Employee Retention: a Complete Guide

By Jason Richmond, Founder, Ideal Outcomes Inc.

Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of any business. Happy employees lead to productive teams, which leads to better company performance. But keeping your team happy and engaged can be a challenge.

In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of employee retention and share some effective strategies that you can start using today.

What is Employee Retention?
Let's start by defining 'employee retention.' Gartner defines it as "the organizational policies and practices designed to encourage employees to remain employed by the company."

In other words, it's everything you do as an employer to keep your valuable employees happy, engaged, and motivated to stay. It starts with the hiring process and extends to every stage of an employee's journey with your company.

Why Employee Retention Is Important
There are many benefits to consider when it comes to employee retention. Perhaps most importantly, retaining employees can help your company maintain a competitive advantage. When talented workers leave, they take their skills and knowledge with them, which can be difficult and costly to replace. Studies show it can cost employers over six months' worth of their former employee's wage just to find and properly onboard a replacement.

In addition, high employee turnover rates can negatively impact morale and create an unstable environment. When team members see their colleagues leaving, they may start to question their job satisfaction and whether or not they should stay with the company. To scale your business, you need a team of loyal and dedicated employees invested in the company's long-term success.

What Causes Employee Turnover?
There are many reasons why employees may choose to leave their current job. It could be for a better opportunity, more money, or simply because they’re unhappy with their current situation.

According to a study by Monster, the top reasons for employee turnover include pay, ethics, trust, work-life balance, and culture.

As an employer, it’s important to pay attention to why your workers are leaving so you can make changes to improve retention rates and avoid losing any other talent.

6 Strategies to Retain Employees
Now that we've covered the importance of employee retention and what can cause employees to leave their roles, let's take a look at six effective employee retention strategies.

Offer Competitive Salaries and Benefits
One of the most important factors in employee retention is compensation. Workers want to feel like they're being paid fairly for their skills and experience. To attract and retain top talent, it's critical to offer competitive compensation.

In addition, consider offering comprehensive health benefits that meet the needs of your employees. This could include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, 401(k) plans, etc. Workers value companies that care about their well-being and offer benefits that improve their quality of life.

Foster a Positive Workplace Culture
Another important factor in employee retention is workplace culture. Employees want to work for a company where they feel valued, respected and supported. As such, it’s important to foster a positive environment conducive to employee satisfaction.

There are many ways to create a positive culture. For example, you can foster open, transparent communication, encourage creativity and innovation, and acknowledge a job well done. Employees thrive in environments where they feel like their voices are heard and their contributions are valued.

Invest in Professional Development
More than half of job candidates are looking for opportunities for career development. So, to attract and retain skilled employees, it’s important to offer them opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge. This could include training programs, mentorship opportunities, or development plans.

By investing in employee development, you show your employees that you're invested in their future with the company. In turn, this can help improve job satisfaction and loyalty.

Encourage Work-Life Balance
We all need time to recharge and rejuvenate outside of work, or we'll quickly become burned out. And in today’s fast-paced, always-on world, it's more important than ever to encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

There are several ways to help your employees achieve this. For example, you can offer flexible work hours, telecommuting options, and paid time off. By offering these options, you show your team that you value their personal time and overall well-being.

Promote from Within
One of the best ways to retain workers is to promote from within. As employees grow in their roles and strengthen their skills, promoting them to higher-level positions is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work. In addition, it provides them with a clear career path and the motivation to stay with the company long-term.

Promoting from within can also help improve morale across the entire organization; it shows employees that their efforts are noticed and they can move up within the company if they stick around and work hard.

Recognize & Reward Employees
Recognizing employees for a job well done can go a long way. It doesn't need to be extravagant, and the best method will vary depending on your company culture and what will resonate with your team. Some common recognition efforts include public recognition (such as announcing an employee of the month), financial incentives (such as bonuses or commission), and non-monetary rewards (such as extra time off).

The important thing is to ensure your recognition and rewards are meaningful to your employees and aligned with your company values. This will help ensure your employees feel appreciated and motivated to continue doing great work.

Wrapping Up
Employee retention is a critical issue for businesses today. With the war for top talent heating up, companies need to do everything they can to keep their best employees. By implementing the strategies above, you can improve employee satisfaction and loyalty and create a strong employee retention strategy for your business.

If you're a leader looking to increase retention rates and take your workplace culture up a notch, Ideal Outcomes can help. We've successfully helped businesses of all sizes maximize their employees' potential so they feel invested - and appreciated - every day. Contact us today to get started.