Employee Retention Strategies: Top 6 Ways To Do Them Right

Hiring the right employee’s for the right job is a challenge in itself, but retaining them can be even harder. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt through the years in this industry. Even when I was still in the corporate world, I’ve always wondered why a lot of companies do not invest in employee retention strategies. I’ve worked in companies whom have had 70% staff turn over! 70%! Now thats a lot of wasted money..

In researching this article I read a survey conducted by Watson Wyatt, more than 50% of the respondents said they have not created any formal strategy in making employees stay after hiring them. WHAT? People are your most valuable asset and more times than not are the biggest expense for any business.

You might ask, “Why do we need a retention strategy? People apply because they need jobs and because they like your company. Otherwise, they would have applied somewhere else.” My advice… don’t be so ignorant and keep reading.

You’re right. People decide to accept your job offer because you are their best option. BUT, this doesn’t mean you will always be their top choice. There a lot of factors that could change their minds – work environment, conflict with other employees, (new) better offer, no room to grow… amongst others. And when they do, there goes all the time and money you’ve spent in recruiting and training them.

So how do you retain the employees that you worked so hard  to hire and train?

Today, Milk it Academy brings you the best of the best tips on employee retention strategies. Read them below, and make sure you bookmark this page, so you can get back to it quickly as you perform the tips.

Employee Retention Strategies

Start from the hiring process.

Yes, you read it right. Your strategy should start from when you’re looking for the cream of the crop. This stage matters because this is the only time you’ll have control over retention… for when you hand them their job contract, you also hand them the maximum control of their stay at your company. So choose wisely; choose those who see your company as ‘THE company’, instead of just a stepping stone. There are many strategies you can use to make sure you’re hiring the right person for the right job. Personality profiling can certainly assist and save you a lot of heart ache and money in the long run.

Make it personal.

Always remember this: an employee’s preference may not be that of others. It’s true… You can’t create a general retention strategy and expect that to work for everyone. You need to work closely with your employees to find out what really drives them to stay, and work on your strategy around that. Is it salary increase? Added benefits? It could even be both. Don’t just guess. Talk to your team/s and make a strategy that works for them.

Make your employees’ career growth a part of your career growth.

Potential employees apply for positions they think they can handle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to stay in that place forever. You have to keep in mind that your employees sooner or later will want to climb a step higher in their career ladder. Most people like a sense of responsibility and feeling like they contribute to the greater good. Now, when they’ve achieved their goals to deserve a better role yet it is not offered, what happens next? They’ll be demotivated, or worse; they’ll hand over their resignation letter. So, make a point to include career growth options for your employees to your retention strategy. Internal role filling is not only cost effective but will keep your staff motivated!

Help them recognize a healthy life / work balance.

Let me ask you this: when was the last time you told your employees NOT to work too hard? I know, you might say I’m crazy for suggesting it. But trust me, your employees need a timeout, even when they don’t realize it. Like gadgets, for example, your employees need to “recharge to life” so they can perform their duties well. Otherwise, they’ll be drained and will eventually shut off and there goes your productivity.

Identify the root cause of underperformance.

What have you done to make sure your employees are not afraid to tell you their personal woes? You might think that is no longer your business, but it actually is (sometimes) especially if their woes are work related. What happens to them after working hours can affect their performance when they return. So if top employees start underperforming, have an open door and listen to them.

Is it a personal problem? Has your employee suffered a loss? Perhaps it’s better to give them a time-off rather than to force them to work. Let them grieve in an appropriate head space.

Is there a need for a skillset upgrade? Is your employee having a hard time coping with the tasks in his new position? An update in training might be all he needs, not a red flag notice.

Has it been going on for weeks, months? Are they burned out? Perhaps now is the perfect time to have a company outing and build your team in an external motivating environment.

Keep a close eye on your management.

When your top-performing employees suddenly decides to resign, first thing you should do is check his relationship with his manager. Do a formal exit interview and I mean formal. Not a chat. Prepare strategic questions. At this stage the employee has nothing to lose and you have the opportunity to have an open candid conversation.

Steve Miranda, Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Human Resource studies at Cornell University, nailed it when he said, “Employees don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” In fact, Miranda estimates up to 80% of the attrition rate in employees is caused by a conflict between the employee and his manager.

It’s worthwhile to invest in great management training, for they are the ones who work with your employees on a daily basis.

Employee Retention Strategies

Here’s my final reminder: Your employees are just as important as your customers. Their continued support, loyalty, and hard work bring your company the success you’ve always wanted. Never give them a chance to think that you don’t care and that there isn’t anything for them. ALWAYS make them feel valued and appreciated, because they deserve it. The best companies in the world all have people no matter the department working for the greater goal of the company. It’s like a car… If one thing doesn’t work, it affect’s the next thing, then the next, till your car just breaks down…

You only get their best performance, when you offer them your best as well. So work on your retention strategies as soon as possible. Follow the tips above and let me know how your customers liked it! Good luck!

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