Employees are the driving force of a workplace. They’re a source of innovation that keeps the office flowing. They bring unique skillsets, personalities and ideas to the table. Retaining quality employees is essential for the overall success of a business, so you’ll want to foster a positive work environment that encourages them to stay.
If you’re wondering how to retain employees and create a healthy work environment for them to thrive, these 10 effective employee retention strategies can give you some ideas.
What Is Employee Retention & Why Is It Important?
Employee retention is a company’s ability to keep its current employees. It uses strategic actions to keep workers focused, productive and motivated on the job by providing a positive work experience and a greater incentive to stick around. An effective employee retention program retains current employees and can attract even new talent.
Employee retention is important for reducing turnover, improving workplace performance and building a better company image overall. It also encourages employee engagement, problem-solving and building relationships among workers. Together, these things help employees feel a sense of belonging at work.
10 Effective Employee Retention Strategies for Job Satisfaction
If you’re wondering how to improve employee happiness, productivity, growth and development, we’re here to help. Check out our top 10 employee retention strategies.
1. Provide Orientation, Training & Development
It’s critical to set up employees for success right from the beginning. The best way to do this is with an effective training and onboarding program. Orientation goes beyond simply teaching new hires about the job — it should also teach them about your company’s culture and values.
Show your workers how they can thrive in your culture, contribute to the team and build their careers. Whether your onboarding is in-person or virtual, don’t overlook this crucial step of the process. Orientation is an opportunity to make a great first impression on employees.
2. Pay Competitive Compensation
Evaluating and adjusting employee salaries to provide competitive compensation is one of the best ways to motivate your workers. Competitive pay refers to a wage that is equal to or higher than the industry standard for similar careers in the geographical area. Offering competitive pay is often necessary for employers to attract qualified candidates.
If you currently can’t afford to increase pay, see if you can provide other forms of compensation such as:
- More flexible work hours
- Additional paid time off (PTO)
- Improved health care benefits or retirement plans
3. Offer Benefits, Perks & Wellness Programs
Offering employees unique benefits in addition to their regular salaries is another excellent retention strategy. These benefits help them feel valued and rewarded for their work while giving them additional perks to look forward to on the job. Here are some common examples:
- Insurance for health, dental, vision, life and disability
- PTO, paid holidays and paid parental or family leave
- Student loan repayment or continued education
- Retirement planning and contribution matches
- Employee discounts
Keep in mind that employee benefits don’t only have to be monetary. Here are some other great perks to offer your workers:
- Home office upgrades for remote workers
- Flexible scheduling or remote work options
- Employee assistance programs for mental wellbeing
- Corporate gifts like mugs, T-shirts, bags and gift baskets
- On-site fitness accommodations or access to a local gym
- Food-related perks like free snacks and coffee, healthy meals, company lunches or cooking classes
4. Communicate Openly
It’s important to create a space where employees can openly communicate, learn and share ideas. From casual breakroom conversation to brainstorming sessions in the conference room, you want to encourage healthy communication in all areas of the office.
Make conversational areas inviting with comfortable tables and furniture, snacks and beverages. Additionally, let employees know they can come to you anytime with questions, concerns and ideas to improve the workplace.
5. Provide Performance Feedback
Conducting regular performance feedback promotes growth and development for individual employees and the workplace as a whole. Try to meet one-on-one with your employees once or twice a year to review their progress with the company.
Discuss their short- and long-term professional goals, career advancement opportunities, strong points and growth areas. Help them visualize their future with the organization and create a realistic plan for achieving their goals.
6. Implement Recognition & Rewards Systems
Your employees deserve recognition for the hard work they do. Expressing your gratitude through a rewards system is an excellent way to make them feel valued. There are many ways to reward employees for going the extra mile, such as:
- Gift cards
- Treating them to lunch
- Thanking them with a handwritten note
- Tickets for concerts and sporting events
- Recognizing them publicly via email blast or company meeting
7. Upgrade Physical Workplace
Providing an effective physical workspace helps employees feel welcome and comfortable. Try setting up an enjoyable breakroom with amenities like specialty coffee and tea, a vending machine or micro market. You can even include entertainment like television, games or ping pong tables so employees can have a little fun during break time.
Additionally, ergonomic equipment like desks, chairs and keyboards — as well as plenty of windows and natural light — is another excellent way to promote a more comfortable workplace.
8. Practice a Work-Life Balance
To prevent burnout and avoid overworking employees, prioritize a healthy balance of work and personal life. Allow flexible scheduling, work-from-home options, vacation days and reasonable start and finish times. If late nights are ever necessary to complete a project, consider giving your workers additional time off to compensate. Encourage them to take regular breaks at work as well.
This retention strategy comes back to strong office communication that we discussed previously. Allowing your employees to feel heard is one of the most crucial things you can do to retain them. Invite your employees to share concerns, questions and ideas, and address any concerns if possible.
10. Always Say Thank You
Last but not least, thanking your employees is a simple gesture that goes a long way. Whether expressing your gratitude verbally, writing them a note or rewarding them with a gift or bonus, thanking them for their hard work makes them feel appreciated. It reinforces a positive work environment and can motivate them to stick around.