Recruiting and hiring new staff is a time-consuming and costly enterprise. As such, it is wise to retain employees so as to avoid unnecessary recruiting and hiring. But how do you do that? How do you retain employees when so many other employers are looking to steal them away?
Successful employee retention is not a matter of developing a single model or strategy. It is a matter of understanding what employees expect and then doing everything you can to meet those expectations. It is a matter of being as loyal to them as you expect them to be to the company.
With all that said, here are proven ways to improve your organization’s employee retention:
1. Compete on Pay and Benefits
Despite everything else that might be important to employees, today's workers still fall back on compensation as the final arbiter. That means your company has to be prepared to compete on both pay and benefits. If your company is not paying what is considered prevailing wage in your industry, it is time to up your game. If competitors are offering better benefits packages, it's time to figure out how you can make your benefits better.
2. Optimize Company Culture
There is a growing trend in HR to focus on cultural fit when hiring new employees. Cultural fit takes precedence over education, experience, and acquired skills. That being the case, it's a wise idea to optimize your company's culture in order to make staying with you worthwhile for employees.
If your company culture is toxic, it's time to clean things up. The goal is to create a positive company culture that makes people want to work for your organization. With a positive culture in place you will find it a lot easier to retain workers.
3. Invest in Employee Careers
If you want to retain your employees, do not give them jobs. Offer them careers instead. And with those offers, invest in their careers through ongoing training and professional development opportunities. Pay for local college courses, conduct regular training sessions, and otherwise give your employees opportunities to develop professionally.
4. Be Flexible with Time
Unless your business requires a strict attention to time, try to be more flexible. For example, some of the most successful companies in the world do not force employees to maintain specific schedules. Employees are free to come and go as they please just so long as the work is completed within a given time frame. They can choose the hours they work, the days they work, and whether or not they want to take time off.
5. Allow Freedom to Work
Hand-in-hand with flexibility is the freedom to work as the employee sees fit. The opposite of freedom is micromanaging, which is something far too many employers are guilty of. Don't let your company micromanage workers. Give employees as much freedom as possible to do their jobs as they see fit. As long as work is completed up to standards, does it really matter how employees get there?
6. Reward Achievement
Few things motivate employees better than recognition. If you have excellent performers in your workplace, reward them for that performance. Moreover, do it publicly. When employees see their coworkers being recognized for their accomplishments, they are motivated to do better themselves.
Employee retention really boils down to treating employees in the same way you expect to be treated. It's really just the golden rule adapted to HR. If you treat your employees well, pay them fairly, and recognize them for the hard work they do, you will keep them around for a long time.