In almost any company or industry, it stands to reason that you want to keep your top talent around for as long as possible. That means your organization is taking full advantage of its star players, increasing productivity, profitability, and positive company culture. That’s why employee retention is so important.
What is employee retention, exactly? The term refers to the strategies an organization develops and utilizes to mitigate employee turnover and keep its best employees. Depending on what industry you work in, turnover rates may vary—turnover is high among part-time and seasonal workers like those in the hospitality or restaurant industries, for example, while it’s substantially lower in white-collar jobs. But no matter what your organization does or what space you operate in, employee retention is important.
How can you stop your best employees from leaving for greener pastures? Let’s examine why employee retention is so important, and then take a look at some ways your organization can work on retaining top talent.
Importance of Employee Retention
There are many reasons why a great employee retention rate is a wise thing to strive for. The truth is that retaining your employees benefits your organization at every level. Here are just four of the reasons why employee retention is so important:
It Improves Productivity
It takes a new hire a long time—years, even—to reach the productivity level of an existing employee. Building relationships with customers and coworkers take time, too. In this way, a high turnover rate negatively affects productivity as the new employees you bring on get up to speed. That’s not to say you should never hire anyone new, but it goes to show that keeping more of your existing employees than you lose is always a smart idea.
It Promotes Cohesion
Employee engagement and general team cohesion go up when you retain your best employees. Newer or less experienced employees look to the veterans to lead by example, and the veterans can take other employees under their wing. A company with a high turnover rate, on the other hand, has trouble gelling because people are always coming in and out. There is never a chance for those key team member relationships to develop.
Increased productivity and a reduction in hiring costs add up to one thing: your organization saving money. Employee retention is incredibly cost-effective because you’re not spending resources on finding, interviewing, hiring, and training new employees. At the same time, your operations are more productive and streamlined because you’ve got staff who knows what they’re doing.
It Strengthens Customer Relations
If a customer is talking to a new employee every time they interact with your business, it’s hard for a relationship to develop. If they talk to the same person again and again, on the other hand, they’re easily able to make that positive association with your organization. Keeping your best employees around tends to strengthen customer relations and increase customer satisfaction ratings as a result.
Strategies for Employee Retention
We’ve seen why employee retention is so important: it makes your team more productive and cohesive, it’s cost-effective, and it pleases customers. The question is, how can you actually go about retaining those top employees? What are the steps you can actually take to retain top talent?
#1: Employee Recognition
Did you know that more than 80% of American employees don’t feel recognized or rewarded? This is one of the biggest reasons that employees decide to leave. Ironically, it’s also one of the simplest things for employers to do right. Take some time to recognize your employees when good work is done—use a recognition platform that lets everyone see the praise. There are even point-based systems that allow employees to reward and receive points and awards from their coworkers and supervisors.
#2: Strong Management
You’ve heard it before: the vast majority of people don’t quit their jobs. They quit their bosses. If your management isn’t cutting it, it’s time to change things. When employees feel appreciated, supported, and valued by their supervisors, they’re much more likely to stick around. It’s as simple as that. Make sure your management-level employees understand the impact they can have on retention at your organization and supply them with the tools they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. The trickle-down effect that will have on retention is significant.
#3: Actively Listen to Employee Needs to Provide Ideal Learning Opportunities
Employees who feel they aren’t listened to by management and ownership certainly don’t feel like their needs are being met. Ask your employees for feedback, frequently—find out what you could be doing better, what they need to do their jobs better, and what kind of learning opportunities would benefit them. You can collect employees’ thoughts using electronic surveys, or you can simply talk one-on-one with members of your team. However, you accomplish it, listening and providing resources as a result of that feedback will help retain your staff.
#4: Provide Advancement Opportunities
Top talent doesn’t stay in a dead-end job for very long. The best employees want to grow, to advance, to move up the ladder. If they don’t have a path for that, they’ll find it with another organization. Providing advancement opportunities for your employees is absolutely essential when it comes to retaining top talent. After all, the best of the best want to grow their careers, not stand still. Wouldn’t you prefer that they do that within your organization rather than outside of it?
#5: Encourage Flexibility
The days of the strict 9-to-5 are long gone. With the rise of remote work thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible work schedules and approaches are more common than ever. And employees don’t just expect it—they demand it. The best employees can find flexible work arrangements if they want it. So, if it’s not with your organization, you’re going to lose them. If you don’t already have flexible arrangements in place, it’s time to consider implementing them. Whether it’s flexible start and end times, hybrid work schedules, or work-from-home policies, your employees will stick around when the organization is flexible.
What sort of professional development programs do you have in place at your organization? If employees don’t feel like they can grow their skills and become better in their fields while they’re at your company, they may decide to move on. That’s why helping your employees develop their skills is one of the most effective employee retention strategies. It’s also part of advancement opportunities-when employees can grow their skillset within your organization, they can rise up the ranks, too.
#7: Engage and Communicate with Employees
Employee engagement is another simple but extremely effective way to retain your best employees. Engagement involves a number of the strategies already listed above, including listening to your employees and eliciting feedback, recognizing great work, and having a strong management structure in place. To put it simply, staying involved with your employees on a daily basis and helping them to feel encouraged and involved, rather than ignoring them, is the best way to increase engagement.
Find Top Talent with TriStarr Today
Is your organization struggling with its talent search? Need to get your turnover rates under control? You may need to consider turning to professional recruitment services, and TriStarr Staffing is here to help you with that. Our staffing agency in Lancaster, PA can help you find, hire, and retain the best employees for your business, ultimately increasing productivity, boosting team morale, and reducing turnover.
Contact the experts at TriStarr today to learn more about what we can offer and to get started. Whether you’re in need of temp staffing or permanent placement, human resources consulting services or help with administrative staffing, our firm has the tools and experience to get the job done. We look forward to learning how we can help your organization succeed.