Employee turnover is expensive and draining, more so now than ever. While turnover is a natural part of a company’s lifecycle, the pandemic sped up the rate at which employees leave. The Great Resignation took most industries by surprise. During a time of financial uncertainty, leaders assumed employees would want to maintain job security. But instead, employers found themselves confronted with criticism.
Effective Employee Retention Strategies for 2023
Going into 2023, one thing is certain: companies need to focus on employee retention.
Why are employees leaving their jobs?
The Great Resignation, also referred to as the Big Quit or the Great Reshuffle, refers to employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs.
The top reasons employees leave their current positions are:
- Lack of job role clarity
- No recognition or appreciation
- Lack of career advancement
- Low pay and compensation
- Feeling burnt out and overworked
- Poor company culture
Good employees are a company’s greatest asset. To keep your top talent, look in the mirror and recognize the areas you’re falling short. First comes acceptance, then comes action.
The below 7 strategies will help improve talent retention.
1. Create an exceptional onboarding experience
Employees should be set up for success right from the start. 69% of employees who receive a good onboarding process will likely stay at a company for over three years. Not only should onboarding teach employees about company culture but also how they can contribute to it.
Onboarding is meant to acclimate employees to their roles, your company’s values, and what the organization offers. Managers must support their new hires throughout the onboarding process, on top of Human Resources. Employees engaged during onboarding are likely to have a better experience than those who aren’t.
According to Gartner, onboarding sets the tone for new hires and determines whether they will stay at the company. So don’t underestimate the power of your company’s onboarding.
2. Recognize and reward your employees for their work efforts
Everyone wants to feel appreciated for their hard work. Showing gratitude towards your employees can go a long way. 82% of workers say that lack of recognition towards their initiatives leads them to consider switching employers.
Understandably, employee engagement lies heavily in employee recognition. Without this, workers feel underappreciated, unvalued, and demotivated. Recognition can be shown in multiple ways. For example, companies can have internal rewards programs or offer extra benefits such as additional paid time off.
3. Give your employees an opportunity to grow
Nobody wants to remain stagnant at a company. Organizations that promote from within, before looking outside of the organization, will have better employee retention. One of job seekers’ top questions is whether they will be offered growth opportunities. The answer to this question plays a significant role in whether an offer is accepted.
According to Indeed, if employees aren’t promoted within one to two years, they will begin exploring other companies.
Companies should want to grow, train, and develop their current employees. It costs an organization less money to promote within than hire externally. Some estimates have reported that it costs a business an average of six to nine months’ salary every time a salaried employee is replaced.
Leaders should prioritize upskilling employees, especially as technology continues to change how we work. Employees who upskill – through offered training programs – gain new abilities and competencies as business requirements evolve. Long story short, everyone wins.
4. Promote employee well-being with wellness offerings
Supporting employees’ wellness – mentally, physically, and financially – is good for your business. A wide range of wellness offerings covers these, including stress management programs, retirement planning services, or reimbursement for fitness classes.
Assistance programs are also very beneficial. For employees struggling with stress, anxiety, and burnout, these programs can provide additional paid time off, as well as therapy sessions. Such programs support employees’ peace of mind so they can perform at their best.
Anything that boosts employee confidence, satisfaction, and morale is a show of support for their overall well-being.
5. Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Work-life balance relates to an employee’s ability to manage both personal and professional responsibilities with adequate time for rest and leisure. Thanks to review platforms like Glassdoor, candidates can learn about a company’s work-life balance before they accept an offer. Many will turn down job offers from companies that have negative reviews in this area.
Ensuring employees have work-life balance is now a need for companies. In the post-pandemic era, organizations without it will find themselves with a high employee turnover.
Being a workaholic used to be praised. Prior to 2020, most employees worked an additional four hours per week, which was rewarded. However, in 2022, this is highly frowned upon. Employees are encouraged to only work within their scheduled shifts.
Companies understand that employees who don’t have a work-life balance and overwork are more likely to have employee burnout. And high employee burnout leads right to high turnover.
6. Provide more positive feedback
Today’s talent wants ongoing performance feedback, especially positive. There needs to be more than an annual performance review. Providing feedback and counsel at the moment is crucial to keep employees motivated and encouraged.
Here are some examples of positive feedback leaders can give employees:
- “Your input to today’s meeting was a game-changer for this project”
- “I am truly impressed with how you managed to meet every goal set before you”
- “Consistency is one of your biggest strengths”
- “You did a great job with your presentation today”
- “We sincerely appreciate your prompt response in resolving this unexpected issue”
- “Congratulations on finishing this challenging project in record time”
- “The goals you set for yourself this quarter were ambitious, but what’s more impressive is you’ve met them all”
The more specific your positive feedback, the better. Employees want to be recognized as individuals, not only as a team. Those that feel seen and heard in the workplace are more likely to remain at the company.
7. Encourage your employees to give you feedback
Feedback goes both ways. Companies must welcome and accept feedback from employees. This can spark employee engagement which is key to employee retention. Create a culture where your workers feel comfortable sharing and offering their thoughts.
Here are creative ways to collect employee feedback:
- New employee surveys
- Employee engagement surveys
- Pulse surveys
- Review sites
- Stay interviews
- Employee suggestion box
Employee feedback is critical to crafting an exceptional employee experience. Also, remember to take that feedback and make any needed changes. Unfortunately, while 60% of employees report providing employer feedback, only 30% said their feedback was acted upon.
Realize the benefits of employee retention
Employers need to be thoughtful and creative about retaining the talent they’ve already invested in. The overall goal is to keep your employees happy at work, so they don’t feel the Sunday Scaries – feelings of anxiety or dread the day before heading back to work.
Not to mention employee retention has the following benefits:
- Increased employee loyalty
- Decreased hiring costs
- Highly skilled workforce
- Fewer transitions and employment gaps
- Positive company culture
- Better brand reputation
- Deeper connections among teams
To retain and engage your employees, you truly must care about them. Remember that while these strategies are beneficial, no strategy can overcome a lack of empathy or appreciation for your employees. We’ve moved away from a company-first mindset and toward an employee-first approach.