5 Employee Retention Strategies That Work

According to a US News and World Report article, US workers are confident and voluntarily leaving jobs they don’t like in higher numbers than we’ve seen in the last five years.

Why? One source says the number of Americans voluntarily leaving jobs points to labor market strength.

If there is an uptick in “quits,” what does that tells us? It signifies that employees are sending a strong message to their employers – meet my needs, or I am leaving.

Since the job market is improving, employees are less likely to stay in jobs they don’t like because they feel confident they can find something else.

What’s this mean for you? It means it’s time to step up your employee retention programs.

In this article, we look at five employee retention strategies that work so you can hang on to your workforce.

1: Conduct Effective Onboarding

Your employees’ first days and weeks at your company are critical to leading them down the path of productivity and loyalty.

Gone are the days of a quick orientation. This is the time to help your new hires fully understand your mission and vision.

It’s the time to help your workers become productive and fully engaged employees.

During this time, you’ll conduct employee training, set goals, make and monitor milestones and hopefully set the employee up with a mentor.

Here are a few steps for conducting onboarding to set the stage for loyal, long-lasting employees:

  1. Make sure the receptionist provides a friendly welcome on the first day.
  2. Assign someone to take the employee around to meet everyone. Make sure your staff is onboard with providing a hearty, warm welcome.
  3. During the first week, introduce your mission, vision, company goals and objectives, and give an overview of your industry.
  4. Provide phone numbers and emails for all staff with a short description of each person’s job.
  5. Talk about your organizational culture and introduce your handbook.
  6. During the second, third and fourth weeks, you or the new hire’s supervisor should meet with the employee at specific times at the beginning of each week. Then continue to meet monthly for the next six months.
  7. During these meetings, check in with the new hire. Ask if they have questions, gauge their interest and understanding of your company.
  8. Ask for their feedback. See if there’s anything they’d like to see done differently. Make changes as necessary.

2: Provide a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Now more than ever, providing your employees with work/life balance is a vital retention strategy.

With more Millennials entering the workforce, you can expect a paradigm shift when it comes to days and hours worked.

When we say that today’s workforce wants a work/life balance, we don’t necessarily mean they want to work less.

In previous generations, employees craved security and structure, while Millennials value the ability to work independently and outside the norms.

Today’s workforce isn’t lazy, they are high-quality producers, but they often want to work outside the traditional 9-5 schedule.

Allowing your employees, when feasible, to work remotely and with a flexible schedule is one way to increase employee retention.

A work/life balance to workers in the 21st century means flex hours, working from home and remote engagement. Even though they are working remotely, employees will put in the time, often working upwards of 60 hours.

You might be wondering just how to keep track of their time when working remotely. One way is with timesheet software. In addition, you can monitor work flow by staying on top of your employees’ goals and deadlines.

Helping your employees find balance leads to happier, and more productive and engaged employees.

3: Provide Ongoing Training

This is an important, but often overlooked aspect of employee retention.

For example, you have a web developer on staff who hasn’t been to training in two years. If this is the case, this employee probably feels behind the curve because technology is always changing. Arrange for this person to have at least one yearly development seminar or training session.

It’s your job to encourage your employees to grow while getting better at their jobs. Not only can you send employees outside your company for training, but you can cross-train employees and start mentorship programs right inside your own doors.

Let employees know the steps to move up the ladder and help them get the skills they need to do so. This is a great retention strategy and one bound to increase employee happiness.


4: Be Engaged

So, you have an open door policy. But, are you really available?

You’re more likely to retain employees who don’t think the boss is unreachable or unavailable.

Engage with your employees to increase their engagement with your business.

Encourage an environment of openness, one where feedback and constructive criticism are welcome.

5: Keep a Watchful Eye

You’ve probably heard that employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

Keep a watchful eye on your leadership team. Make sure your managers are doing their job well. Your employees’ job satisfaction is intimately related to how well they relate to their manager and vice versa.

If management is hostile and creates friction, you’re going to have a problem with retention. Monitor the office and ask for feedback on an ongoing basis to increase employee retention.

Final Thoughts

Employee retention strategies improve employee morale.

Employee morale is an important indicator of the health of your workforce. If morale is high, you’re most likely meeting the needs of your employees. If not, it’s time for a change.

Try some of these retention strategies, and be on the lookout for office problems that could lead to an uptick in “quits.” Employee retention strategies are essential to the success of your company.

Now that we’ve talked about employee retention strategies that work, we’d love to know what you’ve tried and what’s worked for you. Please comment below to share your tips with others.