Employee turnover is eating up over $1 trillion a year out of business accounts. And that was before the pandemic. Now, we see what SHRM calls a Turnover Tsunami. Employees are burned out and leaving in droves.
Before the pandemic, employee retention strategies were important. Now, matters have reached critical. Businesses, large and small, need a strategy to keep employees. And, to be effective, it must become central to the way you do business and data-driven to ensure those strategies work.
Here's how to get started.
1. Re-evaluate Your Employment Package
Employee retention isn't all about money, as many people will take less to work somewhere they love.
But you must be competitive to attract the right people. Ambitious people build their careers in part to make a decent living. Plus, the perks you offer employees can make them think twice about leaving for a slightly higher salary.
But it's critical that you not stop here, because for many of today's workers, being in a job where they're not happy is not worth the money. And it's been trending this way for some time.
Only 24% of Gen X -- yeah, the ones we rarely talk about -- worry about financial stability when they leave a company. So yes, you're not holding them there if they're unhappy.
While employee happiness comes from within, you can certainly take some steps to increase employees' likelihood of enjoying their jobs.
2. Boost Your Recruitment
So, you've hired an employee who turns out not to be a great fit? The best thing the two of you can do now is cut ties, not hang on trying to work things out, hoping it gets better.
A square peg in a round hole will not get as much done because they don't really want to be there and they're going to bring morale down for others. That's not great for boosting employee morale.
So, evaluate how you consider an employee's ability to mesh with your small business or corporate environment.
Don't just hand out personality or skills tests and be done with it. Analyze the role model employees in the company. What do they have in common? How can you replicate that in the hiring process? Make changes and confirm that the changes impacted retention positively. Think like an analyst to retain employees.
3. Reduce Employee Stressors
If you constantly overwork employees because you are understaffed, you'll burn out the good employees. Then the only ones who stay are those who don't have any other option.
In other words, they're not choosing to be here. You're their fallback. That's not good for your customers or your bottom line.
Poor employee retention can become a vicious cycle in this way. So, part of reducing this stress is fixing your turnover issues, improving employee wellbeing and their desire to stay.
Beyond that, don't just assume you know what stresses employees. Ask them through employee surveys. Much of employees' stress is caused by specific system failures that you can fix through better communication, improving resources, and creating a flexible workplace.
4. Show Employees You Value Them
Do your actions speak louder than words? In the employees’ eyes, do you treat them like a means to an end? Have you found yourself thinking that they should just be happy you're paying them? It sounds like you might not really value your employees. You can say everything to the contrary. But at the end of the day, employees can sense when they're undervalued.
You end up with a bunch of uninspired people.
Instead, find ways to show you value your employees, like using promotional products for employee retention, hosting fun employee events, and creating a social media employer brand they want to be a part of.
5. Train Leaders; Don't Promote Bosses
Bosses tell people what to do. Leaders see themselves as part of the team, not someone hovering over it, barking orders. Leaders generate a desire in others to follow their lead.
A leader isn't just focused on today. They look at what's working and not and continually work to make it better for the team.
They don't just expect people to follow them because they're charismatic, and they say so. They make data-driven decisions and can present that data to their teams to show the soundness of their decisions.
People who are hard workers or have impressive credentials don't always make good leaders. So, before promoting anyone to a leadership role, make sure they actually have leadership qualities.
Also, recognize the value of nurturing leadership skills. Some leadership is inherent. But the rest is learning how to be a good leader through example, training, and feedback from you regarding their leadership.
Increase the number of leaders in your company to improve employee retention.