Employee retention changed during the pandemic. 2021 was an incredibly challenging year for employers when it came to seeing the benefits of employee retention, but 2022 brought fresh challenges to the market.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4.25 million people quit their jobs in January 2022, up from 3.3 million in 2021.
Prioritizing the happiness of your employees is not only the best way to build a positive work environment but also saves you valuable time and money in the long run. Hiring and training new workers can be costly, so it’s essential to listen to your current employees and ensure their needs are met.
Why Would My Employees Leave?
The first step to adjusting your employee retention strategy is understanding why current employees are leaving. Some common reasons include the following:
- Insufficient salary/benefits
- Lack of flexibility in the workplace
- Lack of upward mobility in the company
- Feeling underappreciated
- Unhappiness with company culture
- Feeling overworked or having a poor work/life balance
If and when an employee decides to leave your company, exit interviews are a great way to understand why. Taking the time to understand why an employee is leaving can help with future employee retention.
Employee Retention Strategies
Now that you know common reasons for employees to change jobs, here are some simple strategies you can implement to keep your team happy and motivated.
- Create a learning environment. Encourage and reward your employees for learning new skills (this is known as upskilling). For example, consider sending employees to professional development events and virtual conferences or initiating a tuition reimbursement program.
- Offer competitive benefits. Of course, your employees want to be paid what they’re worth, but to stay competitive, you also need to consider their benefits. Offers like flexible schedules, wellness perks, remote work options, and good parental leave are all important to consider.
- Effective and positive management. If your managers are doing their jobs well, employees will have an easier time navigating organizational change and working together as a team. Ensure that everyone is getting the mentorship they need in order to advance their growth at your company. Keep training and development processes in place for your managers.
- Recognize and reward good performance. Companies that recognize their employees several times a month see a 41% increase in employee retention. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are much less likely to leave. Shout-outs, positive feedback, and bonuses are all great ways to show your employees that you see and appreciate their hard work.
- Prioritize the onboarding process. Onboarding sets the tone for a new employee’s entire experience. Make sure that the process isn’t too overwhelming. Additionally, your employees need more than HR information and program training; set them up with a mentor and help them adjust to your team socially and professionally.
- Build team connections. Making time for your team to bond with one another can greatly increase workplace efficiency and happiness. Setting aside time for your team to be social and build connections is crucial to strengthening your employees.
- Accept employee feedback. Try implementing periodic surveys to gauge employee mindsets. Encourage everyone, regardless of position, to contribute to company ideas. Encouraging an environment focused on clear communication gives your employees the tools to help promote the ideals vital to them.
Additionally, it’s also important to consider how each of these strategies might affect remote workers differently than in-person employees. If part or all of your team is remote, you may have to work especially hard at implementing strategies for team bonding and onboarding.
Furthermore, it is crucial to evaluate your employee retention strategies to find room for improvement. Optimized employee retention strategies will save you countless hours and significant costs that come from quick employee turnover.
This article was originally published on December. 2, 2021; it has since been updated to reflect December 12, 2022.