15 Ways To Improve Employee Retention at Your Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employee retention involves the rate at which a company can keep valuable employees. It's common for companies to use retention strategies to improve their workplace's environment and allow for a higher employee morale. If you're in a human resource (HR) or leadership role, learning how to improve employee retention may help you decrease turnover rates, which can help optimise workplace efficiency. In this article, we discuss what employee retention is and provide a list of ways to improve employee retention rates.

What is employee retention?

Employee retention is the ability an organisation has to keep its employees from leaving the company. Most companies measure their employee retention by looking at an employee retention rate, sometimes known as an employee turnover rate. An employee retention rate measures the average amount of time that employees work for an organisation before switching positions. If companies have a low employee retention rate, then they may use various strategies to improve it.

Here are several reasons why it's important for an HR team to have employee retention strategies:

  • Cost: Hiring new employees is generally more expensive than maintaining existing employees. There is also a loss in productivity while the new employee learns about their job.

  • Culture: If employees begin leaving the company, it can entice others to do the same. Additionally, potential employees may be reticent to take a job if they see employees leaving regularly.

  • Morale: It can be a challenge to maintain high morale when there are constantly new employees or vacancies in a company. Vacant positions mean the remaining employees may have to do the work of several people, which can cause stress and tension.

15 strategies to improve employee retention

Here are several strategies that your workplace or HR department may consider implementing to improve employee retention rates:

1. Provide effective onboarding

When employees start at a company, they may stay longer if they have effective onboarding and training. Extensive training may allow them to feel more confident in their role, which may help them want to continue in their role for a longer period of time. Try engaging new team members during onboarding and encourage them to ask questions about their position.

2. Perform check-ins with staff

Checking in with new team members may help you provide support to new team members. These check-ins may involve sit-down meetings that go over an employee's stress levels and overall feelings towards the company, or they might involve quick surveys that employees can fill out that discuss their feelings and needs. As an HR professional or a team leader, consider taking time to talk with your new colleagues to see how they're doing and answer questions.

3. Provide routine trainings

It may be useful to provide routine training to employees that keeps them up-to-date on industry techniques, which may help them feel engaged and secure in their role. Depending on the industry you're in, your team may have techniques or protocols that change often. For example, if you work for a software company, software development protocols may change according to new research and technology advancements.

It's important to provide employees with training that keeps them aware of recent developments so that they're confident in their position. Consider following a schedule for trainings, like training team members every three to six months.

4. Encourage mentoring

You may improve an employee retention rate by encouraging mentoring for newer employees. Try selecting mentors that worked at the organisation for an extended period of time, so that they can answer questions and provide insight into their role, along with providing feedback to their mentee about ways they can improve their work performance.

Employees may identify valuable skills and techniques that their mentor uses, which they may adopt into their own work patterns. Employees might feel better supported while having a mentor, since they have an additional professional that they can seek advice from, along with their peers or members of management.

Related: 18 Good Leadership Qualities for Career Success

5. Increase salary

If you're in a leadership role, try increasing employee's salaries to encourage them to stay. Consider providing a higher salary to employees that worked at the company for a certain period of time. For example, once employees work in a role for 90 days, consider giving them a raise. This might give employees an added incentive to continue with your workplace.

6. Expand health benefits

If you're in an HR role, consider expanding the employee benefits package to help team members feel better supported. Try examining your team's current benefits to identify if there are any areas of improvement. Be sure to analyse the provided time-off benefits, health insurance and retirement benefits.

7. Offer incentives

To further enhance your workplace's employee retention rate, consider offering exciting incentives to employees. Try to think of creative incentives that may surprise employees. These incentives may help employees feel eager and excited to continue working at a company. For example, if employees receive gift cards routinely, they may feel appreciated by their workplace, which might help them want to stay at a company for longer.

8. Develop employees

It's important to give employees opportunities to develop their skills. By developing their skills, they may be able to achieve career advancement or produce a higher quality of work in their role. Try providing professional development trainings or leadership seminars to team members to help them strengthen their soft and hard skills. You may provide trainings on industry-related skills, like technology skills or business techniques, or you can provide trainings on interpersonal skills, like communication and leadership.

Related: 18 Good Leadership Qualities for Career Success

9. Offer rewards

If you're in a leadership or HR role, considering rewarding employees for excellent work. Rewards can be monetary bonuses, time off, a trip or any other prize that interests your team members. This retention strategy may also increase employee productivity, as the reward can be an incentive to complete great work.

10. Allow flexible work

In today's connected world, working in an office may be optional for some roles. If you're in a leadership position, consider allowing employees the option to work from home regularly. Flexibility can have a large impact on an employee's work-life balance, and it may encourage team members to stay with the company. You may also allow team members to choose to work from home for a certain number of days per week, or they may work from home full-time. For example, employees may work two days per week from home, then they work the rest of the week from the office.

Related: 15 Work From Home Benefits (With Potential Challenges)

11. Recognise milestones

Recognising milestones is a great way to help employees feel appreciated and supported. You may recognise employee milestones like years of service, completion of a major project or signing a new client. When your workplace recognises employee loyalty and excellent work, employees may be more likely to stay with the company.

12. Provide consistent feedback

Provide regular feedback for employees on their work output. Often, employers or managers assume employees know what they need to do to improve. Explicitly stating areas in which the employee can improve and recognising the good work they're doing can incentivise the employee to remain with the company.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

13. Challenge employees

If you're in a leadership position, consider adding new challenges for existing team members to keep the environment positive and encourage growth. Depending on your role, you may offer new opportunities for them and assist in setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based). By challenging employees, they may set goals and create actionable steps to reach their objectives, which might help keep their roles exciting.

14. Seek feedback on company improvement

Try seeking feedback from your team members to identify areas of improvement around the workplace. This may help employees feel that management listens to their needs, which may allow them to want to continue working for a company that appreciates their workplace comfort. Try providing surveys to employees where they may provide details about their needs or preferences. For example, your team members may request more water fountains or longer breaks. Here are some other ways you might seek feedback from employees:

  • Keep a suggestion box at your worksite

  • Create polls where employees may vote on their worksite preferences

  • Perform exit interviews where you can identify the reasons why an employee is leaving the company, so that you may address the issue and resolve it for current employees

Related: 10 Examples of Positive Feedback (With Tips for Giving It)

15. Prioritise mental wellness

Employees who have a positive and healthy mindset may stay at a company for longer, so it's important to foster a work environment that prioritises mental wellness. Try providing employees with resources to improve their mental health, like a human resources representative that they may seek advice from. You may also give employees the option to take a longer lunch or take the day off of work to focus on their mental health. This shows employees that management respects their mental health and cares for their wellbeing.

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