Top 13 Successful Employee Retention Strategies

employee retention ideas

Employee retention is a top priority among recruiters and hiring managers, but many don’t know where to start.

Approx 70% of organizations report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee.

With a little understanding and some fresh ideas, you can keep your talent from leaving.

Why Does Employee Retention Matter?

Let’s put it simple: A productive employee who leaves a company hurts the business.

A CAP study found that it costs up to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace them. Also, consider the time and resources it takes to interview and hire a replacement. 

Employee departures can also have a negative impact on the culture of teammates who are in the company.

Whenever a coworker walks out the door, people notice. Some might even start wondering if they should start looking for a new job, too.

This may lead you to ask yourself: How can I retain employees and reduce employee turnover?

Here are 13 successful employee retention strategies:

Employee Retention Strategies

1. Build a Great Onboarding Process

New employees want to become a valued member of the team. That’s where the onboarding process comes in!

The onboarding process is an excellent opportunity to build trust with new hires and prove to them that the company culture you’ve promised them is real.

Check out the Complete Onboarding Guide Here

2. Hiring the Right People

CB insights surveyed the companies and found that hiring the wrong team is the third most common reason startups fail.

You need to assess people on their behavior, mentality, and match the values of your startup. Never hire people with a bad attitude. It only takes one jerk to poison an otherwise stellar team.

Go for candidates with an opinion, people who can honestly explain what they like and dislike and believe in missions, values, and visions.

3. Conduct Career Development Meetings

Helping employees in their career development and achieving their goals is one of the most crucial employee retention strategies.

Managers should schedule one-on-one career-focused meetings with their team members. Discuss their goals and needs, ensure that expectations are clear, and check that progress is being made. 

Regular check-ins demonstrate that managers care, and allow the employee to bring up any potential issues before they can grow into serious problems

4. Give More Positive Feedback

HBR’s study shows that the ideal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective).

You should give positive and constructive feedback to motivate your employees. Some great ways are through handwritten thank you notes, shouting on social media or company group, etc. These things motivate and encourage an employee to contribute and excel.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, regularly calls out exemplary work done by the company’s global team.

5. Start a Mentorship Program

Mentors can offer guidance and be a sounding board for newcomers, welcoming them into the company. And it’s a win-win: New team members learn the ropes from experienced employees, and, in return, new hires offer a fresh viewpoint to your mentors.

People stay when they have a good manager.

6. Work-Life Balance

It’s difficult to find the right balance between work and personal life to feel good that both areas are receiving enough attention. Provide a work from home scenario and flexible hours where employees with children or adults with hobbies are allowed the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest, but still get their work done.

7. Respect Employees Ideas and Thoughts

Asking your employees’ thoughts on work-related matters shows that you respect and value their input. Plus, you could end up with some really great ideas that improve your business. 

Why not have a suggestion box in a common area where anyone can propose ideas? Or an anon survey where people can submit their suggestions.

8. Build an Employee Recognition and Reward Program

Building a recognition and reward program is all about telling them that you notice and appreciate their efforts and work. It could be a simple high five or a thank you note or a simple message on social media. Or It could be a company-sponsored outing, a thoughtful email, or a gift card to their favorite store.

When employees feel valued and appreciated, they have a positive perception of their workplace. But keep in mind that recognition has to be done well in order to be effective.

Read the Complete Employee Recognition Program Guide Here

9. Wellness Program

Mentally and physically healthy employees bring an array of benefits to the businesses they work for. Keeping employees fit, mentally, physically, and financially, is just good business. The employer can offer compulsory employee training, fitness program, staff seminars, or even work with a third-party provider offering a variety of programs. 

10. Have an Attractive Leave Policy

Your company’s leave policy has to be compelling for both prospective and long-term employees. It’s also important that you structure it to reward tenure. Many studies show that when employees take time off, they’re more productive because they’ve had time to recharge.

11. Offer A Competitive Base Salary

Your employees want to feel like the effort they put into work is worth their time. When it comes to employee retention, money isn’t everything, but offering a competitive salary can help your people feel like their work and time are valued. One of the primary reasons that make employees quit is the lack of compensation.

Review current wages, and determine if you need to make any adjustments to be competitive.

12. Parental Leave

Companies are expanding and improving their parental leave policies in different ways. Increasing parental benefits for mothers and fathers has been shown to have positive outcomes for the employees, their families, and their employers.

13. Conducting Exit interviews

Sometimes letting go of an employee is inevitable. Hence, conducting exit interviews just before an employee is about to leave is very crucial. The key to conducting an effective exit interview is to create an environment in which the exiting employee is comfortable providing honest feedback.

You will want to listen carefully to what you are told in an exit interview and make sure that you ask a lot of questions. You want to know what caused the employee to start looking for a new job in the first place.

Here are some real-life examples:

1. Zappos

Employees can earn Zollars or “Zappos dollars” for participating in training by answering questions or volunteering to help out. This play money can be used to redeem Zappos branded schwag, such as a gym bag, desk fan, or water bottle, which is only sold through the company’s internal Zollar Store. Zollars can also be used to redeem movie tickets, or they can be donated to one of the charities that Zappos partners with on behalf of the employee.

2. Percolate 

Onboarding at Percolate includes a “Buddy system.” It means that each new employee is assigned to a so-called Percolater. A Percolater is an experienced colleague who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy. 

3. Lululemon

Lululemon gives employees $25 twice per week to go to different workout classes. The company also offers employees access to local gyms, and even reimbursements if certain gyms aren’t covered in their wellness program.

Do you have any employee retention ideas that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Free BONUS: Want to boost employee engagement at your office? Get a free ebook of 25 employee engagement ideas and activities (Includes examples from real companies)

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