Employee turnover costs you big time, and we’re not just talking about the dollar amount. We also mean the ramifications the entire office and workforce feel when your shining star exits. However, if we’re only focusing on the costs, a 2017 study found that turnover costs employers $15,000 per worker. With numbers like that, employee retention has never been more important.
Let’s focus quickly on why employee retention is important. If you’re a small business, you probably have limited resources therefore retaining top talent is key to business success. So when you have effective employee retention strategies in place, you are improving office morale and are ensuring 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.
9 Clever Employee Retention Strategies in 2019
1. Hire right from the start. 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.
2. Smart on-boarding process. From the first day, your new hires should be set for success and that all relies on the on-boarding process. Make sure that you aren’t just teaching the new hire about their job role and responsibilities, it is just as important to teach them about the company culture and how they can thrive every single day. Layout goals for them, for their first week, first month, first three months, first six months and their first year. 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.
3. Have mentors. 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.
4. Communicate! When you have an open and healthy line of communication, you make employee retention 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.
Implementing a team chat app, like Connecteam, keeps an “open door” between the employees and management. As a manager, you can easily send a company announcement, the weekly goals, celebrate the employee of the month, birthdays, anniversaries, and so on. Plus, employees can contact you if they have a problem or want to acknowledge a win, and they can easily send feedback (through a suggestion box or a survey done via the app) on any matter.
Additionally, if you look at points 5 and 7 of our list (celebrating wins and asking for feedback), using a team chat app makes these employee retention strategies even easier to distribute.
5. Celebrate wins. Whether it’s an individual or team success, make sure you acknowledge it. All major milestones should be celebrated! From an employee landing a massive $100,000 sale or setting a new record (sales, revenue, customers, etc.) or even if an employee just got married or had a baby. Seize the opportunity to celebrate together, opt for a team lunch or a company outing.
6. Relaxed and casual. The atmosphere in the office should be relaxed and casual, while still demanding professionalism. You need a balance between the two. One simple way to ensure this is to offer a business casual dress code. Or a “dress down” day every week, like on a Friday. This is a unique employee retention strategy but it is an incentive that is highly appreciated and puts employees at ease so they are motivated to work harder.
7. Ask for feedback and act on it. As far as employee retention strategies go, this one is often overlooked. You need to get into the habit of encouraging and listening to all the feedback your employees give. So if you want to boost morale and employee happiness, it’s time you listened and acted on what your employees are saying. Don’t wait for an annual review, send weekly or monthly feedback surveys to your employees on various things – from new office design to the new marketing strategy or a new product you’re pushing out. Make sure your employees have a platform where they can voice their thoughts. Consider a suggestion box that they can access at any time.
8. Work-life balance mentality. 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 burnout 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.
9. Team outings or lunches. Boost the atmosphere and employee morale in the office with a company outing or pay for everyone’s lunch. Or you can even hold some team building games and exercises in the office. It’s an easy employee retention strategy that’s sure to work. Why? Because everyone loves to have fun! Your employees will be more productive and effective in their work when they are compensated, bonuses and pay raises aren’t the only option at your disposal.
When looking at employee retention strategies, 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.