The cost for finding, hiring and training new employees is high, and high turnover rates can affect a company and its ability to reach sales objectives. While many employers mainly focus on their hiring and onboarding strategies, employee retention is often treated as an afterthought, until employees start walking out the door. 

Your employees are the heart of your business and your most important asset. It’s important to set in stone a retention plan that treats them that way. If you wait until the exit interview to determine why a valuable employee has decided to leave, you’re missing an opportunity to improve. A retention strategy can boost overall employee satisfaction rates, while also encouraging employees to focus on the success of the organization. 

So how do you keep employee retention high during this time of unemployment? 

Here are 6 effective ways to increase your retention strategy. 

1. Focus on hiring and the onboarding process
Onboarding is a make or breaks for new hires. Setting them up for success is crucial. Done well, onboarding can increase your employee retention rate. Done poorly, onboarding can result in employees quitting within six months of starting, and nobody wants that. 

Onboarding should be the time when your new employees learn about your business –  give them the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful at your organization, answer questions, and introduce them to the team and all departments. If new employees are confused, feel unwelcomed, or unsatisfied after their onboarding process, this can lead to potential issues down the road. 

2. Offer what other businesses can’t
One of the most common reasons for an employee choosing to leave a company is because they don’t feel like their value is appropriately compensated. The benefits you provide to employees will let them know that management values them as people. A few that will help improve engagement and retention include:

  • Flex-time schedule
  • The opportunity to work from home 
  • Providing daycare or daycare cost assistance
  • Offering PTO (paid time off) for a variety of reasons, without a hassle
  • Maternity leave

3. Encourage an engaging culture
Create a workplace culture that is engaging for your employees. Help them see that their work matters to your business and customers. The more an employee can connect to their work and feel that they are making a difference, the more engaged they will be on a daily basis. Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their less engaged counterparts. They’re motivated to meet the organization’s goals and objectives and are more productive in their jobs. You can do this by setting achievable goals, giving them ownership over their jobs, and offering opportunities for continued learning and education.

4. Provide a clear path for advancement
Employees value the ability to advance in their careers. When employers know their employees’ long-term professional goals, they are better able to meet them and create learning and development programs that help employees gain skills and in order to advance.

If you don’t have an educational program, consider other ways to guide and encourage employees who are looking for ways to advance from their current position or broaden their skill sets into other areas. Here are a few ideas:

  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Mentoring and shadowing
  • Certifications and conferences 

5. Open communication
Open communication is a must-have on many employees’ wish list for an employer. In fact, one of the biggest reasons employees resign is due to the lack of communication.  Whether it be employee to employee, or staff to management, having an open line of communication is a key aspect of running a successful business.

At TMG we have quarterly state of the company meetings where our leaders give an insight on major changes and any updates on the business along with monthly pit meetings to discuss weekly goals/numbers. Each department has weekly one on ones with their manager to discuss issues, projects, tasks to make sure everything is operating smoothly for each member of the team. Implementing open communication helps drive success for everyone. 

It’s important that your staff knows what’s going on and have the correct information to do their jobs successfully so they can contribute to the business. A culture of open communication encourages trust among middle and upper-level management. 

6. Employee recognition  
The main reason why employees leave their jobs is lack of recognition. Employees like to be recognized. Implementing employee recognition in your employee retention plan can help with retention, improve company culture, and boost employee engagement and happiness. One of the best ways to improve employee recognition in your employee retention plan is to tie recognition to the core values of your company.

At TMG we recognize our employees in several different ways. We celebrate all employee birthdays and work anniversaries by sharing it with our followers on social media. We set sales competitions in the office, track team wins, and congratulate their hard work. We enjoy a nice cocktail hour every quarter with our employees onsite and offsite. We celebrate everything by throwing parties for all major holidays, including our favorite, the Halloween party with a costume contest.

Employees are your source of innovation, and replacing them can be hard and expensive. Implementing these 6 strategies will help improve your employee satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately, decrease turnover rates.