Keep Your People: What Makes Employees Stay with a Company Long-Term?

The cost of employee turnover can be as high as 100%-300% of an employee’s salary. Discover strategies to help you retain your top workers.

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Keep Your People: What Makes Employees Stay with a Company Long-Term?

Here's what you need to know:

  • Companies who figure out the magic equation of how to keep employees long-term have a clear advantage
  • Some of the factors that lead to employees wanting to stick with a company long-term include a positive workplace culture and purpose and meaning that align with their organization
  • Recognition and appreciation also drive employee engagement
  • Training and development, internal promotions, and good pay and benefits also draw employees
  • Offering employees a flexible work-life balance is essential
  • Gather feedback from your current employees to discover other factors that will retain them

Many companies today are struggling to find and keep employees. A growing skills gap and a generation of Baby Boomers nearing retirement age are complicating the issue. Companies that figure out the magic equation of how to keep employees long-term have a clear advantage.

Some companies seem to have figured out the secret to success. Others may feel their recruitment and hiring processes are a revolving door. Employees come on board, stay for a while, and then move on to other endeavors.

So, what causes these workers to job-hop rather than pick a company and work there until retirement? What makes employees stay with a company long-term?

This article will dive into both sides of the topic. Because in truth, employee retention is a 2-sided coin. On 1 side are employees who find a company they love and stick around for years, or even decades. On the other, companies struggle to keep employees for longer than a few months.

Research shows that the cost of employee turnover can be as high as 100%-300% of an employee’s salary. This only underlines the importance of increasing retention rates.

Keep reading to learn what makes employees want to stay with a company long-term and how companies that take definitive action have an advantage.

Empowered employees: Why workers are taking back their power

The importance of humanizing employees has grown in recent years. Perhaps this is because people have recognized and embraced their worth in the workplace. Workers no longer feel beholden to companies that foster toxic work environments.

Part of this phenomenon probably stems from the changing landscape of employment. Today’s working environment is not your mother’s or father’s experience.

The digital age has changed the way people work and how they feel about their employment opportunities. Below are a few explanations of what has led to these changes.

Expanding opportunities

In the past, workers had to choose from businesses and factories inside their general locality. But remote work, telecommuting, and the rise of online communication have changed that fact permanently.

A person in New York can easily find, apply, and get hired for a job in California. This increasing availability has altered the way people see their employment options.

Easily available education options

Another factor contributing to the rise of employee empowerment is the ease with which individuals can learn new skills. In the past, trade schools, on-campus education, and on-the-job training programs were the only options for workers.

But today, individuals can complete college courses at their own pace and from the comfort of their living rooms. This has changed the way people view their potential.

Social justice movements

Social justice movements, such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, have prompted many workers to stand up and walk out. Individuals faced with discriminatory practices, workplace harassment, or other issues feel more comfortable and supported when standing up for their rights. They no longer feel they must “stick it out” and continue working for a company that doesn’t value them as equals.

Put these factors together and what do you wind up with? You get companies that constantly need to recruit and hire new talent and employees who are not afraid to jump ship for better opportunities.

Top reasons employees stay with a company long-term

So, does the changing work environment mean that companies are stuck in a cycle of hiring and resignation? Not necessarily.

The main problem companies face when trying to figure out ways to entice employees to stay is this — organizations fail to make effective changes in the right direction.

There are specific things that employees desire from an employer. Giving workers access to these things will inevitably lead to them being more engaged and invested in their company. Highly engaged workers are 87% less likely to voluntarily resign from a position.

So, what are the factors that lead to employees wanting to stick with a company long-term? We have listed some of the biggest ones below.

Culture and work environment

A recent survey from Glassdoor found that 56% of adult workers say a positive workplace culture is more important to them than salary.

Today’s workers consider company culture as one of the most important factors in their decision to work for an organization.

Today’s workers consider company culture as one of the most important factors in their decision to work for an organization. This is especially true of younger workers.

Purpose and meaning

Workers who hold personal beliefs and views which mirror those of their organizations are more likely to find reasons to stay.

Therefore, it’s important for companies to clearly understand their mission and communicate it strongly to employees. When workers feel they’re a part of something bigger, it provides a greater motivation to show up every day.

Recognition and appreciation

Recognition is 1 of the biggest drivers of employee engagement. Employees who receive frequent and meaningful recognition and appreciation from managers will have increased pride and ownership in their work.

Highly satisfied employees are not only more likely to stay with an organization, but they will be more productive as well.

Training and development

Studies consistently show that opportunities for training and development are some of the biggest draws for workers. Just check the statistics from LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report.

Results showed that 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if the organization invested in their development. That’s a big percentage. This proves that today’s workers are willing to stay with a company long-term in exchange for an investment in their future success.

Internal promotions

The possibility of promotion provides a convincing reason to remain with a company. Employees who desire to grow their careers, and their salaries, will look for ways to better themselves.

If companies don’t provide clear avenues for advancement internally, employees may look elsewhere.

Pay and benefits

Some things never change, so of course, pay and benefits rank as key factors for employees. Even with an increased focus on things like culture and development, salaries and benefits will always be a consideration for workers.

Offering a comprehensive benefits package, especially, is important to today’s workers. Many won’t even consider a position that fails to bring benefits to the table.

Work-life balance

The importance of offering a flexible work-life balance has grown in recent years. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a generation of workers into home offices, many people have discovered the stress relief provided by the ability to work on their own time.

Others may tire of struggling to balance a full-time career with familial responsibilities. Offering full-time remote work may not be an option for every organization.

However, those that work to find ways to improve their employees’ work-life balance will be more likely to retain them long-term.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

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Gather feedback from your current employees

The good news for companies is that employees are more willing than ever to share their needs and wants openly. There is plenty of information out there that can lead organizations to the answers they’re looking for.

For those companies that find they are still unclear on how to retain employees longer, here’s our best advice: ask them! Gathering feedback from current employees via employee engagement surveys is a surefire way to discover those things which are the most desired and most likely to convince employees to stick around.

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