To have a successful business, companies don’t just need loyal customers. More importantly, they need engaged and satisfied employees that are committed to the organization.
From the employees’ perspective, many times this means finding the best employer who prioritizes their happiness and growth.
From the employers’ perspective, this means increasing employee retention by delivering on their team's unique wants and needs.
And with 87% of human resources leaders placing their employee retention attempts as a #1 priority – understanding what strategies to implement has become that much more important.
In this blog post, Drive Research shares our expert tips on how to decrease turnover and increase employee retention.
Benefits of Good Employee Retention
Employee retention is essential to an organization’s staff engagement, level of productivity, and culture.
Oftentimes, employee satisfaction is reflected in a company’s retention rate.
When employees love their jobs and their employer, they tend to stay with their company for a long time.
Other reasons why it’s important to prioritize improving employee retention rates are below.
Attracting New Talent
When job candidates are searching for a new position, they’ll often look into their potential employer’s retention rate.
A company’s retention rate speaks loudly about a number of important factors:
- Job satisfaction
- Opportunities within the company
If the company can’t increase employee retention and has a revolving door of employees coming and going, the candidate will see this as a red flag.
Is it a lack of training? Is it their manager? Is it the workload?
By understanding common issues among your employees, management is able to work towards creating a situation that is best for everyone in the organization.
Additionally, potential job candidates often turn to Glassdoor or Indeed to review what past and current employees are saying about a company.
Poor reviews and a low employee retention score can easily turn away potential new hires.
In fact, 1 in 3 people have turned down a job offer because of a company’s bad online reviews.
“Loss of Employee” Snowball Effect
Poor employee retention can also cause internal damage to the company.
If a critical employee leaves, others may also leave behind them. And it will cost you.
When an employee leaves, your company is left to fund recruitment and training while also experiencing a loss of productivity.
In fact, research shows that it costs an employer an average of 33% of an employee’s yearly salary for their exit.
Ways to Improve Employee Retention Rates
1. Employee satisfaction surveys
An employee satisfaction survey is important for any organization experiencing a steady stream of team members handing in their two-weeks notice.
Believe it or not, 63% of leadership teams in the US think it’s more difficult to keep employees than hire them.
There are many benefits of employee surveys.
A few advantages include:
- Helping HR and leadership teams understand employees’ level of happiness with their jobs
- Uncovering specific opportunities to increase satisfaction
- Providing employees with an anonymous and honest portal to share feedback
- Understanding immediate action items to take
Additionally, allowing your employees the opportunity to share their opinions shows them that you care.
Especially if you take their feedback seriously and use the data from employee satisfaction surveys to drive real change.
This goes a long way in increasing employee retention.
Working with an employee engagement company
While we recommend using a third party for employee surveys, it is an important study to conduct regardless of doing it in-house or outsourced.
But, working with a third party like Drive Research assures employees their responses are confidential and anonymous.
If the employee survey is conducted in-house, staff may be reluctant to share how they really feel out of fear of being tied directly to their responses and potentially experiencing negative consequences.
💡 The Key Takeaway: It’s critical to ask your staff their opinions through the use of surveys. Not only will this increase employee retention, but it will likely elevate the quality of work your staff puts out.
2. Employee Exit Surveys
In addition to annual employee surveys, there is also the option to gather feedback from those that have or are deciding to leave the company.
This is accomplished through employee exit surveys. They can reveal important information that set strategies in motion to reduce employee attrition.
For example, here are a few questions to include in employee exit surveys:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [Company name] as a place to work?
- Please explain why you rated [Company name] as [Insert rating] out of 10.
- When you think about working at [Company name], what are the top 3 words that come to mind?
- How does [Company name] compare to employment at other organizations?
Using data to learn from previous employees and why they began their job hunt with a new organization can help mitigate the concerns of current staff members.
💡 The Key Takeaway: If you want to increase employee retention by seeking feedback, consider the opinions of past employees. This is the audience that is most likely to be 100% honest about what and how you can improve.
3. Offer Opportunities for Job Advancement
If your business is looking for long-term employees, consider what your employees need from you to remain loyal for years to come. Creating and discussing growth opportunities is a great way to accomplish this.
That’s because, by investing in your employees, they’ll feel valued and supported. In return, they'll be more invested in their future at your business.
On the other hand, a lack of training and advancement will often lead employees to look for a new job.
In fact, 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they'll be forced to leave their organization to advance their careers.
If you decide to ask your employees to take a staff satisfaction survey, utilize it to ask about their desired professional growth.
Evaluate the opportunities your company currently offers to its employees to determine if it lines up with their goals.
💡 The Key Takeaway: To increase employee retention, there has to be room for them to advance. If not, staff will leave for a new job (likely a competitor) where their talents can be appreciated.
4. Cultivate a Happy Workplace
“Company culture” is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. Chances are you’ve heard the term, but are left wondering what it actually entails.
A positive company culture fosters an empathetic environment for all employees.
This means that aside from working, a business should prioritize how actions directly affect the emotional and mental well-being of employees.
For instance, 57% of U.S. workers reported feeling daily stress. That is up by eight percentage points from the prior year. What's more, is that 16% of employees have quit a job because of stress.
Therefore, promoting empathy in the workplace is a huge step in improving workplace culture for long-term employment.
All it takes is for leadership to show their employees that they come first. We find that when you put the employee first, the better quality work they put out.
And don’t be afraid to use fun and creative ways to increase employee retention, too.
5. Offer opportunities for open communication
When leadership fosters an open environment with employees, they genuinely feel better about sharing their work experience.
Communication like this is only possible if staff feels like they can share, though.
This means opening the line of communication between management and employees with regular check-ins through email and video. Doing so can help to prevent quiet quitting - a trend that is taking over the workforce.
6. Loosen Up
We can’t emphasize the importance of a stress-free work environment enough! And no, you don’t need to be throwing parties at your company all the time.
But simply hosting bi-monthly happy or coffee hours (virtual or in person) has a great effect on staff attitudes and mental health in the workplace.
It’s a way to unwind and step away from work for a bit. In turn, employees will return to tasks motivated and refreshed.
7. Staff Learning Sessions
Consider hosting quarterly learning sessions for your employees, as this ties into growth opportunities.
These sessions can cover specific topics within the industry or other important work-related ideas.
The main goal is for employees to feel “tuned in” with the advancement of your company.
For those wondering how to increase employee retention, the answer always lies in surveys. With the feedback obtained, employers will learn how they can improve their staff’s experience.
If you’d like to learn more about our market research services, reach out to us today.
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As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.
Learn more about Lark, here.