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CAREER PLANNING

The 10 Best Employee Retention Strategies for 2021

Your workers are leaving. That’s bad business.

Employee turnover costs are pricey. Your competitors can swipe at them the next moment. You’ve got to do everything possible to retain your top talent.

From actionable tips to a walkthrough on developing an employee retention plan, this guide covers all there is to creating and implementing effective employee retention strategies.

Employees won’t just stay for extended periods anyway. So first, you need to understand the reason for the focus on employee retention.

Employee Retention Strategy: What’s the Big Deal?

A feasible employee retention strategy is a distinctive marker of a company set up for long-term success. It looks good to investors and is a solid bragging right to other business leaders. 

When you create a plan to keep your coveted talent, you save time and resources expended in the hiring and onboarding process for new staff. 

In a press release, the Society for Human Resource Management discovered that it takes an average of 42 days to fill a regular job position. 

In a nine-to-five situation, that’s 378 work hours lost due to a vacancy that could have been avoided.  

The Work Institute reports that employers have lost upwards of $600 billion due to a lack of a working plan to keep hold of their best team members. 

An effective employee retention strategy empowers forward-thinking enterprises with increased revenue, greater productivity, and improved company culture.  

HR departments are the key drivers of employee retention in an establishment. 

On the whole, they create, test, and implement these strategies. They also modify every so often based on evolving data.  

The Role of HR in Combating Employee Turnover

The function of HR departments in workforce retention strategy comes down to 4 essential responsibilities: 

  • the recruitment and onboarding processes
  • managing the employee experience 
  • and conducting exit interviews.

Recruitment Process

The onus here is to identify candidates who are most likely to stay long-term. An actionable tip is to note how long they have stayed in previous employment via their LinkedIn profile or resume.

In the talent market, hiring managers should keep an eye out for candidates who have stuck through extended periods in recreational activities and volunteer work. This will help you make near-accurate speculations on their tenure at your company. 

Next, go on to assess the candidate’s values and how they align with the values your company holds dearly. You wouldn’t want to hire someone big on cutting corners when your company is rooted in honesty and following the rules. 

Onboarding Program

After every hiring process should come an onboarding program. 

Glassdoor found that organizations with an intentional onboarding program improved their employee retention rate by 82% and their productivity by 70%. 

The internet has made it easier than ever before for job hunters to seek out job openings and apply to them. This is where an effective onboarding program makes all the difference.

The onboarding process should include employee retention best practices like:

  • Corporate training for all new hires
  • Goals that keep employees eager to hit them
  • Promoting teamwork 
  • Keeping new employees abreast with company culture

Employee Experience

Creating a positively distinct working experience for your staff is one of the most successful employee retention strategies out there. 

What adjectives do your employees use to describe working at your company? Would they recommend someone to work there with enthusiasm? 

Encourage positive employee relations as this is an important aspect of your workers’ experience at your company. 

The feel members of your staff get would be determined by all the other factors talked about in this article.

Exit Interviews

In an ideal world, you create the perfect plan and all your employees stay. But in the real world, employee turnover is bound to happen regardless of the strategies you put in place. 

Before you let a worker go, make sure to conduct an extensive interview to know exactly why they’re leaving. This lets you keep a tab on destructive patterns your company might have and improves your employee retention rate in the long haul.  

Ask revealing questions to find out the motive behind your employees’ exit. In some cases, you can work out a solution and compel them to stay. In others, no amount of negotiation would suffice.

Developing an Employee Retention Plan

Follow this sequence to create a workable plan:

  1. Evaluate to know where you’re at, and what work needs to be done. Document what you currently do and what you don’t. Review relevant metrics and note how the results of your documentation affect them.
  2. Ask your employees for feedback on what they’d like best. Don’t make assumptions for your workers. Meet them individually and get a consensus. Use this consensus in the next stage.
  3. Decide which strategies you’re going to use. This depends on results from your evaluation, your business type, and the kind of employees you have.
  4. Start implementing. Don’t try to do it all at once. For example, bring in remote work options. Note how your stats change over a year. Keep adding and testing to see what works.

10 Talent Retention Strategies You Should Implement Today

#1 — Invest in Your Employees Growth

Employees will overlook a relatively lower pay in a job that gives them room to grow. 

This is not to promote lower pay, but to express the importance of making professional training opportunities for your staff. 

To show your employees that you have their professional interests in mind, create an in-house training program or take advantage of external learning opportunities. 

A step in the right direction is  QUANTIC’s tuition reimbursement program. Our MBA or Executive MBA program is affordable yet gives a disproportionate return on investment in terms of employee retention. 

People love to receive and your employees are no different. Championing the career growth of your staff by providing them with corporate training makes them see you as more of a partner that can be trusted than a demanding boss who they can’t wait to leave. 

#2 — Offer a Competitive Base Salary and Benefits

Asides from boosting their social standing, getting skills, and interacting with co-workers, people work to make money. It’s simple. 

Workers work to improve their financial situation and thus lead a more robust life. Offer a salary with benefits that’s hard to match and you’ve done more than half of the work needed in wooing your top talent to stay.  

Fundamental benefits employees consider before taking on a new job or looking elsewhere include:

  • Health benefits 
  • Insurance
  • Money-back on education costs
  • And a Retirement plan

Research to know the benefits your employees would appreciate the most. 

#3 — Provide Flexible Work Arrangements

Post covid-19, there has been a tremendous upward shift in the worth employees are placing on job flexibility, especially as regards working from home. 

FlexJobs’ 2019 annual survey reported that 80% out of 7300 workers would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. 

The same study found that working remotely full-time was the best-case scenario for respondents, occupying 76 percent of the poll. 

Flexible scheduling, part-time scheduling, and working remotely part-time follow behind with 72, 46, and 43 percent in order.

Flexible work schedules increase workforce productivity by reducing burnout.

When members of staff are better in control of their time,

  • they allocate their best time to work. 
  • They feel less stressed and more empowered. 
  • They bring greater joy to their work. 

These ultimately manifest in higher quality work which is the essence of business.

#4 — Construct Ladders for Your Team Members to Climb

Employees would generally opt out of a job that pegs their income and professional status at a spot. 

As an HR professional or business owner, you have to be deliberate about constructing ladders for your employees to ascend. Progression boosts employee morale a great deal.

#5 — Study Relevant Data to Note Patterns

Protecting your workforce demands that you be well-informed about key HR statistics. Tracking important figures like your voluntary turnover rate will give you better insight into important trends. Both beneficial, and destructive.

Other measurables to track are:

  • Employee turnover rate
  • Voluntary turnover rate
  • Employee turnover cost
  • Employee tenure
MetricEmployee Retention RateEmployee Turnover RateVoluntary Turnover RateEmployee Turnover CostEmployee Tenure
DefinitionThe number of employees who have stayed within a given periodThe number of workers that have to be replaced within a given periodThis is the employee turnover rate for staff who choose to leaveThe amount it takes to bring in a replacement employeeThis is the average amount of time employees stay at your company
Formula[Employees who remained / No of employees] * 100[No of separations / No of employees] * 100[No of voluntary separations / No of employees] * 100Varies.[No of months worked by 

#6 — Make Employees Feel Valued

Do not undermine your employees’ contributions.

Make promotions from time to time.

Praise rather than belittle them.

As apparent as these gestures might seem, only a small percentage of HR professionals implement them in their workplace. 

A case in point is data from Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce report. 

Gallup recounts that a mere 3 out of 10 employees “strongly agree that in the last seven days they have received recognition or praise for doing good work.” 

Interestingly, so many statistics have proved the correlation between making staff feel appreciated and increased retention. 

For example, 90% of workers said they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback. 

So how do you make your employees feel valued? 

It’s important to note that everybody is different and what makes one employee feel valued might not make the other feel valued. 

That aside, some general tips that have worked for a lot of business owners are:

  • Be transparent. Keep no secrets. Let your team in on vital information that affects everybody.
  • Recognize hardworking team members publicly. 
  • Be appreciative. Say thank you when your employees do things that move the needle forward. Regardless of if you pay them for it or not.
  • Ask for their opinion. Ask for feedback and take it seriously. They can sometimes observe little things that you can not as the HR manager or business owner. 

While you’re at it, make sure every team member feels valued. From the cleaners to group leaders to senior management—The whole team is needed for the smooth sailing of the company.

#7 — Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Healthy employees are better contributors to a company’s success. This is even more true when you think in light of their performance long-term. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t call or email staff outside work hours. 
  • Make provisions for remote work options.  
  • Notice employees who are burnout and give them time off.
  • Offer paid vacations

#8 — Create a Conducive Company Culture

Company culture encompasses many things. From the color of your office walls to the tone workers use to interact with each other. These factors play a substantial part in determining whether your employees stay long or not. 

In light of employee retention, conducive company culture favors employee engagement. A step in the right direction is giving your employees some form of autonomy.

This makes them feel valued and less under pressure to do things a certain way. Focus on results rather than a routine.  

Organize team outings once in a while. Just chat and get to know members of your team. 

This releases tension in the air and puts your employees in a better position to be creative and come out with original ideas.  

An important aspect of company culture is teamwork. QUANTIC has this great professional course where we go deep into the dynamics of organizational behavior.

#9 — Create a Mentorship Program for New Hires

Team up an older employee with a new one. 

This saves everyone’s time and increases the efficiency of your staff.  

#10 — Transparency in Leadership

Transparency is a key driver of employee engagement. 

Coming out with vital changes in the workplace out of the blue can lead to a disconnect between employer and employee. 

Thus, the employee feels no remorse leaving at any new opportunity. Avoid favoritism. 

Be honest about income, policies and share news across all levels of the organizational ladder. 

You can’t claim to value every worker and reserve important news for high-level employees only. 

Remember: you’re a team. 

You need the entire team’s input to achieve success.  

An Employee Retention Program That Works

American Express is a classic example of a diligent company in ensuring that members of its team stay on board. Several online media outlets extol AmEx’s low turnover rates. One of such is its listing on CNBC’s list of companies workers don’t want to leave in 2020. 

A company that takes full advantage of QUANTIC’s tuition reimbursement program, Fortune says American Express has a: 

  • 7% voluntary turnover rate for full-timers
  • 9% for part-timers
  • 16% of its workforce based in the US have been there for 20 years

5 Strategies American Express Uses to Retain Talent

Employee reviews are a great way to know what a company is truly about. Great Place to Work quotes AmEx’s workers as having said these:

  • “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”
  • “Management is competent at running the business.”
  • “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.”
  • “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”
  • “Our customers would rate the service we deliver as ‘excellent.’”

Going by these reviews, we can deduce that, American Express has its onboarding program down to the T. We see that there is good leadership, employees feel valued and there’s a lot of company culture present.

Make it a difficult decision for your employees to leave by taking advantage of QUANTIC’s tuition reimbursement program for MBA and EMBA degrees.

A QUANTIC stamp on a certificate signifies prestige, innovativeness, and business competence.

Take one action by signing up for QUANTIC’s tuition reimbursement program today. 


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