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6 Essential Employee Retention Strategies

Buckle up and inflate those lifejackets because the resignation wave is on the horizon. There is no need to panic though! According to a recent Retention Report, 75% of staff turnover is for preventable reasons, so check out our advice on employee retention strategies that will keep your company’s head above the water.

Everyone is talking about The Great Resignation and while it is more severe in America, Canadian employers are beginning to feel the effects. With a staggering 915,000 job vacancies and 37% of Canadian workers being open to new opportunities (according to Microsoft’s latest study), it is time for employers to adopt effective employee retention strategies to increase employee engagement and to encourage valued workers to stay put.

This blog will cover why employee retention is so important to your business and some of the reasons your employees may be looking elsewhere. Lastly, we will walk you through some effective retention strategies that will help your employees and business thrive!

The Importance of Employee Retention

In this highly competitive, post-pandemic job market, skilled workers are now considered appreciating assets. This means it is now more important than ever for companies to focus on employee retention or risk losing experienced staff who will be challenging to replace.

Both direct and indirect costs of poor employee retention will affect job satisfaction and ultimately stunt the growth of your organization. Here are just a few of the areas where complacency may be impacting your business’s bottom line.

Turnover Expenses

Replacing employees is not only time consuming when it comes to advertising the role, and interviewing and onboarding new team members, but it is also expensive. Depending on the level of the role you are trying to fill, costs can range anywhere from 20% to over 200% of an employee’s salary.

Low Morale

High staff turnover dampens employee morale. You may see a nosedive in motivation and satisfaction as your existing employees take on heavier workloads to make up for the absence of their teammate. Staff may even lose confidence in management and start questioning the company’s ability to handle its employees.

Experience Loss

When more seasoned employees leave, they take their knowledge, expertise and experience with them. A lot of roles require staff to be subject experts, so it is unlikely that the needs of that role will be fulfillable by the remaining staff.

If your company is letting employee retention fall to the wayside, then you must be prepared to absorb the costs. On the other hand, companies that invest in addressing turnover risks have reported higher quality of work and productivity, substantial sales growth, and improved job satisfaction among employees.

Why Your Employee Retention may be Suffering

There are many reasons why employees may be looking elsewhere. If your business is not already doing so, you should be conducting exit interviews to identify exactly why your employee engagement is suffering. With this information, you will be able to select the most effective employee retention strategies for your organization.

In today’s job market, employees looking to leave their current employer commonly cite one or more of the below as their motivators:

  • Desire for better work-life balance
  • Lack of flexibility in terms of hours and hybrid/remote working arrangements
  • Poor communication between management and employees
  • Limited growth opportunities and career advancement
  • Poor salary and benefits
  • Lack of appreciation and recognition
  • Feeling overworked and burnout
  • Discontentment with company culture
  • A feeling of stagnancy
  • Change in career trajectory

As is illustrated by the above bullet-points – and further backed up by a recent study conducted by ServiceNow – traditional workplace policies and compensation packages are no longer enough to retain top talent. ServiceNow’s poll of 1500 office-based workers, found that 71% would not take a frustrating or unrewarding job even for a higher salary.

Effective Employee Retention Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement

Once you have identified the areas in which your company may be falling short, you will want to move fast on implementing and improving your employee retention strategies. It is a job seekers market right now, so skilled candidates will not have to search for long to find their next role.

We have outlined 6 easily actionable areas below that will help your organization to enhance job satisfaction and subsequently retain valued employees.

1. Compensation

Compensation comes in many forms, but money is often the top motivator for workers. It is essential for companies to remain competitive by regularly assessing and adjusting salaries. If budgets are tight (and even if they are not), then you may want to consider offering other forms of compensation such as bonuses, additional benefits and recognition/award programs.

2. Perks

Perks are a great way to subsidize compensation packages and make your workplace more appealing to both job seekers and existing employees. Benefits like paid lunches and staff parties will help to encourage a healthy work environment. More crucially, perks that promote a better work-life balance, such as flexible hours and hybrid working options, are now essential to job satisfaction.

3. Onboarding and Orientation

The first 6 months of employment are critical in helping new employees determine if a job and company are a good fit for them. Set up your new hires for success with well-rounded training and support from day one. Your onboarding process should be thorough and should cover not only the expectations of their job but also what the company culture looks like. You want your employees to feel supported and excited to learn in their new position.

4. Mentorship and Growth Opportunities

Keep employees engaged by offering further learning and career development opportunities. Training and mentorship programs will not only help you to retain talent but will benefit the quality of your employee’s work.  A 2021 report published by Ceridian found that one-third of employees pursue professional development through programs offered by their employer, so your company may want to consider assigning development opportunities their own budget.

5. Communication

A lack of effective internal communication will have adverse effects on employee retention. Businesses should encourage and promote opportunities for two-way communication, so employees not only feel supported and heard by management but also comfortable airing their concerns and ideas. Frequently engaging with staff will offer employers a clearer picture of job satisfaction and workloads. It would be beneficial to introduce company town halls and regular opportunities to promote positive and constructive exchanges.

6. Continuous Feedback

Annual performance reviews, while being a necessary tool for a majority of businesses, are often stress-inducing for staff and due to the amount of time between each review, can cause complacency among employees. Real-time feedback provides management with timely and accurate insights and shows employees that development and recognition are valued by the business. Many companies are now augmenting annual reviews with continuous feedback to ensure transparency and consistency, ultimately improving engagement.

These are just some of the many employee retention strategies that your company can use to improve employee engagement. Not only will they give your company the best shot at retaining valued employees but in the long run, they will protect your employer brand by ensuring that the staff who will inevitably leave, will only have positive things to say about their experience with your organization.

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Posted on Mar 21, 2022