8 Ways to Improve Employee Retention Rates

Behm Consulting | 28 March, 2019 | Leadership

As you grow your business, a common challenge you might run into is low employee retention rates, or the number of employees that stay with you over a long period of time. While some turnover is normal, having too many team members resign too often can lead to a downward spiral in overall company morale, and (ultimately) a negative impact on your performance and bottom line.

Learn some key ways you can start improving your company culture and employee engagement to keep everyone happy and motivated for years to come.

Be Selective During Recruitment

Employee retention all starts with your hiring process. If you take a close look at how you’re recruiting new team members, you may find a few improvements you can make to ensure you’re hiring top talent from the beginning.

Be sure you focus not just on those with great experience for the position they’re applying for, but are also a perfect fit for your company culture. If their values don’t align with those of your business, it can lead to poor performance, conflicts with other team members, and/or a resignation within the first year.

Improve Compensation and Benefits

Great employees deserve great pay. But it’s not all about the paychecks -- the retirement and benefits packages you offer are also key in retaining your top performing employees.

Offer Career Plans

Want to keep your best team members around for more than a couple of years? Give them a clear roadmap to follow so that they can envision building their career with your company. When employees feel stuck, don’t have a “ladder” to climb, and/or struggle to see how they can grow within the company, they will be more likely to quit and find a job elsewhere.

Invest in Education

As Henry Ford said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

Even if your company doesn’t pay the most, you can still win the hearts over of your employees by investing in their education. This doesn’t have to be formal college classes either. Consider signing the team up for online webinars, bringing them to conferences, and/or making a budget that can cover professional education courses at your local university.

Trust and Respect Your Team

We recently touched on the topic of trust in our post on workplace culture, but it’s just as important for employee retention as it is for a positive work environment, because they go hand-in-hand.

Gain trust of your employees and show them respect by practicing transparency wherever possible, and limiting the office gossip.

Add a Mentorship Program

If you have dozens of employees at various levels of experience, consider starting a mentorship program. Designate some time on a weekly or monthly basis for lower-level team members to pair up with a mentor to receive one-on-one guidance from someone who’s been in their shoes.

Recognize and Praise Great Work

While there are dozens of reasons why employees quit -- family, relocation, new life changes -- by far one of the most common reasons may not be what you expect. Many employees leave because they feel undervalued for their hard work, and not just in their salary. Oftentimes, simply giving positive feedback and praising their achievements can go a long way in retaining top talent.

Create Opportunities to Connect

Whether you have a small team of five or a large business of several hundred employees, it’s important to remember that people are social. We instinctively want to connect with others around us.

Foster strong professional relationships by allowing team members to connect with one another outside of office tasks. Cater them to lunch or host a happy hour. Create an annual holiday party or schedule monthly outings at local events. When your employees get to know one another on a more relaxed, personal basis, they will be better at communicating with one another, more supportive and open to collaboration, and feel more motivated overall.

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