In 2018, leading employee retention researchers estimated 42 million Americans would turn over. Meaning they would leave their current jobs. That’s almost 1 in every 4 members of the American workforce. The same reports also estimated that 77% of this turnover is preventable.
As an employer, what does employee turnover mean for you? Many businesses invest time and money on exit interviews. This seems to be a pointless exercise these days. The point is, you need to take preventive not corrective measures.
Most employers assume a hefty compensation package is the biggest motivator. They think a big salary is enough for employers to work. They assume a large paycheck can smooth out much of the conflict that may arise.
Salary is definitely one of the first considerations when it comes to recruiting new talent. But salary isn’t as important to retaining employees as it is to attract them in the first place.
These 7 factors influence employee retention much more than salary or compensation does:
- Recognition and Appreciation
- Meaningful Work
- Non-Hostile Environments
- Growth Prospects
- Work-Personal Life Balance
Without further ado, let’s examine each point in turn below.
1) Recognition and Appreciation
As an employer, it usually pays off in the long run when you show appreciation for your employee’s hard work. Unfortunately, too many companies gloss over this important aspect.
You need to recognize the value your employees offer to your business. At the same time, you need to communicate this value to your employees. You can do this through regular shows of appreciation.
Recognition and appreciation establish a sense of trust between employer and employee.
This strategy does not involve the use of too much time or resources. Yet, it has proven itself time and time again to be an effective employee retention strategy. Something as simple as a congratulatory or appreciative phone call can go a long way. Use it regularly to keep retaining your talent. A small token of appreciation like Super Bowl tickets or a complimentary dinner can also help.
2) Meaningful Work
This is one big reason why employee turnover rates are so high with some employers. Employees begin to find their work meaningless. One way employers can counter this is to make the work more challenging. Your most talented recruits need to feel a sense of accomplishment. They get this with work that challenges their abilities.
Even a good salary may not be enough to retain an employee. Not when they find work to be meaningless and unchallenging. Challenging tasks help them develop professionally, motivating them to excel.
3) Non-Hostile Environments
Hostile work environments are the single biggest factor behind high employee turnover rates. Leaving a job is much easier than leaving people you have a good working relationship with. Conversely, employees will leave a comfortable job with a hostile or unfriendly environment.
A friendly and welcoming atmosphere at work contributes significantly to employee retention. But how do you create this atmosphere? You start small with team-building exercises, company dinners, and even weekend retreats. Do this regularly and encourage camaraderie between your employees.
4) Growth Prospects
Employees generally do not hesitate to leave a job or employer that doesn’t offer growth. Employers need to reinforce growth opportunities with employees regularly. Your employees need to know there is a place for them at your company in the future.
Without any future growth prospects, employees may never put down roots. They may never fully become part of your company and community.
5) Work-Personal Life Balance
One of the biggest contributors to job satisfaction is a good work-life balance. Most employers forget their employees do have a life outside of the office. Sometimes work begins to upset this balance between personal and professional life. This causes job satisfaction to go down.
Employers need to show employees they care about their families as well. Employee benefits and perks should reflect this. You need to include some that are good for employees with families.
Too many times, the reason behind employee turnover is a failure to communicate. There is no easy way to say this. If you do not communicate well with your employees, you can’t retain them over the long haul.
Miscommunication or the lack of communication frustrates employees. Even bad news needs good communication. You don’t want your employees to draw their own conclusions in the absence of your communication.
Finally, the most important factor to consider in employee retention is flexibility. More and more employees prefer the flexibility to work remotely every now and then. With tools like Blizz Collaboration, it is actually quite easy for teams to work remotely.
The newer generation of managers also places a lot of emphasis on remote working. They have no problems allowing their teams some degree of flexibility. Flexibility goes a long way toward forging a positive employer-employee relationship. This, in turn, leads to lower employee turnover.