8 Employee Retention Strategies for 2021

Employee turnover is an ongoing problem across industries. When you find great employees, it’s essential to keep those employees happy and satisfied. Talent is your biggest asset as a company. So why do great employees leave in the first place? There are many reasons to blame.

First, the rising generation is of the mindset that if you want a promotion, you need to switch employers. The concept of rising the corporate ladder died with the most recent recession. Young professionals today look for promotional opportunities outside of their current company where they feel there’s more room for growth.

Alongside this, some of the leading reasons why employees abandon ship include poor management, rigid policies, and a lack of work/life balance. Nobody wants to feel like a cog in the wheel of your business machine. They want to feel like they’re a part of a confident, hardworking organization. How are you providing this to your employees, if you’re providing such an experience at all?

Now that you know why employees are likely to leave, it’s time to learn how to retain your best talent in 2019. The strategies that worked in the past aren’t guaranteed to keep working in the future. You don’t want to risk your top performers. Use these eight employee retention strategies below that are designed to work in 2019.

1. Start with the Right Hire

The right new hire is worth his or her weight in gold and then some. When you hire the right people, you don’t have to worry about culture, fit, or position challenges getting in the way. The Harvard Business Review claims up to 80% of all employee turnover is due to bad hiring positions.

How do you hire the right employees the first time? First, weed out lousy fit candidates during the initial stages by being clear in your job listings. Don’t oversell your company if you can’t deliver on your promises. For example, don’t brag on the listing about your “open, innovative office space” if your company has cubicles and outdated style. There’s nothing wrong with either of these things, but you don’t want new hires to get a false impression and feel disappointed.

Take a good, hard look at your company culture. Do you have a diverse, inclusive work-space, or do employees mostly keep to themselves? Don’t fall into the pressure that your workplace has to be any specific way. The more important thing is that you don’t poorly represent it during the application process.

From there, go beyond the textbook interview questions when choosing a candidate. Ask prospective employees what type of company culture they prefer, and how they like to work. It might be better to select an employee with slightly less experience, but who is a better fit for the workplace.

2. Recognize Employee Achievements

Your employees want to feel like their hard work is noticed. If employee accomplishments and success go underappreciated, employees will start feeling that drive to improve. What’s the point of working harder if there’s nothing to show for it?

Consider implementing some simple social recognition programs to show that your top performers' work is noticed and appreciated. This can be as basic as having leaders write handwritten thank you notes when projects go write. It can go as far as including bonuses or small benefits for those employees who continue to go above and beyond for the company.

employee retention techniques

3. Keep the Workload Balanced

Some employers expect the world from their employees. We’ve all experienced poor management who’s demanding, needy, and doesn’t know the value of a work/life balance. It’s a common misconception that some stress is good. Today, 46% of all workplace stress is said to be caused by the workload.

Are your employees expected to complete a reasonable amount of work? Are they pushed to stay late regularly? Are your employees showing signs of burnout? These are severe signs that can have catastrophic effects on your employee health if you aren’t careful.

Some stress is okay every once in a while. However, your employees shouldn’t feel like they need to choose between work and their personal life. Beyond being employees, your team is full of human beings. Make sure they’re treated as such when it comes to the workload.

4. Optimize Your On-boarding

When employees feel welcome to the company, that starts their time as a member of the team on the right foot. Unfortunately, too many companies today fail to create an onboarding program that really integrates new team members. From poor training to lack of introductions, these employees feel out of place from the start.

Your employees want to start strong. Make sure they can do just that by creating an onboarding program that sets expectations from the start. Introduce employees to all relevant coworkers, supervisors, and more. Clearly explain the policies of the workplace as well as expectations.

Employees don’t want any surprises. Starting at a new company is hard enough without any added stress. Make sure your onboarding program is bright, comfortable, and prepares your new team members for success.

5. Compensate Fairly

It comes as no surprise that compensation is a big piece of the employee retention puzzle. Employees want to be paid fairly for their position. While those with less experience might have more flexibility in how much they need to get paid, most employees will expect the average rate of their experience level or higher.

Seriously consider your compensation package for every employee. Start with research for your region and the position. Is your salary competitive? If not, that’s likely why you’re not keeping your top performers.

Yes, it might seem expensive to pay more to your employees. However, there is a limited number of quality workers. Your top performers earn your company more. They’re efficient, excellent workers, and you want to keep them around for the long haul.

Paying above-average rates will attract the best employees, and it will encourage those employees to stay longer. It will also help you with word-of-mouth recruiting. When you have employees who are thrilled to work for you, your entire company thrives.

6. Offer Flexible Working

Today, remote work is on the rise. The days of the 40-hour work week and the 9-5 grind are slowly becoming a thing of the past. I think we can all agree that having more flexibility to work when and where we choose would make us happier workers.

This is true of remote work, and it’s an easy way to offer something beneficial to your employees that doesn’t come at a cost. Flexible hours and remote working opportunities produce active, motivated workers. Not convinced? A startling 82% of telecommuters report lower stress levels than their office-only counterparts.

The best part is that offering these benefits is easy to implement. With this solution by Humanity, you can allow your employees to clock-in from anywhere while accurately tracking their hours. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so go ahead and make the switch today.

employee retention strategies for small businesses

7. Use Health and Wellness Programs

Finally, healthy employees are happy employees. Showing your employees that you care about their health is essential. Offering a wellness program that encourages employees to lead healthy, active lives are just one way to strengthen your workforce.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. While some companies with enough space install gyms and offer fitness classes, that’s understandably not always possible. Offering wellness checks, meal tracking activities, and other resources for those who want to feel their best shows you’re trying your hardest.

Another bonus of these programs is that employees have less need for sick days and mental health days. They feel better, they work better, and they’ll want to stick around for long. This is a win/win for everyone.

8. Provide Quality Leadership

Remember one of the leading reasons employees leave companies that we mentioned before? Unsurprisingly, it’s due to poor leadership. When supervisors don’t do their job well, their subordinates are left trying to fill in these gaps.

Quality Leadership

Consider promoting leadership from within to invest in your best-performing, employees. Many of those who started on the lower levels of an organization have excellent skills to offer as a supervisor. Beyond this, invest in ongoing leadership training and mentorship opportunities.

Quality leadership starts from the top of a company down. The owner, higher-ups, and all levels in between need to be trained qualified and ready to keep learning about how to serve their teams best.

Strategies to Improve Employee Retention #infographic

Infographic by: taskworld

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s not impossible to keep your top employees as long as you’re willing to make critical changes. In this day and age, there’s always a new area to improve. Employees expect more from their employers, and it’s up to you to deliver so you don’t risk losing your biggest asset.

We’ve all heard the saying that employees don’t leave jobs, they go managers. Take these strategies above to heart to make positive changes in your company that create a culture of growth for everyone.