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As a business owner, you are undoubtedly aware of the ongoing challenge of employee retention. Employees who leave may cite one or more of the following reasons during an exit interview as to why they are resigning from their jobs:
Exit interviews offer valuable insight into employees’ perspectives of your company. They help determine if your employee retention strategies need to be improved.
The current job market favors job seekers, so there are many opportunities for candidates with in-demand skills. Interestingly, numerous companies hired during the pandemic despite some downsizing or stagnating. Indeed, many companies are expanding their staff levels again.
If your business is in danger of losing top talent, you must move fast to strengthen your employee retention strategies. Below are 14 areas where you can boost employee job satisfaction and retain valued workers with deliberate actions.
1. Onboarding and Orientation
From the start, you must set up every new hire for success. Your onboarding process should teach new staff about the job and the company culture. From day one, the training and support you provide can set the tone for the employee’s entire term at your company.
2. Mentorship Programs
Partnering a new employee with a mentor is a great idea, especially in a remote work environment. Mentors not only welcome newbies into the company, they provide guidance and can be a good sounding board. And it works both ways. Experienced employees teach new team members the ropes, and new team members offer a fresh point of view to their mentors. Additionally, by expanding mentorship to new employees, your existing staff can also benefit from these relationships, contributing to your team’s overall retention outlook and job satisfaction.
3. Employee Compensation
Companies must pay their employees competitive compensation, which means regular evaluations and salary adjustments. Even if your business can’t immediately increase pay, think about offering other forms of compensation: bonuses, paid time off, health benefits and retirement plans. Improving these valued offerings can help raise employees’ job satisfaction.
Providing perks can make your workplace more appealing to new hires, re-engage existing staff, and boost morale. Currently, the extras that many professionals value the most are flexible schedules, remote work options and parental leave, which is a huge plus.
5. Wellness Offerings
Ensuring your employees remain healthy and fit—mentally, physically, and financially—is just good business. In fact, the pandemic compelled many top employers to grow and improve their wellness offerings to support and prioritize their employees’ well-being. Consider providing your employees with stress management programs, retirement planning services and paying for fitness programs.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of good communication in the workplace. Direct reports should always feel able to approach you with questions, ideas, and concerns. And as a leader, you must ensure you’re doing your part to help promote positive, constructive, and timely communication across your entire team, both onsite and remote. Proactively connecting with each staff member is important and will give you a sense of their job satisfaction.
7. Continuous Feedback on Performance
Times are changing, and as a result, many employers no longer perform annual performance reviews, preferring to have more frequent meetings with team members. They are usually one-on-one meetings during which you should discuss your employees’ short- and long-term goals with the company. Together creating a realistic plan for reaching those goals will contribute to work happiness.
8. Training and Development
You can also help employees determine areas for professional growth, such as learning new skills. As technology continues to transform how we work, upskilling is especially important. Investment in your employees’ professional development should be a priority. Give them time to attend virtual conferences and pay for continuing education. Also, remember succession planning is a highly effective way to advance professional development and build leadership skills.
9. Recognition and Rewards Systems
We all want to feel appreciated for the work we do. In today’s workforce, gratitude from an employer has an enormous impact. Remember to thank your direct reports and tell them how their hard work is helping the organization. Like some bigger companies, you can set up a formal rewards system to incentivize innovation and great ideas. Otherwise, you can create effective recognition programs no matter the size of your team or budget.
10. Work-Life Balance
Look at your time management style and ask yourself what message it sends to employees. Do you expect staff to be always available, around the clock? A critical element for job satisfaction is a healthy work-life balance. Employees must know their managers understand they have families and lives outside of work. Working from home adds another dimension and challenge when maintaining balance, which employers must recognize. Staff must be encouraged to set boundaries and utilize their vacation/PTO time. Managers should give employees extra time off to compensate if they work late to ensure a project meets a deadline.
11. Flexible Work Arrangements
As the pandemic subsides, companies are gearing up for the possibility that some of their employees will continue to work remotely, at least part-time. It has been established that many professionals working from home would seek new jobs if mandated to return to the office full-time. So, consider what you can offer your staff if permanent remote work isn’t an option. Could it be a compressed workweek? Flextime? Or a partial telecommuting option? All the above can help relieve stress and boost employee retention.
12. Effective Change Management
Every workplace must cope with change beyond the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic. During these times, the staff looks to leadership for guidance, perspective, and reassurance. If your business is going through a significant shift, keeping your staff as well-informed as possible is essential to help ease anxieties and manage the rumor mill. When you make big announcements, do them individually, in a group or call a meeting and always allow time for questions.
13. Emphasis on Teamwork
Remember, there is no I in TEAM! So, you should motivate all your staff members to contribute opinions, ideas, and solutions. Creating opportunities for collaboration, accommodating individual work styles, and allowing employees to make decisions and course corrections if needed will pave the way for successful teamwork, leading to a happy workforce.
14. Acknowledging Big and Small Milestones
Finally, to facilitate employee retention, shine a light on notable achievements. Whether your team finishes a major project before deadline or a staff member reaches a 5-year work anniversary, grab the opportunity to celebrate the milestone together.
The above employee retention strategies are just a few ways to help increase your team members’ job satisfaction. Ensure you keep up to date on market standards for salary and benefits and follow best practices for creating an appealing workplace culture and healthy manager-employee relations.
Team members will inevitably leave your organization sooner than you’d like. Following the suggestions above can make their decision a little tougher. Also, if those employees leave your business knowing they were supported and valued, they will likely say good things about your company and, perhaps, even return to work for you one day.
Our team at ALIGN is always available to help. Give us a call at (949) 313-1440.