What You Can Learn From Companies With the Best Retention Rates

There are companies that retain workers longer than others. Find out how you can apply what these businesses are doing right to your company.

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What You Can Learn From Companies With the Best Retention Rates

Here's what you need to know:

  • Factors that contribute to retention include a good work-life balance and excellent benefit options
  • Other factors include positive views of coworkers and company culture
  • It’s vital to show employees that they matter, and actions speak louder than words
  • Factors that contribute to higher turnover rates include long hours, difficulty taking time off, and leadership not responding to employees’ concerns
  • If you’re not sure where to start improvements at your organization, either ask workers directly or launch an anonymous employee survey

Every good businessperson knows the value of retaining talent. Everyone knows the old adage that it’s far more expensive to recruit, hire, and train new employees than it is to retain the talent you have.

But just because everyone knows how important retention is doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to do it.

There are, however, plenty of companies out there that are getting it right. Resume.io analyzed tenure data from LinkedIn across some of the world’s most prominent companies to uncover retention insights.

Resume.io’s Best in Business analysis found that there are a number of companies that workers don’t want to leave, including:

  • Merck & Co
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Mary Kay
  • AT&T
  • BMO Harris Bank

The analysis also found a number of companies that are struggling to retain their talent, including:

  • Coinbase
  • Popeyes
  • Moderna
  • Reddit
  • Alphabet
  • Zoom
  • Amazon
  • Meta
  • Glossier
  • The New York Times

These are just a few of the companies that Resume.io listed. There’s plenty that can be gleaned from digging deeper into all of them.

But we’ve taken the liberty of diving into 2 of the best and 2 of the worst performers on the list. We’ve done so to uncover what you can learn from 2 of the companies with some of the longest worker tenures in business.

We’ve done the same with 2 companies that have 2 of the shortest median tenures among their workers. This way you can learn from both what is and isn’t working when it comes to keeping employees around for the long term.

Companies that workers don’t want to leave: HSBC Bank USA

At HSBC Bank, the median tenure of its workers is a whopping 10.2 years. This means that a good chunk of the bank’s workers stick around for more than a decade. That seems like an eternity in the modern working world where people switch companies and careers all the time.

So what are they doing right? According to the company’s Glassdoor profile, it seems like a lot. In fact, 73% of employees would recommend the company to a friend and 77% approve of HSBC’s CEO. Overall, the company enjoys a 3.8 star rating.

The company’s top positive reviews mentioned several contributing factors, such as:

  • A good work-life balance. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that people need to be able to meet both their personal and professional needs each day.
  • Good benefit options. Over 1,000 of the company’s reviews mentioned the benefits that HSBC offers.
  • Positive views of coworkers. Hundreds of reviews mentioned that the people at the company are great to work with and very knowledgeable.
  • A focus on culture. While one of the top comments did mention that company culture varies widely across the large organization, 695 reviews mentioned positive comments about company culture.

Companies that workers don’t want to leave: Neutrogena

Just like HSBC, the average tenure at Neutrogena is also 10.2 years — practically a lifetime these days! According to Glassdoor, here’s what makes Neutrogena stand out: Great people, great benefits, and an amazing company culture.

The most recent review of Neutrogena on Glassdoor is titled “Best Company I Have Ever Worked For” which is quite the accolade. The reviewer mentions great pay and benefits, but also that they feel appreciated for their contributions.

Another reviewer says that the company is a great place for workers to grow and develop skills. Multiple other reviewers mention excellent coworkers, a flexible approach to work-life balance, and helpful bosses.

The importance of showing your employees that they matter

What Neutrogena and HBSC illustrate is the importance of showing your employees that they matter. Of course it’s great to be verbally praised for the work you do, but actions always speak louder than words.

A thoughtful company culture that allows for positive and supportive relationships between coworkers goes a long way. So does offering the best benefits that you can as well as an actual balance between work and life. Professional development and fair pay are also clearly critical to these 2 companies’ success.

Companies that struggle to keep their employees: Zoom

Learning is just as much about familiarizing yourself with what works as it is about understanding what doesn’t work, too. There are a couple of companies on Resume.io’s list of underperformers that have lessons to offer, too.

The median tenure for workers at Zoom is just 1.3 years, which means there’s a lot of turnover. Despite deploying “happiness crews,” most workers don’t stick around very long.

While Zoom executives have much to say about their efforts, employees report struggling with issues that eat at work-life balance. Zoom does have an overall positive review score on Glassdoor, but the downsides that reviewers mentioned include unmatched 401(k)s, long hours, and difficulty actually taking time off.

Companies that struggle to keep their employees: Glossier

Glossier has a slightly longer median tenure than Zoom does, clocking in at 1.7 years. In 2020, a group of Glossier workers who dubbed themselves “Outta The Gloss” released an open letter. In it, they detailed their issues with the company and called for change, Buzzfeed reported.

One employee told Buzzfeed that customers were given free products to keep them happy even when they had been yelling at workers. The same employee described her concerns not being taken seriously by management. She recalls feeling unsafe when customers would grab her on the floor and her manager just telling her to take a 30-minute break in response.

“HR is a dead-end resource; over a span of years of incidents filed — including some workers’ compensation claims — either haven’t been escalated or even diminished during the reporting process,” 1 worker said.

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Work-life balance and taking time off matters for employees

While every company is different and each business’s issues are unique, there are a few common threads that can still be tugged at.

First of all, work-life balance matters. People need to be able to take time off to avoid burnout. That’s especially the case with the rising demands of the modern world that’s still going through a pandemic.

Especially if workers are going through the appropriate channels to address their issues, a satisfactory outcome has to result.

Just like the need for time off needs to be taken seriously, the complaints and issues of workers do, as well. What Glossier illustrates is the dangers that stem from diminishing employee concerns.

Especially if workers are going through the appropriate channels to address their issues, a satisfactory outcome has to result. Otherwise workers will quickly become disenchanted and look for jobs at places that will at least take their concerns seriously.

How can your organization can retain employees?

There’s no getting around the fact that all businesses rely on the people who work there to not only stay in business but be successful in the long run, too. Taking care of the people who give you 40 hours of their lives each week matters — a lot.

Happy employees stay while dissatisfied workers will naturally leave as soon as a better opportunity arises. And if you set the bar low, better opportunities will always abound.

Luckily for most businesses, you’ll be far from the best or the worst performers like the companies on this list. That means that you may have room to improve, but that you’re probably not driving your workers away either.

If you’re not sure where to start improvements, just ask! Either have conversations directly or launch an employee engagement survey. Especially if workers can share their feelings anonymously, you’re likely to get the kind of candid information you’re looking for.

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