How to create a winning employee retention strategy

How to create a winning employee retention strategy

Silicon Valley companies lead the way for coming up with innovative practices for attracting top notch talent. Soon companies the world over started adopting these unique practices to get their own share of talented individuals. All in all, there have been tremendous changes the way recruitment is being done.

But what about employee retention? Shouldn’t it also be a part of the company’s strategy?

It is observed that the efforts spent on recruitment of new talent outweigh those spent on talent retention. 47% of HR leaders cited employee turnover and retention as their top challenge. (Source)

Few reasons for low employee retention:

  1. Toxic workplace
  2. Lower compensation package
  3. Poor management and communication
  4. Micromanagement
  5. Lack of benefits
  6. No feedback
  7. Lack of transparency
  8. Overworked employees
  9. No opportunity for growth
  10. Biased reviews

The list is not exhaustive & definitely not in any specific order.

All in all, it is important for companies to understand engagement levels of their employees. It is equally important to give them a voice in order to convey any suggestions or grievances.

Thus it is imperative for companies to develop a comprehensive employee retention strategy. So that it can create a positive and engaged work culture. Here are 5 ways this can be done:

Performance management:

Managing employee performance is essential for the business and employees. It helps the management carefully align employees, resources and processes to achieve the company objectives.

Many studies show that employees have an inherent desire to succeed and witness their efforts successfully come to fruition. Plus, contributing meaningfully towards the company’s growth develops a sense of belonging and hence are more committed in their work. It is like being part of a community where everyone comes together to achieve common goals and in the process fulfill their responsibilities. Such employees are more satisfied with their environment and there are higher chances of retaining them.

Communication:

Employees need to be thoroughly involved in the overall journey of the company. While they may be contributing towards the achievement of organizational goals, it is necessary to communicate and inform them about it. Do not let these employees guess whether or not their efforts are important. Maintain a transparent work culture where information about company objectives, progress and shortcomings is openly shared.

Also, this should be a two-way communication. While it is recommended that managers inform and empathize with employees, it is also necessary to identify what do employees feel about this information. Are they encouraged to speak openly and share feedback about matters they deem important? Does the company regularly conduct surveys to gain an insight about how their employees perceive their actions? Are all managers adept at conducting one-on-one meetings?

Any company that encourages open communication can rest assured that employees will share their concerns or grievances as opposed to looking for better options. Finding out reasons for low or non-existent employee morale becomes much more easy and steps can be taken in a timely manner to rectify these situations.

Benefits:

Perks and benefits have become a huge component of attracting talented individuals. While many companies offer extravagant salaries, sometimes it is their perks and benefits that are more attractive. Again, Silicon Valley have some of the most unusual benefits that have made them leaders of the pack.

Although not every company can provide on-premise 24-hour gyms or health clinics, host beer parties every Friday, etc. Some have to manage within their limits. Not everyone wants the above mentioned benefits anyways. In fact, they may even consider such facilities a reason to keep them on premises for prolonged periods. In such cases, rather than opting to follow what the leading companies are implementing, the management can simply cater to their employees needs.

Identify what benefits are valued by employees and try making them a part of the work culture. For example, some companies offer the option of flexi-time. This way employees can get the work done as well as fulfill their personal obligations without making any compromises. Take this as an opportunity to engage and delight your employees and see the dip in employee attrition rate.

Recognize and leverage expertise:

Employees are hired for their skills and expertise. It is quite common for the management to just assign tasks that match these skills and get the work done in a specific amount of time. Employees are not robots who simply get the job done and move on to the next task. They crave recognition for their efforts. Many studies have confirmed that recognition plays a vital role in motivating employees.

Let employees know that you value their efforts and contributions and that you support them in all their endeavors. It will not only motivate them to perform at their best but also benefit your business in a big way. Employees tend to stay in places where they are valued and appreciated that subsequently leads to higher employee retention.

Quick grievance handling:

When you encourage open communication in the workplace, be open to receiving all kinds of suggestions as well as grievances. But do not wait too long to evaluate and respond to these. For some it could be pressing concerns and need to be addressed at the earliest. If the management takes an inordinately long amount of time then it shows that they are not taking the process seriously.

Employees will assume that their voice is not being heard and be dissatisfied with the entire process. It can be easy to see why they may consider switching companies in such cases. If the management takes quick actions, then not only will these employees be happy but you will also be able to identify any inefficiencies in the workplace.


A company’s retention strategy should consider all the above mentioned factors to drive higher retention and engagement levels in the workplace.