Managing well - Strategies for employee retention

How to keep employees happy

June 20, 2022

The long recruitment process is over and the contract is signed. The new team member is bringing valuable skills and is a great match for your company. However, the process still does not end here. Keeping your employee happy for the long-term mutual benefit is where it should continue.

If you are not convinced, keep in mind that a high turnover rate is an important issue many companies deal with, which brings a lot of additional costs. Things like recruitment for the vacant position, onboarding costs, and costs related to losing an experienced employee are significant and hurt your company in the long run.

Therefore, in order to make the best out of a successful hire, you have to make sure the new employees stay. While it is a clear choice to aim for high employee retention, it is less obvious how you can plan retention strategies for employees. Can you affect your employees’ decisions and if so, how?

Talented employees have other opportunities that could advance their careers and will leave if they are not satisfied and appreciated. Here are some tips that you can follow to increase your employee retention and ensure that you have provided the best environment for your team.

Managing well.

While it is important to put effort into improving employee retention rates, it is also important to keep in mind that it is not always something you can control. Do not get discouraged when an employee leaves despite your best effort. Focus instead on managing those aspects that can be easily handled, and issues that can be avoided. Employees are affected by concerns like low salaries, not feeling appreciated, boredom, or not enough growth opportunities. These all stem from the company’s culture, which is why you should make it your responsibility to manage them.

What to do about it?

1. Focus on the right candidates

If you want employee retention rate to remain one step ahead, be aware of the challenges before hiring a new team member. Despite your best efforts, some candidates do not intend to stay in one position for a long time. While it can be a struggle to find employment that suits one’s needs, some people are more likely to stay than others.

When sourcing candidates, focus on the patterns in their previous employment. Take interest in what made them change positions in the past and ask about their future plans. Your new employees are much more likely to stay if your expectations align with their values and long-term goals. Identifying both your and your candidates’ needs will ensure that there is common ground and potential for cooperation in the long run.

2. Positive feedback

It is no secret that a well-managed team is what brings a successful business to life. No team, no business. Simple as that. You should not be afraid to let your employees know you depend on each other or avoid strengthening relationships with them.

Continuously providing feedback is a great way to achieve this. Words of encouragement for employees are always appreciated, even for work tasks that might seem menial and routine. But do not be afraid of constructive criticism either; it gives space for mutually beneficial improvement.

Ideally, you are building a team culture where constructive criticism is equally appreciated as positive feedback. Being open with your employees from the start is a great way to enable a healthy culture where people can learn and grow from their mistakes as much as from doing things just right. Everyone likes to feel motivated and inspired and it is your role to build a culture where that can be done.

3. Why creativity is important

Another way of building a strong culture and spirit among your employees is by encouraging creativity and independence. Allowing your employees to work on creative projects and giving them a break from their daily routine can keep them motivated. Always be open to new ideas and suggestions.

Similarly, showing trust and avoiding micromanaging their tasks will help them feel appreciated and relevant. Let your employees get out of their comfort zones and encourage seeing any potential failure as a learning experience.

4. Help them grow

Not all skills come from encouraging creativity and independence. While trial and error can be a useful learning tool, a bit of structure can be helpful as well. Companies that provide continuous educational possibilities get rewarded with employees who are continuously getting better at what they do, acquire new knowledge, and are more likely to stay. Providing space for growth and employee engagement is a great way to boost morale and motivate them to achieve more within the same company.

5. Listen to them

At times, the best thing you can do is to hear out your employees’ concerns. Taking the time to listen to their experiences and feelings might be the most beneficial way to build trust and long-term relationships.

Different people have different needs and not everyone thrives in the same environment. With this in mind, it is essential to always be open for discussion and show understanding of unexpected situations and other struggles.

6. Why is discussing salary taboo

While validating your employees’ feelings and strong company culture is important, you cannot pay rent with kind words. Therefore, it is important to break the money taboo.

It is quite understandable that a higher salary someplace else is one of the most common reasons for employees to leave. Ideally, you would make sure to offer your employees a competitive salary. If handing out bonuses isn’t an option, always make sure to consider other forms of benefits, such as more time off or flexible working hours. Consider also a transparent salary model so that your employees know where they stand and what to expect.

7. Adapting to virtual work

Last but not least, it is becoming clear that a lot of employees prefer the work from home experience at least to some extent. Fully or hybrid remote work helps employees achieve a better work/life balance and saves them time and gas money. If you are able to offer remote working possibilities, give it a try! This way, you keep your employees satisfaction levels high while showing that you can trust them.

Take Notes

What is retention and what are the factors that you can influence when it comes to your employee retention? It’s not always about what you can offer as an employer. No matter what you do, some employees will leave. Consider talking to employees who are leaving; ask them what was the most important factor and what would have made them stay. Nevertheless, make sure to prioritize building a strong culture and team morale, and focus on those, who stay.


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