Decision-makers often misunderstand the value of investing in employee happiness and satisfaction, so they implement retention strategies half-heartedly.
Here's what you need to know about employee retention strategy: 5 unique ways to keep your employees loyal and happy:
- One of the best ways to keep employees is to hire the right employees in the first place.
- Employees who are trusted to work independently have a greater incentive to perform well.
- Gathering feedback helps organizations understand what kinds of things employees need.
Employee retention has always been an important topic for companies, even before Covid-19 drastically changed the labor market. Because recruitment, hiring, training, and turnover can cost organizations a significant amount of money, it only makes sense that they focus on strategizing ways to keep employees longer.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the cost of hiring a new employee can reach three to four times the amount of the salary for the position. Add that number to the statistic from Glassdoor that says 35% of hiring decision-makers expect to lose employees within the same year of hiring a new one, and the cost of turnover quickly becomes astronomical.
Most companies understand the basics of how to keep employees from jumping ship. So, why is it still so difficult for many organizations to develop a strong retention strategy that works? Where is the disconnect between knowing what to do and doing it?
The answer lies in the details. While organizations may grasp the basics of this topic, they fail to think outside the box. Or, they’re focusing too much on a single strategy without using a diversified approach.
This article lists some unique strategies companies can use to keep employees loyal and happy. Let’s get to work!
Look for employees that match the culture
One of the best ways to keep employees is to hire the right employees in the first place. When organizations make an effort to hire employees who share the same values and beliefs, it makes the experience better for everyone. Said differently, employees are likelier to stick around when they fit with the company’s culture.
Employees are searching for more than just a job. Most are looking for an employer that embraces them for who they are and coworkers they can build relationships with. When this happens, it creates a positive working environment that is hard to fake.
Employees are likelier to stick around when they fit with the company’s culture.
Research shows that employees who believe they fit with company culture are more likely to remain with an organization and perform better while they are there. But how do companies ensure they’re hiring employees who match their cultural goals? Here are a few helpful tips:
- Clearly define the culture and values.
- Communicate the cultural expectations to potential candidates.
- Use personality assessments during interviews.
- Include cultural goals in the training process.
Make coming to work more fun!
Studies show that incorporating fun into the workday increases employee engagement and leads to greater creativity. This is because it provides an outlet for employees who often feel stressed and anxious at work. The pressure to succeed and perform creates an environment that quickly leads to burnout.
Here’s the crux. Organizations must make a genuine effort to change the environment of the workplace. Enjoyment can go hand in hand with hard work and productivity. The two attitudes tend to complement each other. Fun in the workplace increases morale, fosters relationships, and promotes collaboration.
What are some ways to incorporate fun into an otherwise boring workday? The ideas should come from within an organization. Meanwhile, here are some examples of things organizations can incorporate to give employees a bit of fun:
- Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.
- Gather and socialize outside of work.
- Make the office pet friendly.
- Organize company outings.
- Participate in charity work as a group.
- Plan company trips.
- Share meals and treats during the workday.
- Start an office sports league.
- Throw holiday parties.
Poll current employees and listen to their suggestions for the best advice.
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To retain employees, challenge them in a positive way
One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is pride and ownership of work. Employees who are trusted to work independently have a greater incentive to perform well. And because there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and retention, this is something that organizations should encourage.
Creating a challenging atmosphere creates employees who feel their organization believes in their abilities. Providing ways for employees to learn, grow, and strengthen their talents builds an environment where employees want to work harder and perform better. Here are some tips on how to get it done.
- Allow employees to work autonomously whenever possible.
- Avoid micro-managing and overbearing oversight.
- Provide opportunities for growth and development.
- Encourage employees to problem-solve and brainstorm on their own.
- Look internally for employees who show a desire to take on a leadership role.
- Institute a mentorship program.
Build a reputation for respect and transparency
If there’s one thing that employees value the most in an organization, it’s honesty. Many organizations have policies in place designed to protect their bottom line. The problem is that using tactics based on secrecy breeds mistrust.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found:
- 1 in four workers doesn’t trust their employer.
- One-third of respondents reported their employers were dishonest.
- Less than half of survey participants described their employers as open and upfront.
If organizations think this statistic isn’t a big deal, they are wrong. Employees who don’t feel a level of trust and respect from their companies quickly look to move on.
If there’s one thing that employees value the most in an organization, it’s honesty.
How can companies create an atmosphere of trust and respect with workers? The same way they would with anyone else. Include employees in conversations about company goals and intentions. Provide recognition for their efforts. And be transparent and fair about internal issues.
Retention remembers that employees are people first – and employees second
It’s often easy for organizations to forget that employees are actual people. Employees are going through struggles of their own. They usually have no choice but to carry those burdens to work with them. Employees work hard to balance their careers with their personal lives, whether it’s:
- Family drama
- Financial issues
- Health problems
- Some other stressor
Work to find ways to support workers’ needs and demonstrate how much the organization values them. When employees feel as if their organizations see them as people and not just dollar signs, they feel more appreciated.
Gathering feedback helps organizations understand what kinds of things employees need. Below are some examples of things that make employees feel as if their organization values them as whole people:
- Allow employees mental health days on top of regular sick leave.
- Financial counseling or debt relief services are offered.
- Healthy lunch choices are available in the break room.
- Implement health and wellness initiatives.
- Institute an employee foundation to provide help to workers in need.
- Offer tuition reimbursement.
- Provide free mental health counseling.
- Provide ways for employees to share their needs with executives.
Organizations understand that increasing retention and decreasing turnover make good financial sense. The problem is that decision-makers often misunderstand the value of investing in employee happiness and satisfaction. They implement retention strategies half-heartedly and then shrug when nothing changes.
When something is not working, it’s time to do something different. The same concept should apply to every aspect of a business. If an organization is spending time and money on retention strategies that aren’t showing results, it’s necessary to try something new.
Companies need to recognize their employees:
- As individuals
- Appreciate their value
- Find ways to help them enjoy their working environment
When organizations do these things, it creates a strong, loyal, and satisfied workforce that will be around for a long time.