There's a soft knock on your office door - one of your top performing employees peeks her head inside and asks if you have a moment to speak with her. Judging by the way she's biting her nails and avoiding eye contact, you brace yourself for a disappointing conversation. You repress your grief, plastering a 'congratulatory' smile accross your face while you reflect upon how much this employee has directly impacted the growth of the company from an economic standpoint. Futhermore, you're forced to say farewell to an individual who's culturally aligned with your organization's values.
There are several models with cost estimates for replacing talent as high as 150% of the employee's yearly salary. Integrating a sound employee retention strategy into your organization’s internal structure is the best way to ensure your employees are happy. Engagement is typically the number one precursor for retaining talent and boosting employee productivity. In addition, today’s workforce is motivated by the prospect of having a tangible impact on the success and direction of the organization.
Many employers make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on a competitive compensation package. While it’s certainly an important piece of the puzzle, it's not the only driving factor in attracting and retaining talent. Here are some cost-effective solutions for increasing employee retention rates.
Cultivate an Environment of Brand Ambassadors
Passionate employees will be enthusiastic about your product, services, and overall brand mission, thus breeding a high retention level all on their own. Presenting your team with opportunities to learn and grow in their career will keep them engaged with your culture and more importantly, satisfied with how they’re developing from a professional standpoint. Try supplying your employees with free products or give them the opportunity to utilize your services. They cannot truly appreciate or recognize your company's value proposition if they haven't had any exposure to what you're clientele are receiving. By understanding the advantages of your products or services, employees can effectively and authentically communicate those benefits to their network of family and friends.
Understand the Importance of Internal Promotions
If your organization is notorious for filling every open seat with an external body, employees will begin to feel stuck. Career-pathing and promoting from within will demonstrate that you’re invested in your staff and value their contribution on an individual level. Employees who feel as though they will be condemned to sit in the same cubicle for eternity will be discouraged, subsequently impacting the work they render.
Effective managers will recognize individual skill sets and implement processes that bolster those strengths. The benefits of promoting internally are two-fold; Not only will employees feel appreciated, but you will save the time, resources, and dollars searching to fill an open position with a new candidate.
Rewarding employees for their hard work is a simple way to elevate morale without spending a dime. Verbally recognizing an individual’s contribution in the presence of their colleagues is a great way to praise their achievement with a simple gesture. Other employees will find inspiration in your acknowledgment, striving to earn the same level of success for their own moment in the spotlight. Another easy way to salute an employee’s work is to either notify staff members via an email blast or make an announcement in the company’s newsletter. Highlighting an individual’s unique input can ultimately reinforce workplace positivity.
Harness the Power of Wellness Programs
There’s a clear correlation between employers who have enacted health-related programs for their staff, and elevated employee retention numbers. Supporting the mental and physical welfare of your employees can have a direct, positive impact on your organization’s bottom line. By promoting wellness programs – whether it be health-conscious snack choices, fitness classes, or adding a pool table for employees to take a 10-minute break – you are actively working to prevent burnout, while also indicating the seriousness of your staff’s well-being. Some companies are offering extra vacation days as a reward for employees who are performing well. Others have implemented policies that require staff members to take a mandatory 15-minute mental break from computer work in an effort to reinvigorate spirits and instill a renewed sense of motivation.
Emphasize Your Company’s Open-Door Policy
Establishing a culture that encourages employees to collaborate, share ideas, and express their concerns will not only foster innovation, but it will create a safe space for staff members to voice their opinion. When you create an environment where communication is admired, employees will feel like they are directly impacting the direction and future success of the company.
Regularly send out surveys or questionnaires asking for feedback and suggestions for improving workflow and internal culture. Brainstorm some creative outlets for your team to broadcast their ideas. You can use a suggestion box, place a cork board in the kitchen for employees to pin up images and ideas, or simply hold a quarterly conference call with the organization’s leadership team for staff to ask questions, hear from execs, and receive guidance from the people they look up to.
Provide Training Programs and Opportunities to Forge Lasting Bonds
Developmental opportunities are equally attractive as a competitive salary. Employees are enticed by the prospect of expanding their skill sets and advancing themselves professionally. Your organization, as well as your staff, will benefit from training programs. By nurturing and developing skills, you’ll create a workforce that is versatile, accomplished, and productive.
In addition to educating your staff, it’s important to organize activities outside of the workplace. The activities should be focused on strengthening employee relationships and enhancing company culture, while giving your team a chance to decompress. Create some excitement around the prospect of planning these events by enlisting the help of your team to come up with some suggestions for some company-wide fun.
Promote Your Company’s Mission
As the number of millennials joining the workforce increases, businesses are scrambling to adopt modernized practices to attract and retain talent from this generation. One of the leading drivers that largely impacts a millennial’s decision to align themselves with a particular employer, is being a part of an organization that makes a difference. Blending philanthropic opportunities with your company’s business model will speak to this generation’s interests while simultaneously improving the organization’s reputation. Hold a clothing drive, spend an afternoon volunteering at a local animal shelter, or partner with a non-profit to plant flowers or trees around the community – there are endless options when it comes to giving back.
Hold onto Your Employees Year over Year
To successfully retain talent, your company needs to exhibit a genuine interest in your staff. While perks like unlimited PTO and free lunches may draw candidates in, if your organization’s culture isn’t demonstrating a deeper investment in its employees, you’ll lose out on a lot of talented individuals. Your company’s business initiatives should include more than just a strategy for increasing revenue by 20% over the next 12 months. It should also incorporate the blueprints for building an environment that emphasizes career development and uses tangible methods for making their employees feel valued.