The last two years have changed everything. It seems cliché, but it’s nevertheless true, and the vast-reaching ripple effects of all that’s changed are just beginning to make their mark on how people live, think, and work. It seems the entire population is reevaluating what they need and want, especially regarding employment.
This reevaluation has come to be known as the Great Resignation. Over 48 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, an annual record. And the shuffling continues in 2022; workers aren’t sitting out of the labor market, but they are moving around—a lot—to find a good fit. This employee mobility and an economy that’s expanding out of pandemic doldrums have created a highly competitive market requiring employers to work hard to attract and retain good talent.
What does it take to retain employees today? How can employers keep the employees they have and avoid incurring exorbitant hiring and rehiring costs due to unnecessary turnover? The following are key retention strategies the best organizations are using to preserve their workforce amidst the Great Resignation.
It wouldn’t be an honest look at retention strategies without mentioning salaries. Families are battling inflation, and the competition for labor means that more money is readily available. While salary isn’t everything, it’s still one of the most important factors for employees. Businesses wishing to hold onto talented, reliable people need to pay competitive salaries and be prepared to meet demands for increases if and when they arise.
Another descriptor for company culture is to think of it as the organization’s character. Corporate culture includes variables such as the following:
- Value systems
- Management strategies
- Communication methods and styles
- Workplace environment
- Origin story
- Visual symbols
- Dress code
- Office hours
- Hiring methods
- Approach to problem-solving
- Technological advancement
- …and many others
Business culture isn’t about the products and services offered but about everything else. Culture reaches into the organization’s core and affects every aspect of corporate life, from where the employees sit to the company reputation and everything in between. Awareness of corporate culture is essential for management; trust us when we say employees and applicants are acutely aware of it, and it plays a huge role in retention. Happy, content employees identify with the corporate culture and feel comfortable at work.
Let’s take a closer look at a handful of cultural issues that are especially important to retention strategies.
A Culture of Development and Training
One thing all the best employees have in common is a sincere desire to learn and progress, which makes offering ongoing development and training as well as a clear path for career growth one of the most effective strategies for retaining quality employees. Talented people want to increase their talents. They want to be challenged, and they want to experience steady personal growth and progression. If your organization offers all that, your best employees won’t need to go looking elsewhere.
Take the time to develop a robust learning and development program that allows your staff to upskill and reskill while continuing to work for you. Effective development programs aren’t static; they evolve and respond smoothly to feedback and experience. When thoughtfully implemented, learning and development programs add considerable value to the employee and your organization. You’ll boost retention rates and your bottom line by providing your people with opportunities to feel valued and flourish.
Along these lines, many companies are conducting “stay interviews.” These important conversations allow managers to ask employees specific questions such as:
- How do you feel about your job?
- Do you think your responsibilities make good use of your skills?
- What new skills would you like to add?
- What do you need to make you stay for the next six months? Year? Five years?
A Culture of Flexibility
Work-life balance is a hot topic at the moment. Many employees want a say in where and when they work and the ability to make changes as needed. Folks got a taste of a different lifestyle during months of quarantine, and many don’t want to go back to rigid 40-hour workweeks with long daily commutes.
That said, a genuinely flexible culture isn’t just about remote versus in-person work. Many things can be flexible, including job descriptions and qualifications, career paths, paid time off, office space design—the list goes on and on.
A Culture of Valuing the Individual
Companies that invest in their employees retain their employees. Investment looks like the following:
- Listening. Get input from employees and find out what they need to do their jobs better. Address concerns promptly.
- Appreciating. Express and demonstrate appreciation regularly and generously. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated, and a culture of recognition is a wonderful strategy for building loyalty.
- Smoothing. Focus on the employee experience. This might mean providing a more engaging, more informative employee handbook, a well-stocked coffee station, or easier ways to connect to various company resources. It might also mean tightening the pre-employment background check process to ensure the candidate experience is seamless, requires no duplicate data entry, and keeps the individual informed. Accurate helps organizations make a stellar first impression with new talent with our candidate-centric background screening process. However employees interact with the company, it should be smooth and effortless.
Retention is the Name of the Game in 2022
In this article, we’ve scratched the surface of what it takes to retain great employees in 2022. If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, you’ll want to access Accurate’s talent retention webinar. This free webinar covered key aspects of the current labor market, topics surrounding employee retention, and specifically the importance and value of upskilling and reskilling programs. In this valuable resource, you’ll discover retention strategies you can use to hold on to top talent amid the growing number of people changing jobs.
Accurate is here to help you find and retain the best employees so your organization can reach its highest potential. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you put your best foot forward.