Employee Retention Techniques: 5 Ways to Keep a Happy and Motivated Workforce

employee retention techniques

More than ever, businesses are struggling to keep their best employees. Job hopping is up 22% from four years ago in 2014.

Experts suspect the reason for the rise in job hopping is a strong economy. Also, Millennials do not trust employers in the same way as previous generations. They saw what happened to their parents during the Great Recession, and they don’t sense employer loyalty as being particularly strong.

So what can well-intentioned employers do to keep their best talent?

Check out these five essential employee retention techniques to help your best employees thrive and resist the urge to jump ship.

1. Ask for Feedback

Don’t wait until your employee gives their notice to discover why they are unhappy. Encourage regular feedback from your employees. Find out what your company does well, and where it can do better.

Many top companies offer anonymous review packets to their team. Employees can give their honest opinions about the company without fear of retribution. Even the act of asking for feedback will show employees you care about doing better.

On a more personal level, employees will appreciate if you ask them how they are feeling about their role in the company. Ask them what the company can do better and how you can help. Having open dialogue strengthens your relationship and leaves the door open for them to talk to you if something should ever go wrong.

2. Give Proper Feedback

By the same token, employees want to know how they are doing. Don’t wait for annual reviews to grade their performance.

Formally, get together one-on-one with employees and praise good work and provide constructive criticism when it’s needed. Informally, praise workers routinely during the course of work days where it’s merited. Nothing is worse than working a double shift and not even getting a simple “thank you” from a manager.

3. Hire Better

Employee retention is important, and nothing improves retention and company culture more than simply hiring the right people.

During hiring interviews, pay as much attention to an applicant’s demeanor and personality. They are as important as their qualifications.

Are they positive and pleasant to be around? Do you see them fitting in seamlessly with your team and being well-liked?

Excuses for past performance and negative comments about past employers are deal breakers. Similarly, recognize when a prospect shares praise with co-workers.

Also be cautious about hiring applicants who spend less than 18 months at previous stops. Job-hopping is an effective strategy for employees to improve their salary. But job hoppers create a high turnover, which hurts company culture. It’s hard to sustain a positive work environment when there is a constant stream of new faces.

4. Trust and Empower Employees

One of the best things you can do to improve company culture is to let employees take on tasks outside of their normal duties. When someone has a good idea, let them run with it and spearhead new projects. If they win, the company wins, and if it fails, the employee learns and grows.

Empowering employees in this manner lets them know the sky is the limit. They don’t have to go to another company to grow. They can go even further right where they are. Employees are happier when they know they are trusted and appreciated.

5. Offer a Complete Package

Employees often leave for other companies simply because they need a better situation to pay their bills and care for their families.

It should go without saying, but conduct regular competitive analysis to make sure your pay and benefits are competitive the marketplace.

Your company may not be able to cover as much with your benefits package as larger competitors. But being smaller may allow you to be more competitive in other areas.

Allow flexible work schedules and work-at-home opportunities wherever they make sense. Offer company meals once a week or daily if your budget allows.

Your employees know when you are making your best effort to provide for them, which goes a long way toward improving your retention rates.

Employee Retention Techniques: The Bottom Line

Employing effective employee retention techniques will improve company culture. People want to know how their performance is viewed at work, and they want recognition when they are doing well.

Giving the proper feedback and asking for it in return lets employees know they are valued. Empowering them to take on more tasks outside their normal area lets them know they are trusted. And giving them a complete employee package with appropriate pay and benefits lets the know they are appreciated.

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