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How to Increase Employee Retention: A Guide to a Mutually Beneficial Relationship

  • 07 April, 2023

Employee retention plummeted in recent years in an event now called "The Great Resignation," a near simultaneous resignation of workers from their jobs. Beginning in the spring of 2021, employers struggled to keep workers happy, paid, and satisfied enough in their positions due to several factors. This came swiftly after the 2020 pandemic, something that the world is still recovering from. The reality is that it's not difficult to keep employees satisfied-it takes strategic planning, great benefits, and a solid workplace environment. There are many benefits for employees to stay engaged in the workplace, but there are also benefits to the business itself, including some that are lesser known. The employer-employee relationship should be mutually beneficial, and some of the advantages will overlap.

How to Increase Employee Retention: A Guide to a Mutually Beneficial Relationship


1. The Benefits of Employee Retention

1.1. Benefits to the Employer

  • Increased Employee Loyalty: Long-term employees feel more confident in their position and business relationship and end up more loyal to those who've employed them.
  • Decreased Hiring Cost: Losing an employee can be expensive and only adds to the need for rehiring a qualified candidate and training them for the specified job. Retaining employees eliminates the need to hire poorly qualified candidates.
  • A Highly Skilled Workforce: Long-term employees have gained the necessary skills specific to your company and can do the job better than perpetually new employees. Retaining employees, you've already trained will help develop a workforce of top-performing employees.
  • Less Transition and Gaps in Employment: Whenever an employee leaves, there is a transition period where you need to find a new employee and then retrain them. Retaining the employee instead eliminates the negative time associated.
  • Improved Customer Relations: Employees gain rapport with customers as they continually work with each other. This creates positive impressions of the company as a whole.
  • A Positive Company Culture: Employees who work together every day and have open lines of communication are able to work through differences in opinion and create a positive workplace environment that is beneficial to all.
Benefits to the Employee

  • Excellent Benefits: Certain companies have benefits that are available after a few qualifications are met- usually after a probationary period. This waiting period is so that the company doesn't have to spend excessive amounts of money if the employee doesn't stay, but it does serve to help the employee know that they will be taken care of if they stay on.
  • A Positive Company Culture: Everybody benefits from a positive company culture. Employees who stay on and build relationships with their boss and fellow employees tend to be more comfortable in their job.
  • Taking Advantage of Long-Term Benefits: Some employers only offer certain benefits after a specified period. This is to discourage them from taking advantage of education and payment programs only available to long-term employees. As a result, employees who have shown their loyalty to a company get to use these benefits themselves.
  • Consistency: Terminating employment, finding a new job, becoming dissatisfied, quitting, searching for a new job, and then the cycle starts all over again. The mental health toll that having and inconsistent form of income is stressful. Not to mention having continual environmental changes. All of this adds huge pressure on the employee to always be on their guard. Staying with a job allows them to find consistency in the work, environment, and people, which leads to better outcomes and less financial stress.
2. How to Improve Employee Retention

1. Offer Excellent Benefits. One of the main reasons that people stay with employers is a good benefits package. These benefits can include:
  • Career development in the form of professional certification
  • A good healthcare package with a wide range of coverage
  • Pay increases and bonuses based on performance and loyalty
  • Retirement plans for end of career options
  • Education resources that help individuals with personal and professional goals
2. Create A Strategic Onboarding Process. The interview and training portion of employment are crucial steps in the process. They serve to get to know the employee, the type of person and worker they are, and how well they'll fit with your company culture. Maybe they're a great worker, but their attitude doesn't match the environment you've created, and adding them to the mix would create more problems than they'll fix. Strategically worded interview questions will help you attract and retain the best employees.

3. Have The Right Tools for The Job. Failure to do so can lead to frustration with the work process and give employees a justifiable reason to leave. This is an easily controllable factor of the job that helps improve productivity and retention.

4. Create Open Lines of Communication. Create an environment in which employees feel confident that they can have an open conversation with their boss or fellow employees without fear of judgment or retaliation.

5. Provide Competitive Pay. An obviously major purpose for people pursuing a job is the money because being alive has certain inherent costs. Having a job is more than about just a paycheck, but to completely deny this fact is unwise. By offering a better salary than your competitors, you tell your employees that you value their time and their talents and are willing to pay for it.

6. Have Employee Retention Surveys. Find out how you're doing as an employer by sending out surveys to understand the climate of the workplace. These surveys could include questions about whether people enjoy working there and if they are proud of the work they do, how long they plan to stay with the company, and what would entice them to stay longer. Surveys like this help you learn more about your employees on both a small and large scale.

7. Be Inclusive. Certain groups of people face challenges based on factors they can't control, like race, gender, and disability. Understanding that not everybody is starting from the same place is the first step in creating an equitable environment that accommodates these differing factors.

8. Offer Opportunities to Create Leaders from Managers. A good leader is a determining factor that makes some people decide to quit a job. 57% of respondents to a Development Dimensions International survey reported that they left a job specifically because of a manager. There are many factors that you can't control, but developing a system that creates excellent leaders from your ordinary human isn't one of them.

9. Engage and Recognize Your Employees. Recognize the excellent work your employees have done by offering bonuses, discounts, time off, and other incentives as a result of their engagement in the workforce.

Conclusion

The employer-employee relationship is one of the most understated and misunderstood of them all. Through open communication, those involved can create a mutually beneficial environment in which they both thrive. It's not enough to simply pay a worker anymore. Doing the bare minimum as an employer is how strikes are organized and lead to disgruntled employees voicing their opinions in seemingly unproductive ways. If, in contrast, the employer were to use their position of power to help develop the type of employees they want and need, the type of employees that will help the company progress, they'll have access to some of the best workers they can get their hands on: hard working, high achieving, loyal, and capable of being leaders themselves.

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About the Author: Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor is a freelance writer and avid researcher- a jack of all trades, but a master of none. She graduated from the University of Hawai'i with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts because she had no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up. She has since found her love of Extended Reality and the possibilities it brings to the world, as well as gardening, cooking, and writing. Anna lives in Interior Alaska with her family.

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