As the unemployment rate continues to decline, employers must develop employee retention strategies
that keep their employees invested in the company over the long-term. A company’s ability to be
competitive in the job market isn’t only about high salaries and bonuses. Below are the top five ways to
minimize attrition without adding to your bottom line.
1. Clear Metrics and Pay System
A common theme in both good management and employee retention strategies is communication. At
the onset of a new job, employees should have a clear understanding of their job duties and how their
performance will be evaluated. Performance metrics establish a transparent, objective way of measuring
employee performance. These metrics can also be used for an employee rewards system and developing
individual and team goals. They also provide employees with a sense of purpose as they seek to meet
and exceed their employer’s expectations. Provide your employees with well-defined goals, and
regularly evaluate how their performance is measured against those goals throughout the year.
Similarly, employees must understand how their pay correlates with their performance. Do you measure
pay based on length of service? Achieving a certain level of performance? Regardless of how your
business establishes its pay system, ensure that your employees know what to expect to keep them
Transparency is key to employee engagement. Employees at every level should understand how their
contributions affect the big picture of the business. Similarly, employees should recognize how major
and minor policy changes are in line with their company’s vision. When your business changes
ownership or changes a policy, employers should communicate why these changes are occurring. This
communication builds employee trust in the vision and goals of the company. Communicating
management and policy changes also provides a framework for upper management to evaluate whether
it is achieving its strategic vision. Encourage employee feedback and buy-in with policy changes. It is a
chance for upper management to have a fresh set of eyes and for employees to feel engaged.
3. Job Training
Employee investment is a two-way street. As employees work to help their business achieve its goals,
employers must be committed to helping employees accomplish theirs. Job training should be provided
to employees to ensure that they fully understand their job requirements. Job training opportunities
should also be made available to employees to help them achieve their long-term professional
objectives. Your company should solicit employee feedback on ideas for workshops and professional
development. Not every employee is management material, but every employee can bring value to the
company if they are in turn valued.
4. Work/Life Balance
Your business might not have the means to offer paid leave, but every workplace can respect work/life
boundaries. Due to family or personal obligations, some employees may not wish to work overtime. In
contrast, there are other employees who continuously seek extra pay. Many employers reward their
employees for working in excess of a forty-hour workweek and penalize them for being unavailable to
work overtime. The ability to work extra hours does not always correspond with an employee’s
commitment level. One way to promote work/life balance is to institute an overtime policy that allows
employees who have fewer obligations outside of work to pick up additional shifts. Such a policy should
underscore that the company values their employees’ time outside of work and promotes teamwork for
accomplishing tasks. Your business can also minimize its use of on-call shifts so that employees can plan
for days off from work. Limiting on-call time can also help with avoiding employee burn-out. If you find
that most employees are needed for overtime or on-call shifts, it may be time to evaluate whether you
should increase staffing or enforce stronger efficiency standards.
5. Employee Recognition
Show appreciation for your employees every day. Employers should be in the habit of rewarding
exceptional work, in addition to recognizing good day-to-day performance. Every employee should strive
for excellence, but many strong, long-lasting employees may never stand out. There are numerous ways
of showing your employees that you appreciate them. Encourage managers and supervisors to write
thank you notes and publicly acknowledge good efforts. Promote collaboration by setting team goals
and rewarding their efforts with a pizza party or an early holiday release. Praise employees for
professional and personal achievements. These are simple ways of demonstrating your gratitude for
your employees and keeping them invested in your company’s culture.
It is often said that employees quit managers, not companies. From CEOs to direct supervisors, your
company should instill a culture that values employee engagement. Regularly communicate with the
whole workforce; solicit employee feedback; define professional goals and reward those achievements;
and most importantly, appreciate your employees. They are your most valuable asset.
Would you like help with employee retention strategies? Contact MBA today.