6 tips to improve employee retention

There’s good and bad news about the status of employment in America. The good news is that the unemployment rate is low, with an average of only 3.6%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bad news is that as unemployment rates fall, employee retention rates see the opposite trend.

As a company leader, you’ve likely experienced difficulties with keeping your average retention rate as low as you’d like. Thankfully, there are various employee retention strategies you can implement if you’re wondering how to retain employees at your company.

Employee compensation and benefits

Let’s start with the most obvious option. One way to improve employee retention is to offer better compensation and benefits packages. This should include the base salary or hourly rate along with any benefits offered. Consider having a health plan that requires less out of pocket expenses or a higher company match for a retirement plan. Provide more paid time off or a less rigid system for requesting vacation and sick days.

Paying more, offering the ability to earn more, and providing a more valuable benefits package can all be significant perks for an employee and help improve your employee retention rate.

Another component of this is ensuring that your employees fully understand their compensation and benefits package. You want to do this when they’re hired, along with when new policies or benefits are implemented. Don’t just add it at the bottom of a company newsletter. The value should be well known and fully explained to everyone who it impacts.

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Flexible schedule

The typical Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm schedule isn’t exactly part of the American dream anymore. As more people experiment with a four hour work week, working from home and being able to choose their hours – as long as their tasks are complete – having flexibility is often a considerable perk that’s highly desired by those in the workforce.

Help your employees feel the relief of straying from a traditional work schedule by offering the flexibility they likely want and need. If this sounds too difficult, try offering the flexibility one day per week and go from there.

Valuable performance review

Your employees want to feel that they are not working in vain. Beyond meeting deadlines and goals, you want to share feedback annually through an official performance review. Keep in mind that this should happen along with having regular conversations throughout the year regarding their performance.

During the annual performance review, be sure to discuss things that have gone well, areas that could use improvements, overall goals, and a big picture view of how you see their future with the company.

This should be an open and honest conversation that’s used to guide additional meetings you have throughout the year. It’s great to have this big picture conversation that both addresses your viewpoint and allows for input from the employees. When you frame it as a conversation as opposed to you talking at them, the meeting can be more valuable and insightful for all involved.

Offer perks

Sometimes offering little workplace perks can significantly change the culture of your company and boost employee retention rates. Perks to consider offering include free coffee and snacks in the breakroom, monthly catered lunches or potlucks, birthday celebrations, discounts for various products, services or events, etc.

Even better, it’s a good idea to find out what your employees want and strive to provide them with it if possible. What you might consider valuable could be starkly different than what would make your employees happy.

Also, consider the multigenerational employees in your company. Baby boomers and those in Generation Z might have different desires.

Onboarding process

When bringing on a new employee, it’s essential to remember that first impressions make a lasting impression. You can provide the best first impression by having an onboarding and orientation process that helps acclimate them to the work environment. The goal is to set them up for success from the beginning.

You want to provide a good level of support and knowledge about the company, culture, and how they can thrive in their position. When you provide a strong foundation, you are setting them up to do well.

Personal and professional development

Another way to improve employee retention in your company is to invest in your employees’ personal and professional development.

When you make their growth a priority, they’re likely to feel more invested in your company.

There are various ways to show your dedication to their growth, including paying for them to attend conferences, paying towards their education, or offering tuition reimbursement. You can also bring professional development opportunities into the office that are beneficial to your employees. But, consider segmenting them so that they are genuinely helpful to each employee. Requiring that they attend professional development opportunities that aren’t relevant can lead to negative feelings from your employees.

Along with professional development, consider also showing that you’re invested in their personal development. Many employees are physically, financially, and emotionally stressed, so if you can offer support in those areas, it can be a significant benefit.

Options to think about offering are a gym discount for employees, financial wellness training, a mindfulness room, and more.

Implement employment retention strategies to improve your company

If you want your employees to remain with your company, there are various strategies you can implement to make them feel appreciated, welcomed, valued, and wanted.

Above all, remember to treat them like they matter. Listen to them. Ask them what they want and need. Remember that you are both serving each other and working together to help the company grow. When you approach employee retention with this frame of mind, you are more likely to see an improvement in the overall company experience.

When implementing these strategies, you want to review their effectiveness regularly. Staying on top of what others in your industry are offering can help you remain competitive.