The 4 Effective Employee Retention Strategies For HR
No one likes to see talented employees leave, yet it’s one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses and HR professionals today. High turnover is extremely costly, not to mention the impact it has on the rest of the workforce. Hitting those retention targets is essential to success, but achieving them isn’t always simple. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy employee retention strategies that you can adopt to make significant improvements to employee retention. Used in combination, these strategies can help ensure all your employees, including your most skilled ones, are in it for the long haul.
Developing Effective Employee Retention Strategies
While every employee is different, there are usually some common themes when it comes to turnover and retention. Just as employees have a certain set of criteria when looking for a job or choosing a role, there also tends to be consistent reasons for employees choosing to leave their company. These include:
- Feeling underpaid and/or underappreciated
- Feeling lost or confused in their job role
- Feeling like there is no future or direction in the company
- Feeling overly stressed, tired and overwhelmed
- Feeling like they don’t belong
Sometimes when employees leave it’s simply because they don’t fit. It’s not always a bad thing to lose employees if that’s the case, but then it’s actually a problem with your hiring strategy. Generally, though, if your recruitment and hiring process is working well, then an employee leaving can usually be traced back to a problem with your employee experience. Finding out where the problems lie and resolving them is crucial for future business success.
Fortunately, because the reasons for leaving a role are so common, it means there are also some common employee retention and engagement strategies that can work for almost any company to help improve retention. Our four strategies below cover the entire employee experience and we have suggested some tactics and tools you can implement for each one. A great HRMS should be the backbone for each of these strategies.
If you’re wondering which one is right for you then the answer is all of them, although it may depend on your business needs. Take a look at your HR data to try and figure out where your particular problems lie. It might be that you’re already rewarding employees and tackling wellbeing, while your culture and development strategies might need some work. Whatever the case, make sure the following key employee retention strategies are incorporated in your HR strategy.
1. Employee Retention Strategy – The Belonging Strategy
Every employee wants to feel like they belong and clearly understand their place within the company. When employees don’t feel like they fit into the company culture or even understand their role in relation to everyone else and the business as a whole, they can quickly start to feel lost, confused and eventually demotivated and ready to leave. It can be hard to know whether this is a particular problem for you are there may not be concrete or qualitative data to highlight this issue. It would be best to ask those who are leaving the reason for their decision Make sure you’re asking any leavers why they’re leaving and get good feedback that will help you figure out if this is a particular problem area for you.
To ensure Helping employees feel like they belong, HR efforts should start before day one. It all begins with a great onboarding process and that needs to start from the moment employees sign the dotted line, not just on their first day. A good HRMS can help you connect employees straight away to all the information they need in an easy-to-use self-service portal. Don’t forget to go beyond simply orientation information such as where the cafeteria is. For example, why not connect new hires to team members and even relevant mentors so they get to know the community straight away?
Of course, the part of that community should be a reflection of your company culture. Spend some time refining and clarifying your mission and your company values so that you can continually communicate these to your potential, new and existing workforce. Defining what you stand for will also help you focus on activities and initiatives that really reflect your company culture and so it will continue to strengthen over time.
Finally, don’t forget to look at ways to make communication easier earlier. For employees to feel like they belong, you need to foster teamwork, and the root of this should always be open communication. Utilising internal social networks and messaging along with an employee portal helps so that your workforce can find and contact other relevant employees. For example, employees can reach out for help with their next big project. This will go a long way in making employees feel connected.
2. Employee Retention Strategy – The Development Strategy
No one likes to feel like they’re unsure of what’s expected of them and your employees are no different. Without clear goals, employees don’t know what they’re supposed to be aiming for and feel they can’t perform at their best or deliver on what’s expected of them. Make sure you give your employees goals right from the outset and continue to monitor their achievements and work with them to set new goals when it’s time with effective feedback.
A goal management system that helps can help managers and employees set SMART goals with employees that are in line with their team goals, department goals and even company-wide goals and so that you can be sure each employee is working towards overall business success.
Of course, it shouldn’t just stop at goals. Targets are all about development and improvement so you’ll need a dedicated development plan as well. This is especially important for employee retention as learning and development opportunities are one of the top reasons for employees choosing to stay with an employer, or even deciding which job to take in the first place. Ignoring this area is a one-way ticket to high turnover.
Along with As well as making creating a clear and structured development plan template that managers can work on with every employee, support your employee development plans with a powerful LMS that can deliver relevant learning opportunities. If you’re in a regulated industry then go beyond basic training and competencies. Every business should look at developing courses and opportunities to help employees’ overall growth such as develop everything courses on from soft skills e.g.such as effective communication to essentials such as leadership. A learning management system like SuccessFactors, for example, makes learning easy by giving employees access to a range of learning materials and courses from any device. Combine this with the SuccessFactors Succession and Development module and, you can make sure learning is aligned with career development plans and overall succession strategy.
3. Employee Retention Strategy – The Appreciation Strategy
So, your employees know their place and they’re on the growth path road of learning & development. Now that they’re performing well and seem to be happy with learning, your job is done, right? Employees developing and performing well is great, but they won’t stick around for long without the right appreciation and reward. If you fail to reward your top talent and recognise great performance when it occurs, there’s a good chance your employees will take their newly acquired skills and head elsewhere to get the appreciation they deserve.
When you think about appreciation, salary is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Making sure you’re paying your employees competitively is important, but today other compensations and bonus packages are becoming just as desirable. We recommend doing some research to find some unique bonus packages and rewards ideas that could give you a competitive edge and keep employees from straying elsewhere. There’s plenty out there to choose from with more new unique ideas every day, so there should be some packages that fit with your specific company culture and will meet the desires of your workforce.
We highly recommend a powerful HR management system that can manage bonuses so that you can balance budgets with rewards. This should give managers and other leaders the freedom to recognise and reward employees as soon as they see the outstanding performance while giving you the reassurance that all rewards are within company defined budgets.
4. Employee Retention Strategy – The Wellbeing Strategy
Last but definitely not the least is employee wellbeing. We can’t stress enough on the importance of taking care of employees’ wellbeing enough. Today’s employees are more aware than ever of the impact of stress, burnout, and other work-related illnesses. A good work-life balance is becoming more desirable, as shown by our increasing freelance workforce. This means that not only is wellbeing so great for productivity, it’s also essential to effective employee retention.
There are loads of ways you can start to improve wellbeing at work. You could look at introducing more flexible hours either all or part of the time and even allowing employees to work from home some of the time. You can introduce these initiatives company-wide, or even as part of your bonus scheme to kill two birds with one stone.
Connecting employees and building a community outside of the workplace is also good for wellbeing. You started doing this in your belonging strategy, so take it a step further and encouraging communication between groups of employees that share similar interests and/or hobbies. Give employees the power to create workshops and activities that might not be directly work-related. Top management doesn’t always understand the value of these initiatives unless they are directly related to a work project, so make sure you make the business case for wellbeing.
Ready to start making a significant change to your employee retention strategies? Book your free demo of SuccessFactors today to see how this world-class HRMS solution could help you implement all of our employee retention strategies. Contact us today or book a free demo and see it action here.