15 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

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Table Of Contents

Workers are fleeing their jobs for better opportunities, so your company should implement as many employee retention strategies as possible to keep the team intact. But if you’re a leader that’s not sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve compiled several things your firm can do to keep the staff from going to the competition.

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What Is Employee Retention? 

Employee retention is keeping the workers the company has within the organization. Employee turnover is the opposite of employee retention, which occurs when a professional leaves the company.

While it might sound like just another corporate metric, employee retention is a big deal. When a worker leaves, it has a negative ripple effect on the business. Here’s what happens:

  • The company loses all of the employee’s knowledge and experience.
  • Human resources and management have to spend time and money hiring a replacement.
  • The worker's absence can slow down production, leading to reduced customer satisfaction and revenue.
  • The remaining employees will have to pick up the slack and may have low morale as a result.

An alarming statistic: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report, more than four million workers quit their jobs in September of 2022. That’s an unfathomable amount of damage to the impacted firms — and much of it could have been prevented if the organizations had better employee retention programs in place.

Related: Best Free Job Posting Sites

Benefits Of Employee Retention

The benefits of employee retention are the complete reverse of the consequences of employee turnover. They include:

  • More knowledgeable and experienced teams
  • Lower recruiting costs
  • Steady or increased production
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • A healthier revenue stream
  • Higher employee morale

Added perk: When the company grows and needs to find new employees, your current, satisfied team members will refer their friends, further lowering your hiring expenses.

15 Effective Employee Retention Strategies 

Here are 15 effective employee retention strategies:

1. Care About Employees

Each employee has a life outside of the office. Management needs to acknowledge, respect, and support that. It can be as simple as asking about weekend plans or showing empathy for a difficult situation at home.

2. Ask For (And Act On) Employee Feedback

Team members likely have ideas on how to improve their employment experience, so leadership should ask them for their input. But, more importantly, management must commit to implementing the requested changes whenever possible — and be willing to discuss why a particular change can’t happen.

3. Give Employees Regular Feedback

Without managerial guidance, workers can’t perform at their best. That means supervisors must regularly tell employees what they’re getting right and where they need to improve. The feedback will help them be successful and avoid disciplinary measures, which boosts their morale.

4. Train Managers

Individual contributors may be subject matter experts, but that doesn’t mean they know how to lead people effectively. Incompetent management will cause your best employees to run for the door. Fortunately, your company can groom your new managers into effective leaders with some training and mentorship.

5. Embrace Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion

Employees today want to see all demographics of people well-represented and respected within the workplace. That means the company must embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. It must also continuously evaluate the fairness of its employment practices and amend them as needed.

6. Start Off On The Right Foot

An employee’s first day on the job sets the tone for their entire journey with the company. Leadership can get them woven into the fabric of the organization quickly by giving them the training, equipment, supplies, and support they need as soon as they enter the office or join the team remotely. Management should also make key introductions early on and consider assigning the new hire a mentor for guidance.

7. Meet Or Exceed Market Pay 

Companies that don’t pay well won’t retain (or attract) top talent. Organizations should conduct regular research to determine the market rate of each position. Then, they should strive to meet or exceed that pay whenever possible.

8. Offer A Robust Benefits Package

On top of a competitive salary, companies should aim to offer a robust benefits package. The suite of perks should include staples like health insurance and a retirement savings plan (with a company match). But, it should also feature more trendy and currently in-demand benefits like paid parental leave, pet insurance, student loan repayment assistance, financial planning sessions, and wellness programs.

9. Give Credit And Rewards

Employees work hard and should be acknowledged for their effort and contributions. Leadership should offer praise and give credit to workers when they do well. The company should also reward achievement by giving out bonuses or other meaningful prizes when possible.

10. Have (And Honor) An Open Door Policy

Workers who feel listened to and supported are more likely to remain with the organization. That means leaders should always keep their doors and ears open to thoughts from the team. They should also communicate company updates transparently — even if the news is bad. Employees will appreciate leadership's honesty and will be more likely to stick with the firm through tough times.

11. Commit To Employee Development

Most professionals desire to learn and grow within their careers. Therefore, the company should help them achieve that goal by:

  • putting on regular training events
  • paying for conference attendance
  • reimbursing college tuition costs
  • offering stipends for books or online courses
  • providing job shadowing or sharing opportunities
  • discussing potential career paths/succession plans

Each employee’s newfound knowledge will benefit the organization. Plus, team members will be more likely to stay with the company if they see a bright future there.

12. Encourage Autonomy

No one likes a micromanager. Team members will be more likely to enjoy working for your firm if management encourages autonomy and empowers them to take ownership of their roles. Plus, doing so could help the organization develop better leaders for the years ahead.

13. Promote Collaboration

Each team member plays a vital role, but the group is especially powerful together. When leadership promotes collaboration, the company will enjoy better business results, and workers will feel part of something bigger than themselves. Collaboration also presents an informal learning opportunity, which helps with employee development.

14. Share The Vision

Many professionals desire to feel deeply connected to their work. Leadership can make and retain that connection by regularly communicating the organization’s mission and vision. That way, employees know why their work matters, which can keep them engaged for the long haul.

15. Foster A Sense Of Community

Team members spend about one-third of their lives in the office. Management can make that time more pleasant and fulfilling by fostering a sense of community at work. Some ways they could do that include:

  • hosting happy hours after work
  • throwing potluck lunches or dinners
  • organizing fun events for employees and their families
  • celebrating personal milestones (think birthday, wedding, becoming a parent, retirement, etc.)
  • having communication channels dedicated to non-work related chatter (such as cat memes, weekend plans, jokes, etc.)

Remember: Participation in all community-building initiatives should be 100% voluntary. Otherwise, employees may feel disgruntled or alienated.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, the employee retention strategies discussed here will help you create an effective employee retention program. However, while unfortunate, some turnover is inevitable. So, when you need to replace a team member, visit ZipRecruiter or consider checking out the best free job posting sites to start the recruitment process.