12 creative yet effective strategies to retain employees

Smart HR leaders know the importance of hiring new talent

12 creative yet effective strategies to retain employees

Smart HR leaders know the importance of hiring new talent – and an even bigger importance in retaining those talent in the company’s workforce. Making sure employees are happy and loyal to the organization seems simple but every case is different and what works for one company may not work for another.

Despite this, there are some tactics that works for majority of companies. Below, we discuss 12 effective and creative strategies that help HR leaders retain employees.

Importance of retaining employees

Many employers are starting to learn that employee retention is a better outcome in the long run instead of constantly having to screen and hire new job seekers. For obvious reasons, employee retention helps in cost reduction. Companies spend millions of dollars in finding, recruiting, onboarding, and training new hires yearly. Costs for advertising, interviewing, and training expenses can instead be used in improving other aspects of the business such as reskilling and upskilling current employees, better facilities, and more benefits to offer to the workforce.

Having a constant turnover of employees can negatively affect the morale and engagement of the workforce. Employees who stay with the company constantly lose work connections which could see them shouldering more work and responsibilities – leading to possible burnouts and lower productivity rates.

This then leads to lower output quality, poor customer loyalty, and a decrease in company profit. When employees feel uncared for and continually see their colleagues leave for better offers, it pushes them even more to follow suit in quitting which could be the possible reason why a company will fail.

Read more: Gen Z: How to attract the next generation of employees

12 creative and effective strategies to retain employees

HR leaders should take the lead in handling employee retention levels of the organization. in order to find the right method and strategies that fit the company, they should be able to understand the needs of employees and try different methods to satisfy those needs.

Below are 12 creative and effective strategies that HR leaders could try to improve employee retention:

  1. Have a smart onboarding process

An important part of high retention rates is to have a smooth and smart onboarding process. This is the first step of an employee’s journey with a company and the efforts to make them feel important and welcomed in the organization should start as early as then. It is during this stage that the new employee is forming opinions on the company and whether they would enjoy working for their employer in the long run.

The onboarding process is a great way to not only teach new employees about their role, but to also immerse them in the company culture and create connections with co-workers. Providing a clear set of goals for them during their time as an employee assures them that the company wants to grow with them over time – which increases their satisfaction with the company.

  1. Implement mentorship and peer-matching programs

A good strategy in relation to the onboarding process is to pair a new hire with an experienced employee. The experienced employee will guide the new hire on the day-to-day activities and routines in their role and will serve as a source of advice. The mentorship also allows current employees to learn from new hires. The new hires may offer a different approach to certain routines and tasks which could be a more efficient method compared to the current one in place. This not only broadens the work connections that both the current employee and new hire have, but also allows them to feel more challenged to learn – leading to longer employment with the company.

  1. Promote wellness and healthy work-life balance

Companies can promote wellness and a healthy work-life balance as more employees start looking for a work environment that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of employees. It is very easy for productivity levels to diminish when employees are stressed and burnt out with work. Which is why when employees feel they are being taken care of by their employer, their employee satisfaction rises, lessening the desire to search for other job opportunities elsewhere. Employers can offer major programs such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and even minor strategies like blasting email reminders on taking breaks and logging off work on time. Looking after the wellbeing of employees also helps strengthen the businesses’ workforce and profits.

  1. Provide sabbatical leaves to your long-time employees

It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but sabbatical leave is very beneficial for companies just as much as it is for employees. Offering paid time off for employees to do volunteer work, develop new skill, or to just take time off for mental and physical healing  allows them to focus on their wellbeing without the worry of their company penalizing them. Providing sabbatical leave makes employees feel appreciated by the company and improves their job satisfaction.

  1. Challenge your team collectively

It is the responsibility of employers, team leaders, and managers to keep employees motivated and engaged with their work and with their co-workers. Maintaining the open communication between teams and co-workers while regularly checking in on employees helps in making them feel a part of the organization.

Leaders and managers should actively understand and explore new ways to challenge employees in their role and help them in their professional development. When employees feel like the company helps them grow and expand their knowledge and expertise, it is less likely for them to look for other job opportunities elsewhere.

  1. Let employees have a say in the employee experience

When finding the right strategies to improve employee retention, it is important to listen to what employees have to say. Employers should make time in their busy schedule to sit down and gather feedback from employees on what makes them enjoy work, what keeps them motivated, and what they are looking for in their professional career.

From there, employers now have a clearer vision on what retention strategies and methods would work for the company – making employees happier and contented enough to stay loyal to the company.

  1. Celebrate wins and efforts

It is important for employees to feel included in the company culture and to be in the loop of anything happening with the organization. A good way to make them feel appreciated and seen is to recognize and celebrate any wins and achievements they have. A simple shout out in team meetings, small tokens of appreciation, and even a quick message of praise has a big impact on employees and business outcomes.

  1. Have a relaxed and casual office space and workplace atmosphere

The culture and set up of workplaces play a big part in keeping employees happy and satisfied in the company. Making sure their workspace allows them to rest and recharge is equally essential to ensuring the space is physically conducive to their work routines. For remote workers, providing up-to-date software and equipment helps in easing their workload.

It is also vital for employers to ensure the workforce atmosphere promotes open communication and opportunities for brainstorming. Leaders should ensure all employees have equal opportunities to express their ideas and emotions, and to be heard by their colleagues. This then improves the way employees communicate and collaborate which could lead to greater productivity and higher-quality output.

  1. Offer training opportunities

Many employees are looking to advance in their professional career and would usually look to other companies for a promotion or an opportunity to further learn and develop their skills and knowledge.

Offering opportunities and tools that allow employees to grow their knowledge and further develop their skills makes them more inclined to stay with the company. Providing training opportunities for employees – especially those looking to promote to a leadership position – makes them feel cared for by the company and that their professional goals are important to employers.

  1. Allow lateral opportunities and job rotations

Burnout and career stagnation commonly happens to a workforce, especially with Gen Z and millennial employees. In line with offering training and learning opportunities for employees to develop existing and new skills, providing lateral promotions and job rotations allows them to practice their learned skills and gain experience. It also minimizes the risk of burnout and fatigue in the workforce.

  1. Have a generous benefits package

One of the driving forces for an employee to accept a job offer and stay with a company is the benefits they receive. Researching and understanding the demographic of the company’s workforce helps employers narrow down their benefits package to match the needs and demands of employees – making the company more appealing and competitive compared to other employers. Employers need to understand that an employment package does not have to be expensive but needs to make employees feel valued.

Read more: Have you developed a successful retention strategy yet?

  1. Provide flexible working

The COVID-19 pandemic made many companies and employees realize that working from home is a feasible option for a work setup. Now that many offices are opening for onsite work, many employees are vocalizing to keep working remotely. Satisfying the demand for a flexible and hybrid work arrangement influences employees to stay and makes the company competitive compared to others.

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