5 Effective Strategies for Employee Retention 

5 Effective Strategies for Employee Retention 

A go-to guide for improving your company’s employee retention rate.

SURPRISE! It’s Not All About the $$$

Business owners often react to a shortage of workers by increasing base wages. While reviewing your pay structure is a great business practice, paying higher wages than you can sustain in the long term does not help your bottom line. If you only focus on increasing pay rates to attract and keep employees, you may constantly play defense. Employees motivated strictly by money will not think twice about accepting the next best offer (and they will!). A shift in your approach can improve your employee retention rate—read on to learn more!

Company Connections

What are your company’s core values, mission, and vision? In other words, why are you in business?

Most of us want to make meaningful connections and have a job with purpose. If we love the work we do and feel connected to a company’s mission, vision, and core values, we are more likely to stay even if offered more pay from another company. Several years ago, I worked for a startup company, and money was often tight. There were a few weeks I even went without pay. I stayed because I believed in the company’s vision and where we were going. It was a fantastic ride and impacted what I wanted in a job from that point on in my career.

Share your enthusiasm with new hires, candidates, and employees! Share your “why”, live your core values, and focus on your mission. 

Your reason for being in business can substantially impact 

employee satisfaction and longevity. 

Appreciation & Recognition

I often ask employees how they like to be recognized when they go above and beyond. Do you want to know the #1 response? A simple “thank you!”  Think about that for a second—”thank you” is quick, easy, and does not cost you anything!

I encourage you to go beyond “thank yous” and find out what motivates your staff. It may be recognition in front of peers, a coveted parking spot, or even some flex time. Do not hazard a guess based on age or generation—everyone is different, and some employees may cringe at a public show of appreciation.  

No matter the approach, discover what employees value regarding appreciation and recognition. This is one area you can recognize the greatest return on investment in the shortest amount of time. 

Forward Momentum

Sometimes employees feel like they have hit a wall—they know their job inside and out and are yearning for something more, but they don’t see a way to move up in the company. A lack of progression can make them consider leaving the company. Keep an eye out for the employee who asks for more, seems to complete their work quickly, or excels at their job. While you may not be able to promote them to a higher position, you can get creative! Think of offering lateral moves or special projects to employees looking for new responsibilities. Progression gives employees more reason to stay, increases their knowledge, and provides you with workers who can help ‘fill the gap’ when you are short-staffed. Keep the momentum going! 

Communication Is Essential

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Do employees and candidates know where the company is going? Do they have a roadmap (employee handbook) to guide them? Do they understand what their job entails, what the company needs, and how to get it done?

Here are some great ways to communicate with employees:

  • Performance conversations/goals for the next period
  • Stay Interview – Why do they stay? What do they love about the company? How do they want to grow?
  • Employee Handbook – a guide for your business, what it takes to succeed

Be clear in your communication. Discuss company plans and goals and the support you need from your staff to achieve those goals. Keep an open door and actively listen to your employees. Good communication ties into every facet of your business and can drastically increase retention rates.

Let’s Talk Total Compensation

We know compensation and benefits are essential for recruiting new employees and keeping the ones you already have. However, top pay does not always equal high-performing, engaged employees. And what you think employees will appreciate is not always what they want. For instance, when I lived in Wyoming, I asked my boss for more paid time off instead of a pay increase so I could spend more vacation time with my family. The extra paid time off had more value to me than an increase in wages AND I was more committed to the company because they were willing to make the switch.   

Focus the dollars you have on the benefits that will bring the most value to employees. Take time to discover what they need and appreciate. If you can flex—do it. You may be surprised what your staff may prefer, and with this approach, you can be laser-focused on what has the most value to your team.

We’re Here to Help

There’s more to talk about and explore when it comes to improving your employee retention rates. We’ve only scratched the surface of creative ways to empower the people who contribute to your success. Our team is ready to support you and be your partner in this journey. Let’s connect and find more ways that we can all THRIVE, together!

P.S. We do handbooks, too! Check out our blog.