as efficiently and easily as possible. It provides a platform to shine the spotlight on your employees’ achievements or express your appreciation in private. It further supports points-based reward systems that let employees collect points and use them to purchase tangible rewards they enjoy. 

Ask for feedback and act on it

As far as employee retention strategies go, this one is often overlooked. Get into the habit of encouraging and listening to all the feedback your employees give. 

Asking your employees for input and suggestions makes them feel heard and valued. Make this a regular practice and ensure your employees have a platform where they can voice their thoughts. You can gather feedback during meetings, create a suggestion box, or send your employees weekly or monthly feedback surveys on various matters. This can be anything from how they feel about their managers or where they need more support in their day-to-day to suggestions for your break room or a new product you’re pushing out. 

Promote a healthy work-life balance

We’ve said it before and we will say it again, company culture is key! Especially when it pertains to an employee’s work-life balance. Do your employees have a lot of long nights? Or are expected to answer calls and emails at any time, even when at home? If that’s the case, your employees will burn out quicker than ice cream melting on a hot summer’s day. Creating a healthy work-life balance is essential for all your employees and they need to know that management gets it.

So, make sure your employees are taking vacation days and if they work late, let them come in later the next day or offer a day off. If possible, arrange for telecommuting or flexible schedules to ensure a healthy work-life balance is more than possible.

Balance needed as an employee retention strategy

Give regular feedback on performance

Instead of waiting for the annual performance review to touch base and let your team members know how they are performing, switch to more frequent (weekly, monthly, and quarterly) – one-on-one meetings with your employees. Talk with them about their short- and long-term career goals and help them envision their future with the company. You can discuss potential professional development scenarios and lay out a feasible plan for reaching those goals. This way, your employees will not feel left in the dark and will know where they stand within the company and how they can improve. 

Offer training & development opportunities

One of the most effective employee retention strategies is helping employees reach their short- and long-term career goals. As there is a direct link between low investment in employee development and turnover rates, supporting professional growth and constant learning motivates your employees and boosts retention.

Therefore, prioritize investing in your workers’ professional development. You can do this by creating or hosting training programs. Other methods include allowing them to attend conferences or industry events, providing tuition reimbursement, or paying for continuing education.

Build a culture of respect

Aretha Franklin meant business singing about “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” And so should your business.

A study by Georgetown University reported that being and feeling respected by their direct managers (and other superiors) ranked at the top of the list as what matters most in the workplace. And yet, more and more employees say that they get increasingly disrespectful behavior from the higher-ups.

Build a culture of trust and respect into your employee retention strategy. Your employees will work harder and be more respectful when they trust and feel respected by upper management and anyone who is assigning them work or overseeing them. 

You can create a culture of respect by maintaining healthy, constructive, and positive communication with your workforce. Be sure to recognize them for their efforts, listen to your employees, and offer constructive feedback. 

Challenge Your Employees

But in a good way!

We don’t mean giving them impossible tasks or setting unrealistic goals.

Forbes recommends the following four employee retention strategies when it comes to challenging your team:

  1. Show belief in your employee(s).
  2. Push employees outside of their comfort zone and let them take risks.
  3. Show that failure is a learning opportunity.
  4. Reward their efforts and not just their talent.

Offer flexible work arrangements

Recently, mainly due to COVID, flexible schedules and hybrid workplaces have become two of the top things employees look for in a new job. This is no longer just a mere perk or benefit but an expectation.

Hybrid workplaces offer employees the option to work in the office or from home at their convenience.

  • 74% of the US workforce are willing to quit a job just to work from home.
  • 31% would like the option of remote work, but their company doesn’t offer remote work.

By providing flexible work arrangements, you give your employees the freedom to work around their personal peak moments of the day and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This improves their productivity and helps them adopt a more optimistic work attitude.

If offering your employees remote working options permanently isn’t an option, think about what you can provide employees with instead. This could, for instance, be a compressed workweek or flextime. Overall, any form of flexibility can help relieve stress and boost employee retention.

Offer competitive compensation

As insufficient pay is a major reason behind employee departures, you must make sure that you offer your employees appropriate and competitive compensation. This means that you should evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. Even if you are not currently in the position to increase pay, consider whether you could provide other forms of compensation and perks, such as bonuses, health care benefits, or free meals.

Offer employee wellness programs

Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, health – both physical and mental – is a top priority for everyone. As a result, many leading employers have expanded and improved their wellness offerings to help their staff feel supported and care for themselves. You can do this in various ways. For instance, consider providing your employees with stress management programs or reimbursement for fitness classes.

Frequently Asked Questions on Retaining Employee

1. Do We Need Retention Strategies During Crisis Management?

A crisis here refers to cyber-attacks, man-made disasters, workplace violence, or a global pandemic like COVID-19, managers must get ahead to effectively manage the situation. Your employees are hit hard during disruptive times, from high levels of uncertainty to time urgency and negative morale, the strain only leads to lower productivity, poor employee retention, and higher financial problems – all of which can lead to organizational failure.

However, there are companies that come back stronger than ever. What’s the secret? Effective leadership.

A 2016 study published in Group Organization Management examined the leadership in organizations that had survived a crisis. They found that transformational leaders were instrumental in helping employees stay positive during a crisis, which was critical to the organization’s outcome.

Even when an employee’s personal and professional life at teetering on the edge, it’s the best leaders who can help their team experience positive emotions. This is the key to keeping your team mentally strong. When you have resilient employees then you have a more resilient organization.

2. What Are Some Top Retention Strategies During A Crisis?

  • Ask for your employee’s ideas and feedback so they can take ownership of the disruption. This will create more loyal employees who are devoted to beating the chaos and are motivated to help.
  • Empathize with the stress, don’t hide because you’re also anxious and stressed out. Acknowledge that everyone, yourself included, feels some form of distress. Be authentic in your communication as this will provide genuine reassurance and your team members won’t feel like they’re alone in the chaos. “This is tough, but we’re in this together,” is something you should emphasize and your employees will band together.
  • Encourage your team to ask for help. During a crisis, your employees may think that asking for help is a sign of weakness but that couldn’t be further from the truth – tell them that. Just saying, “If you need any help, let us know what we can do” can really go a long way.

A crisis can either make or break your business but the difference here is based on leadership.

3. How Do You Calculate The Employee Retention Rate?

When looking to retain employees, you should know how to come up with the employee retention rate.

  • Choose a time/period
  • Divide the number of employees who stayed during that specific time/period by the number of employees you had on the first day of that time/period
  • And multiply that number by 100

4. What Are Main Drivers To Retain Employees?

We have shared 17 retention strategies above. BUT, they all fall into a few buckets that drive retaining employees. For example:

  • A healthy work environment
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Flexibility
  • Room and plan for growth and development
  • A healthy, positive working relationship with the manager
  • Good level of compensation

Moving Forward With Your Retention Strategies

Employee retention is especially important when you’re a small business.

Why? For starters, you probably have limited resources therefore retaining top talent is key to business success. With effective employee retention strategies in place, you improve office morale and help ensure that your best workers continue to work only for you and not your competition. And no, you don’t need to spend a fortune on employee retention strategies either.

Managers who are serious about employee retention strategies know that they need to do more than just the bare minimum. It makes no difference how big your business is, anytime an employee leaves, it’s bad for business.

The Wall Street Journal also found that “a high employee turnover rate can cost twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement.”

It isn’t just about the financial repercussions, but without great employee retention strategies, you’ll also lower the knowledge base, lower morale, and decrease performance. By following the retention strategies we dive into below, you can avoid a high turnover rate.

So, when looking at employee retention strategies and how to retain employees, you don’t need to break the bank to make it happen. When you are clever in your execution, you save on general cost and on employee turnover costs – now that sounds like a win-win situation.

Be sure to review your employee retention strategies on a regular basis to ensure your strategies and company culture are working efficiently and effectively.

And, one final thing. Yes, we just shared a handful of employee retention strategies but we aren’t saying you need to adopt every single one and all at once. Remember what we said for tip 15 – introduce small changes that are manageable for you and your employees in bite-sized pieces. Some of the retention strategies and questions on how to retain employees that you want to roll out can be a big initiative. So, work at your own pace!

Retain Employees With The All-In-One Employee App