What Is Employee Retention And How To Improve It

Good employee retention is a key pillar that all successful organizations share and understand. If you can’t keep talent, you’re going to get into trouble at some point.

It doesn’t matter what size your company is or what stage your business currently sits at, having employees leaving your company will never be good for business. Even worse, having a high employee turnover rate can cost your business a lot of money. By the time you have to find someone to replace someone and train them, it can cost twice as much the salary versus keeping that employee on board.

Furthermore, high employee turnover rates can decrease performance and lower employee morale, ultimately leading to additional expenses for your business.

If you want to avoid all of these negative factors, you have to focus on employee retention and we have a few ideas to help you get started.

(1) Be Selective When Hiring

You can’t retain employees until you have employees, so hiring is the first step you need to focus on. Remember, you just don’t want employees, you want the “right” employees.

How can you find the right employees? Simple, you interview and vet your candidates carefully. You need to know what you’re looking for in an employee prior to interviews.

  • Do they have the right skills?
  • Does their goals align with the company’s goals?
  • Do they believe in your vision and mission?
  • Do they have a proven track record of results?
  • Are they ambitious? Creative? Leader?
  • Do they have good credit?
  • Do they have a clean background?

We recommend building a list of questions that will allow to be selective during the hiring process and allows you to find the right people. While company culture, company mission, credit and background checks are important questions to ask, you may have specific questions you want to ask based on the niche or industry you serve. If you do, that’s great, ask them. The key is being selective and ensuring you hire the best possible candidates for the position.

(2) Great Work Environment And Culture

At Kadalyst, we’re always discussing how important work environment and company culture is. Think about it like this. Have you ever walked into a room and felt unsafe? Uncomfortable? Could you imagine having to go to this place 5, 6, 7 days a week, 8, 10, 12 hours a day? It would be brutal, right?

Employees want to feel comfortable and safe. It’s up to you to provide a great work environment and culture. While we won’t go into all the specifics of creating a great work environment in this article, let’s focus on a few ways you can create a better work environment.

  1. Proper Lighting, Plenty Of Light, Open Windows
  2. Comfortable Office Furniture
  3. Keeping The Office At A Comfortable Temperature
  4. Proper Ventilation, Air
  5. Office Areas Where Employees Feel Comfortable And Safe

While design plays a role in work environment, it’s been proven that employees are more productive in a work environment that feels safe, comfortable, engaging and inviting.

(3) Competitive Pay And Benefits Package

Employers have a tough time keeping top-notch talent, this is usually because they don’t get paid what they’re deserved. While pay is always a factor, Wall Street Journal points out that employees that are seeking employment elsewhere care about competitive benefits. 

  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Savings

There’s a number of different benefits you could add that makes your company highly sought after by employees.  

(4) Make Training A Priority

If you want to get the best out of your employees, make sure you’re putting training at the forefront. The more skills your employees have, the better. Give your employees the opportunities to learn new skills. 

Technology is always changing, what works right now may not work in a month, so focusing your attention on training is very important. Thanks to the technology you have at your hands, a lot of this training can be automated.

  • Online Training – Modules, Classes
  • PDF Training – Online Docs
  • DVD, Books, Audio
  • Events, Seminars, Classes
  • Mentoring Programs

(5) Give Your Employees The Stage

You can learn a lot from your employees if you give them the stage to have a voice in your company. Some of our greatest ideas have come from our employees, they see a lot of different things that ownership and management doesn’t. 

Communication is key in the workplace, so giving them the opportunity to have a voice and let their opinions known is going to boost morale, trust and loyalty.

When employees have a voice, they feel appreciated, they’re more committed to the company’s values and missions. 

(6) Always Recognize Accomplishments And Achievements

Employees that do well and hit company goals deserve to be recognized for performance. This could be as simple as a “thank you,” such as a hand-written note or phone call. 

You can also take it to the next level, giving your employees the opportunities to reach incentives, such as bonuses, promotions, stock options, introductions to new clients or sponsorships. 

Employees that feel appreciated are often more productive and have higher employee morale than employees that don’t feel appreciated. 

(7) Doing Quarterly Reviews

One-on-one evaluations are a great way to sit down with your employees to set goals and revist milestones. It’s also a great time to show your appreciation in a one-on-one setting.

If employees don’t have goals to work toward, you need to make sure goals are being set. 

When employees meet those goals and milestones, make the reward work achieving.

(8) Employee Wellness Program

It’s a known fact, when employees are healthier, they attend work more and they’re more productive while at work. In fact, employee wellness programs have a wide range of benefits;

  • Reduce Absenteeism
  • Reduce Health Risks
  • Reduce Healthcare Costs
  • Improve Recruitment
  • Improve Retention

It also gives you the opportunity to build a stronger community within the workplace.

What Factors Cause Bad Employee Retention?

There’s a number of different things that can cause high employee turnover. Let’s take at a look at the most common reasons for low employee retention rates.

(1) Low Employee Morale

Employee morale plays a key role in your company’s culture, productivity, engagement and performance. If your employees are not happy, a large percentage of them will take action and make plans to leave your company. While many employees will stay put, that shouldn’t be viewed as a positive as employees with low morale are far less productive.

If you do have a handful of employees that have low morale and talk about the company negatively, it could spread to other team members and create a negative work environment.

Make sure you’re allowing employees to voice their concerns, they should have your full faith to have a voice in the first place. If employees are not happy, most will speak up and you’ll have the opportunity to address those concerns as needed.

(2) Financial Insecurity

If your employees can’t meet their financial obligations, most of them will always question their job. They will have more focus on getting a better paying job versus focusing on the task at hand.

A great study from 2016 by PricewaterhourseCoopers concluded that 52 percent of workers out of 1,600 total claimed to be stressed about their finances. In that study, it found that younger workers were more stressed, 64 percent of millenials felt stressed about their finances. 

If you’re not able to take care of your family, what do you logically do? Most people are going to explore their options, try to find a better paying job so they can get their financial house in order. 

(3) No Clear Career Path

An interesting review done by Harvard Review and Glassdoor found that employees who stay in a job longer without a title change are much higher to leave for another company in the next step of their career. 

As we discussed earlier, giving your employees the chance for promotion can drastically improve your employee retention rates. 

(4) Alcohol And Drug Abuse

It’s never a good when employees struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Studies have shown that employees that struggle with abuse have trouble keeping employers. While there could be clear signs like calling in or missing work, others signs of abuse are not as obvious, so it can be tough to pinpoint which employees need help. Having programs in place for employees are a great idea to have in place to curb abuse and educate employees.

(5) Fairly Treating Everyone As Equals

All employees should be treated equal as it pertains to race, sex, age, religion, etc. If employees are not being treated fairly, you’re going to have a low employee retention rate.

With that said, if you treat your employees equal based on performance, your best employees will be more prone to leaving. 

For example, let’s say you have a sales team. One team member is averaging 47 sales a month, the other is averaging 3. Based on performance alone, it’s clear to see these two employees shouldn’t be treated as equals. If you treat them as equals, employees are going to feel unappreciated and feel that their performance doesn’t matter. In return, your team morale drops and people will move on to find someone that appreciates results.

We want to be clear on this example because everyone should be treated as equals. However, when it comes to the performance of your job, you can’t treat everyone the same. 

(6) Work Is Not Fun

There’s nothing worse than a boring job that isn’t fun. At some point, many of us have had a job or two like this. While there’s always a time to be serious at work, there also should be a time for fun and letting loose. Your work environment can have a big impact on your health and if you haven’t heard, stress kills. 

Employers need to make the time and effort to implement “fun” into the workplace. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

  • Freedom to leave worksite for lunch
  • Rewards and incentives
  • Performance based bonuses
  • Employee of the month
  • Playing games or recreational activities
  • Health and fitness activities

In Closing

As we always say, your employees are the most important assets you have in your business. If you want to keep employees longer, you have to take care of those who take care of you.

Employee retention is a major problem if your business struggles to keep talent. All the different strategies we’ve discussed are actionable and can help. Every employee has high potential to have a big impact on your company, it’s up to you to find it and bring it out. 

If you follow this guide on employee retention, you’re going to see improvements. There’s no question about it. This is your opportunity to have a big positive impact on your employees, we hope you take what you’ve learned and take action on it. 

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