A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of most companies across the globe is retention. Retention is the number of employees still employed by the same company after a certain amount of time. On average, the baseline for celebration is around 80%, meaning if 80% of your employees stay year over year you are likely over performing in the areas needed to stay competitive – from compensation to recognition, flexibility, etc.
While the job market in some industries and regions favors employers, candidates with in-demand skills likely won’t have to wait long to find a new opportunity. Many companies never stopped recruiting talent during the pandemic, and many others have picked up the pace of hiring in recent months.
If you sense your business is at risk of losing some of your highest performers, you need to move quickly to strengthen your employee retention strategies.
Here are 5 areas where deliberate action can help boost employees’ job satisfaction and increase your ability to hold onto valued workers.
1. Interviewing & Onboarding
Interviewing First impressions matter, and the first phase to retaining talent is a person’s initial experience with a company. When a job market is moving fast, consider how long your company’s interview process is, how much time you are asking from a candidate and what additional (free) labor you want the candidate to give. Are you asking for several one-hour on-site interviews when gas prices are sky high? Is their onboarding process thorough, detailed and over communicated with proactive questions? You want a process that your hire will share in praise, not review out of frustration.
2. Work-Life Balance
There’s been discussion if work and life can balance and the truth is, it can. The catch to balance is communication between leader and direct reports, as well as workload expectations. Companies should be clear about expected work hours, PTO/vacation usage, other time off, and any other flexibility perks. Also when an employee does use their PTO, don’t expect them to work while out of the office. The more your company understands that your employees are humans with lives the more they will thank you.
3. Rewards & Recognition
Everyone loves a little recognition for their hard work, sometimes public and sometimes in private. Either way, establishing and practicing a rewards and recognition program is a great way to help your employees stay actively engaged in their roles and with your organization. This can be as simple as a kudos email to an official award.
Let’s face it… money talks now and forever. Even the best employer will lose a star employee when a more robust offer comes across their desk. Keep a regular compensation model on file and check for geographical relevance every month to ensure your employees are being paid fairly and equitably.
Culture can make or break an organization. Does your workplace encourage collaboration and authenticity or gossip and passive aggressive behavior? Focus on your culture strategy and create a sense of camaraderie, comfort and open communication so that your employees want to be in your environment. No one wants to feel like they are around the mean girls from high school in their workplace every day; instead, create a culture of warmth and welcome to help retain your team.
There are a number of factors that can affect retention in the workplace, some more pressing than others. According to EY’s Work Reimagined survey of 17,000 people across 16 countries, 43% of respondents plan to quit in the next 12 months, nine out of 10 employees say they want flexibility in their location and in the number of hours worked; in fact, 56% of respondents said they may quit their job if they were unable to get this flexibility.
This is not a time when employers can take retention lightly. By sharpening your onboarding experience, focusing on rewards and recognition, ensuring there is an appropriate balance between work and life, properly compensating all positions, and checking the culture of your organization overall, you will help secure current talent and attract new talent to your team.