Employee Retention Strategies That Really Work

November 22, 2022

Employee retention isn’t just something HR managers worry about — it’s a business challenge that impacts the entire organization. According to Gallup, employee turnover has cost businesses $1 trillion in losses.

In addition to changes due to the pandemic, younger workers are also quitting their jobs more readily than their older counterparts. According to the latest data, the median tenure for wage and salary workers is about 4 years, with younger employees (25 – 34 years old) leaving after less than three years. 

Why Do Employees Leave?

Exit interviews can provide useful insight into how your employees think and feel, and why they’ve chosen to leave. Generally speaking, employees leave for one (or several) of the following reasons:

  • The need for a better work/life balance
  • Limited career advancement
  • They feel overworked and/or undersupported
  • Feeling bored or uninspired with their job
  • Issues or conflicts with management
  • Dissatisfaction with company culture

Employee Retention Strategies for Increasing Job Satisfaction

Since the job market is currently favouring job-seekers, candidates with in-demand skills won’t have to look long to find a new opportunity. With this in mind, here are some actions you can take to avoid losing your top talent:

1. Onboarding and Orientation

The best way to retain an employee is to set them up for success from day one. 

Your onboarding should teach the new hire about their role and responsibilities, but also help them learn about the company culture and how they can contribute to it and thrive as a part of it.

2. Mentorship Programs

Pairing a new employee with a mentor is a great way to identify challenges and issues as they settle into their new role, especially in a remote or hybrid work environment. 

Mentors can act as friendly ambassadors for the company, and can offer guidance, a sounding board, and support when the new hire feels stuck or frustrated. 

Mentorship programs act as a “win-win” for businesses since people being mentored can offer fresh perspectives on business operations and processes.

3. Compensation

These days it’s critical for businesses to pay competitive compensation. 

This means reviewing and adjusting salaries regularly so employees feel like management is constantly looking at improving their quality of life, especially during a time when inflation is higher than it has been in decades.

If your business isn’t able to afford a pay increase right now, consider offering other forms of compensation like paid time off and bonuses for exceptional work and meeting company goals.

Other areas of compensation to consider are health benefits, retirement plans, and remote or flexible work.

4. Wellness Offerings

Investing in keeping your employees physical and mentally fit helps them feel supported, and like their wellbeing is important to the people they work for.

Some examples of offerings you could include are:

  • Stress management programs
  • Fitness classes (virtual or on-site)
  • Offering healthy snacks free of charge
  • On-site massages

For more wellness program ideas, check out this article.

5. Training and Development

One of the best ways to help employees feel like you’re invested in their ongoing success is to help them identify areas of professional growth and help them “upskill” in those areas.

Upskilling is especially important in our fast-changing business environment as technology and changing global challenges continue to shape how we live and work. 

Make your employees’ professional development a priority could look like:

Bonus: Flexible Work Arrangements

We’ve talked about the importance of offering a hybrid workplace in other posts, but it can’t be stressed enough that giving employees the option to work remotely – fully or part-time – is one of the most important ways to retain top talent.

A recent Robert Half survey found that 1 in 3 employees currently working from home would look for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time, so it’s worth making investments in this area if you haven’t already.

Retain Top Staff 

There’s no way to guarantee that an employee will never leave, but you can make their decision to quit harder by following the steps above and ensuring that your leadership teams are as effective, inclusive, and supportive as possible.

Even if a team member does leave your company for greener pastures, by investing in them and making them feel seen, heard, and valued, you can ensure that they’ll say good things about your business to anyone who asks.