5 Effective Employee Retention Strategies
Hiring the right employees is half the battle won; the next step is to retain your talent.
Having a high turnover rate is not the most efficient for your company because it takes time for newcomers to learn the ropes. It can also signal to potential talents that something is not right in your company. Some common reasons for employees leaving the company include inadequate salary and benefits, feeling overworked and a lack of opportunities for career advancement. Conversely, by investing in your employees and increasing their job satisfaction, you can ensure productivity while retaining your talent.
Here are five effective employee retention strategies your company can try.
1. Orientation and Onboarding
First impressions matter and they usually leave a lasting impact. Take the opportunity to make a positive first impression by planning and conducting a proper orientation for all new hires. Onboarding should include not just an introduction to the job, but also the team that they are working with, the company culture and how they can contribute to and thrive in it.
For instance, a team lunch can be arranged for the existing employees to get to know their new colleagues along with a company tour to understand how the company operates. This can help new employees adapt more quickly to the new environment. If onboarding must be done remotely, you can invite them to a virtual team meeting to allow them to see how team members interact with one another.
2. Competitive Compensation
One of the common reasons for leaving a position is getting a better offer, usually with higher compensation. To counter this, your company may evaluate and adjust the salaries of your employees to remain competitive from time to time. A useful site to help your company with the evaluation is Morgan McKinley’s Singapore Salary Guide Calculator 2021, which allows you to gauge across industries and based on experience.
Besides having good pay, it is important to have a clear compensation system that employees can understand so that they are aware of the benefits they have. To push the right people to perform better, your company can choose to reward workers with great success and long tenure (Organisational Talent Consulting, n.d.). Even if your business cannot increase the pay right now, you may consider other incentives such as bonuses. These bonuses can be given as smaller but more frequent rewards to consistently keep employees driven. To increase job satisfaction in the long term, stock ownership is another attractive incentive (Quantum Workplace, 2020). When the company makes profits, so do the employees, and this may make employees feel more vested in helping the company to grow.
3. Wellness Offerings
Besides monetary benefits, some companies also offer wellness programs such as organising team bonding activities, birthday celebrations, discounts for classes or funding for sports activities. Wellness programs not only help your company to stand out to new hires but also signal to employees that the company cares for their well-being outside of work. Sometimes, these small perks can make all the difference in employee retention because it makes them feel valued and alleviates their anxiety at work.
Besides fun activities, stress management programs and counselling can also be beneficial for employees to manage their mental health, especially in a high-pressure working environment.
4. Flexible Work Arrangements
As restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic ease, some companies might be transitioning back to working in the office. However, 89% of employees wanted a hybrid or work from home arrangement (Quantum Workplace, 2020). This could be because employees may have external stress factors such as family or health reasons. To provide a more gradual transition, flexible work arrangements can be planned to allow the employees to work whenever and however they want.
There are several ways your organisation can provide flexible working arrangements: flexibility in time, talent or location. Flexible hours could mean that employees can set their schedules according to what works best for them. The second type of flexibility is talent, where people can work full-time, part-time or as a free-lancer. The company can get a variety of workers according to its needs. For instance, during the peak period, the company could draw from a pool of free-lancers to prevent overloading the full-timers. Finally, a flexible work location refers to giving employees the freedom to work from home, office or a co-working space. While it may be difficult to implement everything, having some form of flexibility will be appreciated by your employees!
5. Recognition and Reward Systems
Most employees want to feel valued for their work. 63% of employees who are recognised are unlikely to look for a new job (HR Technologist, 2020). Rewarding employees for their good work can motivate them to do better at work and increase their job satisfaction. Recognition can be done informally, such as saying “good job” or “thank you”, or formally such as having an awards ceremony or giving vouchers. It is important to use a combination of both methods to recognise your employees regularly.
However, it is fallacious to believe that any recognition is better than no recognition – by appreciating the excellent, it makes things meaningful. Effective recognition involves understanding what employees value – some prefer practical gifts, while others enjoy verbal affirmation. You could observe what your employees do with their time away from work to understand what they value, and to create a more tailored and meaningful rewards system.
A good company is like a magnet that can attract talent, but if you drop the magnet too many times, it loses its magnetism. Similarly, in your chase for productivity, you may neglect your employees’ well-being. The attraction to stay in a company decreases if you do not have the right employee retention strategies. While many companies invest in exit interviews to find out why employees leave, consider instead what makes them stay and reinforce these positive factors. Let your employees stay because they want to, not because they need to!
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