A leader’s guide to improving employee retention

employee engagement two people chained together

Turning Employee Resignation into Employee Retention

During the pandemic and while working from home, employees had lots of time to think. But what you might not realize, is the considerable number of people thinking about moving on to another position somewhere else. As a leader it is going to be key for you to consider employee retention strategies.

Predictions show there could be a massive churn rate for companies. Recent surveys have shown more than half of those who answered said they will be on the hunt for new job opportunities. Highly skilled workers are the most difficult to replace! Turnover causes disruptions and headaches for organizations and turnover is extremely costly. 

In this blog post, we are guiding leaders on ways to retain their employees and ways to ensure their teams are strong. 

Why do employees look for a new job?

Let’s start with the basics. Thanks to the pandemic, the amount of employees searching for a new job plummeted. The fear of the unknown and wanting to have stable income during those times is what has kept a lot of people at their job. Even if they were unhappy. 

Some of the most common reasons for wanting a new position are better compensation, better benefits packages, and more work life balance. It is predicted there will be a massive turnover rate to come, in the next few years as a result of COVID-19. 

Many employees feel less connected to their company, especially since working remotely ultimately diminished company cultures. The benefits of meeting face-to-face with co-workers and leaders has been missed. When employees no longer feel connected to the culture of the workplace, the chances of job hopping are higher. Working remotely has caused a lot of stress. 

Women, especially those working from home, are more likely to experience burnout. Employees often feel like leaving a job is their only way out. 

Hire within to increase employee retention

This might seem obvious but one of the keys to employee retention is hiring within. Internal mobility’s traditional form comes from vertical moves up the corporate ladder. Employees advance their careers or take on new responsibilities within the company. 

This is beneficial to both the employee and the organization. The company limits the costs associated with turnover. Your team will benefit by growing their career and improving skills. 

Another way to keep your team happy is to move them horizontally within the team or department. This will engage the staff member – especially if they are rethinking their skill set and wanting to try something new. 

It will ultimately cost less to invest in your existing team members than it will to replace them. Consider offering bonuses or raises if that is an option. 

Work-life balance

Work-life balance is so important to teams in this day and age. Remember your team has a life outside of the office as well. Life happens and it’s important to show them you care about them. Team members who feel they are being helped after hours will have higher satisfaction rates. 

Offer flexibility! This doesn’t mean letting employees arrive for three hours then go home. Talk to your team and figure out what is important to them. Create your strategy based on the feedback you receive. 

Do they need help with childcare? Transit passes? An extra vacation day? When you find out this info, offering solutions to problems will encourage employees to stay put. 

Keep Team Members Engaged

Identify and engage with high-performing team members as they are the most susceptible to burnout. They are also likely to be concerned about their career-advancement. Focus on career growth and training through one-on-one coaching and meetings. You want your team to feel valued and excited about their position. 

Conduct employee surveys to listen and understand their needs. Offer mentor-ship and career counselling opportunities as well. This will create a supportive and open work environment. 

Another way to keep your team engaged is to recognize their accomplishments and triumphs. It feels good to be recognized for hard work. It will also motivate the team. Providing your team with constructive feedback is critical to keeping them engaged. 

Offer job shadowing or mentor opportunities

Employees can learn more about the different departments and functions within the organization! This will allow them the opportunity to explore their options if they want to move in an alternate direction. The employee will have a chance to reflect on their time during the mentor-ship or rotation on the things they learned and experienced. 

Introduce a rotation program and allow staff members to join other departments in the organization for a certain period of time. This gives employees and leaders a chance to assess if there is an opportunity for that employee in another department. Shadowing opens up communication between departments and team members. 

Implement in-house training programs

A way to keep your team engaged and excited about their role is identifying initiatives to help them develop new skills or sharpen existing skills that can help them integrate into a new role or advance in their career. Again, conduct employee surveys and evaluations to determine skills gaps that need to be closed. During this research, you’ll also be able to identify members on the team who are able to take on more responsibilities. 

When you understand what areas your team excels at or what they’re interested in learning, it will be easier to determine what types of programs to introduce. 

Figure out what programs you’d like to keep in-house and programs you’d like to outsource. Offer free learning material as well, for team members to utilize during down time.

These opportunities encourage growth for everyone on the team. You want them to know you value initiative and their happiness at the company is important to you. 

As a leader, creating a dynamic space for your team is important. All jobs change over time, routines have been disrupted, and some people might just need something different in their life. 

By creating a workplace where team members feel appreciated, challenged, and secure they’ll be more likely to stay! 

Do you have an employee retention plan in place to retain top employees and make sure they’re happy? What initiatives have you introduced? Would love to hear.

At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection. Let’s Connect 

Patrick Lencioni wrote a great book on ‘The Truth about Employee Engagement‘.

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