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10 Tips for Great Employee Retention
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Employee Experience

10 Tips for Great Employee Retention

One Minute Takeaway

  • HR and people managers should do all they can to retain their best people.
  • Why? Because hiring new employees is far more expensive than keeping the ones you have.
  • Professional development, flexible schedules, and a solid benefits package are three things that help retention.

The pandemic was a stress test like no other. It might’ve even been the biggest crisis in the history of HR. We all made unexpected pivots. Businesses invested to make remote work a success, and teams found ways to work together no matter the circumstances. These are building blocks for a strong company culture, the kind that can supercharge future growth, but with one stipulation: Employees have to stick around.

Regardless of the circumstances, HR teams and department managers should always do all they can to manage employees in a way that helps retain their best people. Tenured employees understand what makes your company tick, they know how to get things done and, most importantly of all, they know each other.

And there’s the other side of the coin: The cost of hiring new employees can be astronomical. In fact, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that, on average, a company will spend 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary on recruiting, hiring, and training a new team member. Of course, employee retention rates vary by industry, but every business is (or should be) intent on keeping their rock stars. If your company is having a tough time keeping employees, here are ten tips we propose for how to retain the ones you’ve got:

  1. Make Day 90 as Important as Day One (Onboarding)
    Just because they’ve filled out all the required paperwork, the employee onboarding process is not over. Ensuring that your employees have a positive, engaging onboarding experience is as important as making sure your recruiting and application processes go well. Onboarding is your first impression to engage with a new employee. You want to put your best foot forward to help them quickly become fully productive. Use our complete 90-day onboarding checklist to optimize your program and provide new hires with the ideal “your business name” experience.
  2. Optimize Your Benefits
    These days, perks are the icing on the cake when you’re wooing applicants. A competitive benefits package is typically second only to salary when it comes to employee satisfaction. But a key factor to keep in mind is that a one-size-fits-all benefits program will likely backfire with five generations making up the workplace. A targeted benefits program is the way to go. Having the right benefits programs in place has been proven time and time again to improve engagement.
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  3. Give Your Employees Flexibility with Their Schedules
    Do your employees really have to be in the office from 9-to-5 five days a week? By incorporating flexible work schedules and telecommuting, you just might find that your employees are more productive and satisfied and experience less conflict between work time and their personal obligations. Remember, it’s super-important to spell out the policy and get it right so there’s no ambiguity.
  4. Recognize Your Employees’ Hard Work
    Everybody likes to be appreciated and thanked for their hard work. Recognizing your employees for a job well done is an important part of helping to ensure continued employee engagement. Your top talent is no different. In a March 2022 survey, 46% of employees said that they’ve left a job because they didn’t feel appreciated. And 65% said that they would work harder if they believed their efforts would be recognized by their managers. (Bonusly) Gallup’s annual study of the American workforce revealed that only one in three U.S. employees strongly agrees that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. People who routinely feel that their best work is ignored are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year, so it’s easy to see why it’s so important to provide incentives for employees to stick with you.
  5. Make Professional Development a Priority
    Your best employees are already great at what they do, but they want to continue enhancing their skills to become even better. Ensuring that professional development and growth is a top priority at your organization can help them want to stick around. You can also build a mentorship program to pair senior-level executives with your high performers.

    In addition to contributing to a positive culture, when you develop employees through a learning management system, you’ll simultaneously build a pool of potential new leaders within the company who are statistically more likely to succeed than leaders brought in from outside the business. By strategically and cost-effectively creating, managing, and delivering personalized training to employees, you can improve employee engagement and retention.

  6. Show Them How Much They Actually Make
    A total compensation statement details an employee’s total earnings package, including all cash income, as well as the value of the benefits they receive. The total compensation statement is often referred to as a hidden paycheck because most employees solely focus on their net pay and forget or underestimate the value of their benefits package. An integrated HCM solution can help generate this information.
  7. Upgrade Your Equipment
    Take a look at your laptop. Does it weigh more than a bowling ball? A big complaint at many companies is outdated hardware and software. Not only does ancient equipment make your employees inefficient, but it also sends a message that your company has zero interest in staying up to date with the latest tools and technology.
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  8. Communicate!
    Lack of communication is the root of many employee frustrations. Make sure your business is creating channels for honest, specific feedback from and to your employees and taking advantage of ways to provide praise and constructive criticism in real time. Top-down communication can quickly become messy and convoluted. Instead, focus on direct, one-on-one conversations when possible. And offer digital spaces such as employee communities to allow workers to come together and solve issues without management always being in the middle. Make sure you train managers on proper coaching and communication techniques; don’t leave them to figure it out themselves. Check out our Leader’s Guide to Employee Feedback to help facilitate more meaningful conversations among your people.
  9. Promote from Within
    It can be disheartening to your best employees if you continually recruit new management from outside the company. Your strong performers want to know that they have a career path to promotion. Make it easier for them by ensuring you have developed a solid internal advancement program with succession planning.
  10. Encourage Collaboration
    Nobody wants to work in a vacuum. Harvard Business Review found that teams do well when executives invest in supporting social relationships, demonstrate collaborative behavior themselves, and create what they call a “gift culture”—one where employees feel that interactions with leaders and colleagues is something valuable and generously offered.

Retention is one of the critical components for creating an effective people management strategy. For more recommendations and inspiration on how to make an even greater impact at your organization, visit our HR Center of Excellence People Management Hub.

How Paycor Can Help

Paycor specializes in helping businesses of all sizes retain top talent with HR and learning management solutions. If you’re looking to optimize your performance management programs, improve employee development, or offer structured learning opportunities, talk to a Paycor consultant today.

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