7 Things That Actually Retain Employees

BY: ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2018

One of the most important aspects of your working life should be trust and happiness. No one wants to head into work thinking about all the stress they will encounter throughout their day. It is a company’s job to provide its employees with a work environment that enables them to thrive and prosper. Doing so allows the staff to feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment.

This is the type of situation an employee pursues and once they have found it, they very rarely leave. However, there are factors that make retaining employees extremely difficult. The information provided within this article will help you successfully combat those difficulties.

Hiring new employees is one of the costliest areas of any business. The average cost a company must pay is equal to about double a given employee’s salary once they quit their job. Eighty-seven percent of HR managers consider improving employee retention high priority over the upcoming five years. With nearly three-million workers quitting their job month after month, it's easy to see why.

As we will discuss, trust and happiness are essential to employee retention. Now, you may be asking yourself, why does trust play such an important role? Trust is an integral part of any relationship, whether between individuals or an employee and employer.

According to a Willis Towers Watson study, 41% of workers believe job security to be the most important reason for staying with a company. High levels of transparency and trust between managers and employees lead to a 30% increase in employee retention as well.

Employee Retention is an Ongoing Project

Improving employee retention is not something that you fix overnight, or even in a single calendar year. Employee retention is an ongoing project that will need attention day after day for as long as a company exists.

Below you will find the seven best ways to retain employees as well as a discussion on how to use them to bolster your business’ success.

1. Give the Kind of Feedback You Would Want to Receive

One of the most important factors that go into an employee’s happiness on the job is the feedback they receive from their co-workers and their superiors.

No matter how hard we as a society strive to not allow outside voices to play a role in the personal decisions we make, we simply cannot avoid it. Even the slightest hint of another individual’s opinion influences our decisions to no end.

Rather than trying to avoid influence altogether, we should strive for positive influence within one another, whether at work or not. One way to do so would be to put the famous quote. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all” to use.

Give others the kind of feedback you would want to receive.

Positive feedback and reinforcement have boundless benefits in the workplace, as research from The Harvard Business Review demonstrates. It allows people to feel a sense of belonging in the group and to the company itself.

A leader within a company should give frequent positive feedback to all its employees, both individually and in a group setting. And, complimenting an entire division or team at once shows that you are happy with the work and success the group is providing the business.

Now you may be saying, what if the required feedback is not so positive?

Even though an employee may deserve negative feedback or a reprimand of sorts, it is entirely possible to do so in a positive and enlightening manner. Scolding someone has absolutely no benefit whatsoever. And, never discuss this sort of feedback in front of other employees. Shaming or embarrassing someone is never the answer.

To benefit everyone, you must show the employee where the error occurred and how. Then you must demonstrate how to properly avoid it in the future as well as discuss other possible solutions. Even if that means moving the staff member to another position within the company that best suits their skills and career path.

This helps save the business money in the long run by reducing employee turnover and improving retention.

2. Show Your Staff the Steps to Success

According to Celayix Software, the most common reason for an employee to quit their job had to do with professional development within a company. A shocking 30% of responders listed this as their number one reason.

To put it simply, people want to be appreciated. They want to move up the ladder and continue to grow. Stagnation within one's career, or a business for that matter, is a sure-fire way to experience high levels of job and employee turnover.

The best way to show your staff the steps to success and to motivate them to continue up the ladder is to be a leader, rather than just a manager. A truly great leader is able to manage their employees successfully, while a good manager is not always able to lead their employees to success.

If you are looking to improve your leadership skills, it is worth reviewing the five characteristics of effective leaders, according to Jack Wiley.

Constantly learning and improving personal skills, no matter the career path, is the best way to stimulate a person’s mind - and it will lead to a person feeling they are truly a success. However, as we will discuss later on, being rewarded for your success plays a massive role in retaining employees.

3. Give Your Employee the Opportunity to Shine

Following up on our previous recommendation of showing your staff the steps to success, you must eventually give them the ability to step into the spotlight and truly shine. According to an article by Entrepreneur, an employee has a “deep desire to feel they’re succeeding and that their talents and capabilities are being used in a way that makes a difference to the business.”

Following in the footsteps of a great leader and becoming successful in their own right may not be enough for some. They may end up feeling as if they are following a template that was laid out for them to follow, creating a feeling of being in the shadows.

In order to improve employee retention, every business must give their staff frequent autonomous opportunities at high-level work for top clients. The kind of work that would be considered career-defining.

Opportunities like this not only act as a reward to the employee, but as an extraordinary boost to one's happiness in the workplace and their lives in general.

4. Reward Everyone to Show Your Gratitude

We all love being rewarded. Not in bits and pieces now and then, but significantly and often, the more the better. The rewards make us happier and more willing to forget about issues.

That is not to say that great rewards would make workers entirely forget about a truly terrible work situation, whether it be a bad co-worker relationship or long and strenuous hours. What they do help with is coping, they give the staff a reason to stay and try to work past any issues they may have, rather than simply calling it quits.

According to a blog post by Hodges-Mace, 75% of employees reported they’re more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits program. This just goes to show why so many companies make the news for their unbelievable benefit plans.

With benefit platforms such as Chamber Perks out there to make the addition of these advantages so easy for a business to offer, it's almost a wonder why all companies don’t offer the convenience that the Chamber Perks platform affords a business' staff.

Some benefits a business can reward their staff with are: discounts and perks, health plans, voluntary benefits, financial wellness, purchase programs, and wellness rewards. All six of these benefit areas are extensively covered by the Chamber Perks platform. Our average member saves an astonishing $4,934 per year.

Beyond the aforementioned substantial benefits, a business has the ability to reward its employees daily with simple treats - events such as a team lunch, a team outing to the bowling alley, and company holiday meals or parties. Even a box of doughnuts once a week will definitely make your team smile!

Every bit counts to your staff, so never think something may not be worth the time or investment. In the long run, it is worth more than you could imagine.

5. Show Passion That Others Can Rally Behind

Another immensely important factor in retaining employees is to simply show that you care, both about them and the company as a whole. That may sound like an obvious thing to say, but some people tend to take life’s moderate successes for granted. Employees want to see their leader’s passion for their work, so don’t be afraid to celebrate every little success abundantly.

This all plays into the workplace culture, which there has been a number of studies on. Such as the one from the Department of Management and Organization at the University of Iowa. We as a society are victims of our environment, and it is that environment that plays a much bigger role in our workplace satisfaction.

We want to see our leaders and peers happy and passionate about the work at hand. Even if we are having a bad day, we often look to others for help, hoping their high spirits will rub off on us. So as Vartika Kashyap concluded in her piece for LinkedIn, office culture and employee retention go hand in hand.

6. Ask Your Staff for Feedback

As we discussed previously, feedback is an integral part of retaining employees. However, this feedback does go both ways.

The difference here is that when you ask your staff for feedback, you must make it clear that you are doing so to improve the company and it will ultimately benefit the staff in the long run. This shows that you not only care about improving the business, but the lives of those who work there.

Inc. Magazine wrote a great piece on this very subject as it relates to retaining employees. The article breaks down seven questions that you should ask your staff to receive the best possible company-wide data for employee retention.

The questions are as follows:

  • Name one process that, where it eliminated, would make you more productive.
  • How transparent is management?
  • Please rate the quality of the snacks in the kitchen.
  • Can you list for me the factors that could contribute to your doing the best work of your life?
  • Can you highlight any recent recognition and acknowledgment that you have received that increased your commitment and loyalty?
  • How would you assess your opportunities to grow and advance?
  • How confident are you in the leadership of this organization?

Mary Lou Parrott from Insperity calls these types of feedback questions “stay interview questions.”

They’re the type of questions you would ask an employee that you want to stay with your company for a long time. The type of employee that you value their opinion and what they have to say with regard to you as a person as well as the business.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Career Aspirations

Sometimes retaining employees is much easier than you would have initially thought. It may have been under your nose the whole time.

There is no better example than what happened to Elena Bajic, Founder and CEO of Ivy Exec. As she discussed in a piece written for Forbes, a former employee, had left the company for another role, a role that would have been available to her within Ivy Exec. The problem was that neither Elena Bajic nor the employee thought to discuss the individual's career aspirations or goals.

It truly can be that easy. A simple question would have not only saved that employee the time and headache of switching firms, but also Elena Bajic money, in the long run, thanks to the cost savings of employee retention.

Be aware of the goals and aspirations of your staff and don’t be afraid to move them around within the company. It not only benefits the company itself in time and cost savings, but the employee as well. Role changes give them the opportunity to experience new aspects of the work and to continue learning and improving their skill set.

Sharing Success with Others Is the Ultimate Goal for Employee Retention

Employee retention has far-reaching side effects within nearly every business the world over. Both positive and negative - from the astronomical cost associated with employee turnover to the many benefits afforded by their retention.

The ultimate goal, in order to retain employees, is to increase your staff's trust and happiness with the company as a whole. Including happiness with its leaders, co-workers, the benefits plan, and the very work itself.

Follow these seven steps, and you are sure to improve your employee retention with great success.

About the Author

Austin Andrukaitis

Austin Andrukaitis is the CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. He's an experienced digital marketing strategist with more than 15 years of experience in creating successful online campaigns. Austin’s approach to developing, optimizing, and delivering web based technologies has help businesses achieve higher profit, enhance productivity, and position organizations for accelerated sustained growth.

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