What Is Employee Retention and Why Does It Matter?
Over the last few years, the way we work has changed enormously – in some cases beyond all recognition. However, what has always stayed the same is the importance of employee retention; in other words, how good a business is at reducing staff turnover.
This is vital for a number of reasons, not least of which includes the continued function of the business itself – you can’t expect to keep a company running without staff!
Here’s a quick-fire list of more reasons why employee retention is so important:
Long-standing employees have valuable experience.
Experienced workers are vital for training new hires.
A low staff turnover reduces hiring costs and the strain on HR and Recruitment, allowing them to focus on internal company matters.
High employee retention is great for your business’ reputation. If word gets around that your company is a great place to work, you’ll see an increase in new applications and you’ll be able to grow your business just that much faster.
Everyone has their own ideas on how to make your company a great place to work, but what’s the best way to keep your employees and reduce that all-important turnover percentage?
Luckily, we’ve got 5 tried and tested methods that’ll ensure a higher level of employee retention and allow you to accelerate the growth of your company in no time.
Proven Strategies To Increase Employee Retention
Build A Good Work Environment
Employees need a work environment that supports them and allows them to flourish. If the company culture is stifling or strict, it can really hamper employee happiness and may even cause them to look for work elsewhere.
Some simple ways you can improve your work environment are:
Accessible mental health resources
Social events and team-building exercises
Regular check-ins (but not too regular!)
Building mutual trust in the workplace is incredibly important. Not only are you showing that you care about your staff, your actions will build employee loyalty and, crucially, a reduced turnover rate.
Offer Benefits and Perks
This technically falls under the work environment umbrella, but it’s important enough that we thought we’d give it its own spot.
Recent research suggests that more than 80% of employees do not feel rewarded at work, which is shocking when you consider that lack of reward/recognition is one of the leading causes of high employee turnover.
To prevent this, here are some things you can offer:
Comprehensive benefits such as vision, dental, and general healthcare plans
Bonuses, both general and performance-based
Discounts and vouchers for both company products and other retailers
Regular praise, congratulations, and positive feedback
Above all, your staff wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. It’s a virtuous circle: they work, you reward them, they work harder, and so on. Win-win!
Training and Development
Proper training and development opportunities are essential for employee retention.
If your workers don’t feel prepared for the job they need to do, or that they can't progress in their role, they will quickly lose motivation. If the situation is left unchecked, they will seek employment elsewhere.
To avoid this, ensure a comprehensive training plan is put in place, conduct regular check-ins with your employees to ensure new starters are empowered in their role and your longer-serving staff are being supported in their professional development.
These days, there are several IPaaS solutions out there that allow management to connect with their employees like never before. Consider implementing such a program and everyone will feel on the same page, and be able to see all their training progress at a glance.
Communication and Engagement
One of the most overlooked factors here, and one of the biggest causes of high staff turnover, is a lack of employee engagement and stifled communication. This happens when there is a deficit of two-way communication; that is to say, employees might not feel able to ask questions, raise concerns or present ideas.
Mastering employee engagement might feel like a mountain sometimes, but really it’s all about making sure everyone has a chance to be heard and listened to.
You can boost employee retention by providing channels of communication where employees can discreetly raise issues, or openly discuss ideas. This can create a true team mentality, and nobody wants to leave a strong team.
This is a phrase that’s become ubiquitous in the last few years, alongside a whole host of changes to the way that businesses operate.
It’s important to stay with the times and provide flexible working options for staff, whether that be remote work, hybrid working, or flexible hours. This will ensure that all employees feel able to work in the way that best suits them and their needs, increasing their happiness and motivation and reducing their desire to look for work elsewhere.
Technology has evolved to keep up with the demand for flexible working strategies. A business might have an office base in Europe, a virtual phone number in Canada, and a distribution team in Australia that can all be managed digitally with the right platform.
If you can handle that, you can handle team members telecommuting, especially if the resulting boost to employee satisfaction lowers your churn rate.
We’ve looked at the ins and outs of what employee retention really is. We’ve seen how important it is and just how crucial it can be to the continued success of your business.
Most importantly, we’ve looked at strategies to help you overcome the problem of keeping your staff on board.
Hopefully, you understand how to keep your workers happy and wanting to stay for as long as possible.
Foster a consistent and positive work environment
Reward and recognize your employees’ work and achievements
Offer comprehensive training and development opportunities
Communicate and engage with staff regularly
Offer options for flexible working - let employees work according to their need
If you follow this advice, you’re sure to see improvements in your staff turn
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, business phone systems and AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Check out her LinkedIn profile.
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