In November of 2021, over 4.53 million Americans quit their jobs – a record high for the most jobs quit in just one month. While initially shocking, this number isn’t very surprising when considering recent trends in resignation. Seven months prior, The United States broke a 20-year record and saw its first spike in resignations, ringing in at 4 million. With each coming month, that number continues to rise, repeatedly shattering the national record.
Of course, not every country is dealing with a “Great Resignation,” but learning ways to increase employee retention rates is essential for every business. Naturally, most think of increased wages as the sole solution to resignation prevention, however, this has proven to be false. While yes, pay raises can function as an incentive to keep employees from leaving their position, experts are now saying that improved work environments are what workers desire and demand. A company’s purpose, culture, and managerial relationships all come into play regarding employee satisfaction. If an organization cannot provide an adequate work culture and environment, candidates know that they can find other businesses that will.
Employee retention is a business’s ability to keep its talent and keep turnover at a minimum. Realistically, business leaders should put most of their efforts into retaining current employees and hiring new talent to ensure they have all the talent needed to keep their business up and running. Not doing so could harm the organization in tight hiring markets. As businesses struggle to hire new talents, they simultaneously lose employees which results in the deterioration of the company’s ability to function at a high level.
To prevent your business from getting stuck in this situation, let’s look at some ways you can increase your employee retention rate.
Start at the Beginning: Identifying Ideal Candidates
The best way to begin finding loyal employees starts during the hiring process. Look beyond the resume as you sort through applications; as yourself whether they align with the values, vision, and mission of your business. Establish your business’s culture and ideals ahead of time and be sure to thoroughly emphasize them to the candidate. Remember, retention starts with recruiting and moves through the entire process of sorting applications, conducting screenings and interviews, and ending with the final stages of the hiring process. This is your time to learn the most about potential candidates. If talents know they share values and company ideals, they will be more likely to stay for the long haul. The goal is to get a jump start on retention efforts before the candidate even lands the position.
Upskilling and Paths to Advancements
A great way to increase retention rates is to make learning a large part of your work culture. Upskilling has become increasingly popular among companies struggling to retain burnt-out and unmotivated employees. By educating current employees about other positions and the responsibilities that accompany them, you can begin utilizing internal mobility. Internal mobility is a business’s way of keeping employees engaged and motivated while also preventing burnout. Don’t let your employees get bored. This is what causes loss of lower levels of motivation, work ethic, and productivity.
Recent studies show that Millennials and GenZers see career development as a priority. It has been found that more than 80% of these generations are more likely to leave companies that do not provide opportunities for growth. To prevent this from happening, begin the process of upskilling by identifying your employee’s strengths, weaknesses, risk factors, and intrinsic motivators. From there, find the best position within your organization that would suit the employee best and begin the upskilling process. Giving employees new responsibilities, and ensuring that your employees see your interest and potential in their abilities, makes them feel valued and integral to your company’s success.
Be Flexible and Look Out for Your Employees
The pandemic forced many in-office workers to realize that remote work isn’t only possible, but that it also allows them to complete their responsibilities in a more comfortable and flexible environment. Providing employees with increased work schedule flexibility increases the overall satisfaction. Employers must keep up with this new and growing trend, and they must also adopt same attitude as their employees if they want their talent retention to grow.
Looking out for your employees is one of the most valuable things you can do when aiming for decreased turnover rates. It’s a great way to show that you value your talent, not only as an employee, but also as a person. A great place to start is by making sure that pay and benefits match job position and performance. Regularly review your worker’s pay and make sure that it’s competitive and fair. If an employee seems to be struggling with work or personal issues, provide support and resources to help them resolve their issues so they can return to work without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Providing additional compensation, career development opportunities, benefits, and a better work environment will prove that, as a leader, you respect their needs.
Give Your Team a Voice
It’s common for employees to feel unheard by their managers and executives when issues arise. Sometimes, when employees speak up about issues within the company or with their team, it’s dismissed or mishandled. How managers handle (or fail to handle) company issues is a leading factor in decreased employee retention. If your employees feel different situations are not handled productively and beneficially, they begin feeling unheard and disrespected. Employee discomfort and dissatisfaction are leading causes for decreased retention in companies.
Managers and senior executives can prevent employee dissatisfaction by holding regular meetings with their team where employees feel heard and concerns are taken seriously. All employees should be invited to these meetings so that team leaders and executives can get the full scope of how each employee is feeling about different aspects of their work culture and environment. Additionally, sending quarterly, or semi-annual, satisfaction polls to employees allows leaders to get a sense of their staff’s overall attitude toward work and company vision and goals.
Of course, turnover is inevitable in any business. Not every job is for everyone, and candidates might not realize that their assigned role doesn’t fit their goals until they begin work. Regardless, prioritizing increasing employee retention rates will help make up for lost talent, and keep your business operating smoothly. Employee satisfaction is the goal, and by utilizing these tips, your business will be on the road to success in no time.