Wondering how you can proactively do things to improve employee retention? Read my advice
65% of employees think they can find better positions with other employers. Employee churn is becoming a bigger problem than ever before. The Great Resignation is still in full swing, giving employers nightmares.
Employee churn comes with a massive cost for companies, about 1.5-2 times an employee’s annual salary. While it has become harder to retain employees, there are ways to improve your retention rates over time.
If you’re finding it difficult to exercise any significant control over employee churn, you should try deploying strategies to reduce it. This article discusses some strategies you can use for improving employee retention rates and employee morale at your company.
9 Ways to Improve Employee Retention and Morale
Wonder if you can proactively do things to improve employee retention? Boosting their morale is key to better retention, but building an environment that improves morale and nurtures employees takes a while.
Following are the strategies you can use at your company to improve employee retention:
1. Improve company culture
Employees want to be part of a workplace with values. Company culture is an intangible asset for a company that influences several aspects of business, including employee retention.
There are countless tips for building a rich and impactful company culture, and all are rooted in a company’s principles.
For instance, if you’re a company that strongly believes in donating towards a cause, you can start a donation matching program. When an employee contributes towards a specific cause, the employer equally donates to the same cause.
Matching their donation towards a cause they believe in can make them feel empowered and engage your employees at a deeper level. If you’re unfamiliar with matching programs, check out Alaya’s full guide to donation matching.
2. Prevent employee stagnation
Employees care a lot about the pay scale, but often there are stronger forces at play. Even when employers offer good pay, employees might consider leaving because they have been in the same job title at a specific company for too long.
It makes sense, too. Employees are always eager to take their careers to the next level. They want to take on roles that challenge them and help them grow. They want new projects, a better position, and new areas to explore. When they can’t do that within their current company, they’ll seek opportunities elsewhere.
Deserving employees should always be offered job titles to help them move up the career ladder to avoid stagnation. When they feel their efforts are being recognized, they’ll be more likely to remain with the company for longer.
3. Don’t over-utilize your workforce
42% of employees change jobs because of burnout, as per a Deloitte study. Pressuring employees into overworking themselves is a surefire recipe for attrition and, consequently, higher employee churn.
Does that mean employers should allow slack? Not quite.
Employees should still be productive enough so they can help your company grow. It’s about hitting the sweet spot between not putting your employees into overdrive and still getting things done as per the business’s goals.
Balancing employees’ time and not putting them under pressure to overwork can help significantly improve retention rates in the short term.
4. Team building activities
Helping your team bond is an excellent way to engage employees. It helps build stronger interpersonal relationships and results in better communication, productivity, and mental well-being—all of which indirectly impact a company’s profitability.
Employees are also more likely to stick around when they have meaningful workplace relationships.
Managers must create an inclusive work culture by investing time in team-building activities. Team-building activities aren’t only an in-office phenomenon. Even remote teams can engage their employees by bringing them to a digital platform for building stronger team relationships.
You probably won’t see the benefits of team-building activities overnight. It takes a while to help your employees build relationships, but you’ll see your team’s performance improve by a good margin over time.
5. Appropriate task allocation
Employees develop a specific skill set as they gain experience. Their specialization makes it easy for them to perform certain tasks. When they’re allocated tasks that aren’t within their core competence, they might find it hard to perform them.
Not only is this disengaging for the employee, but it can also significantly impact employee morale. Additionally, it results in poor quality work, loss of interest, and burnout.
Over time, these factors can cause an employee to look for an employer where they can prosper by leveraging their core skill set rather than learning something from scratch.
Managers should assign tasks based on core competencies. Administrative tasks should, whenever possible, be assigned to the administrative staff. Assign tasks that make employees feel challenged and motivated, allowing them the opportunity to grow.
6. Encourage employees to find meaning
The feeling of being an important part of a larger mission is a key driver of employee engagement and success. Encouraging them to be more clear about how their contribution generates value and helps various aspects of the business can help them find their place in the organization.
Sharing the company’s vision with the employees can inspire them and fast-track the company’s growth. They’ll know what goals they’re working towards, their role in achieving those goals, and the positive consequences of being successful. Finding meaning in their work and knowing their contribution counts can be a big motivator.
When employees know they’re doing meaningful work, it also organically decreases the employee churn rate. More importantly, the company's overall morale will improve and drive employees to achieve the business’s goals.
7. Minimize idle time
Idle time is typically used to gauge performance on the manufacturing floor. However, the concept can also be easily applied to office staff.
Idle time is the time during working hours that employees spend unproductively. In many cases, the reason is that one task or project has ended, while the next one is yet to be allocated.
It’s easy to see how idle time can adversely impact the ROI. It also leads to planned and unplanned attrition, encouraging employees to seek opportunities with other employers.
Managers should use resource management solutions to minimize unplanned attrition. It will allow managers to map resources in advance to better equip them with the information they need to assign tasks or projects.
In cases there are a few members on the team whose skill set may not be suitable for a specific project, you can plan upskilling sessions for them. Doing this helps them acquire a broader skillset of increase their knowledge of the relevant domain.
8. Actively train your employees
Periodic training sessions work as a proxy for your company’s commitment to excellence and growth. Training allows employees to take charge of their growth, take more responsibilities moving forward, and set themselves up for filling in senior roles as they become available.
Companies can also create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for employees. The plan should aim to help employees achieve their career goals, and improve their current performance.
You should measure the employee’s key strengths and weaknesses as they complete projects over time. This gives you an overview of relevant skills they can benefit from acquiring.
When employees feel you’re helping them achieve their personal goals by acquiring key skills, they’re more likely to stay with the company for the long term.
9. Pay employees well
Once it’s all said and done, employees will still expect a good paycheck because they have financial goals and a family. It’s never a good idea to lowball employees. It’s only fair to offer employees a good wage and benefits as per the current industry standards.
If you don’t, they’ll most likely find a company that does. While this sounds obvious, it’s surprising how many companies fail to revise employee compensation based on factors like inflation and a growing skill set.
Offering what an employee deserves is important to address employee churn issues. It comes with a cost, but so does finding and hiring new talent repeatedly.
Think about the money you spend on advertising, sorting applicants, and interviewing for the job. Add onboarding costs to it, and you’ve got a big hole in your bank balance. Compare this amount with the cost of paying employees a fair wage and its impact on the company’s brand as an employer.
Stop the Churn and Prosper
Employee churn comes with a lot of baggage. With higher employee churn, you lose time, resources, and money on hiring new talent and put the process on repeat. The cost can pile up into a massive amount, but there are things you can do to reduce employee churn and build a good employer brand.
The strategies discussed in this guide will help you improve employee retention and morale. You’ll see your team’s productivity shoot up and build a happier, more inclusive work environment with little room for attrition.
Low attrition and content employees translate to employees who want to be with your company for long. They’ll try to grow within your organization and contribute to its growth. More importantly, you’ll be able to retain and nurture talent that will work with you for years to come.
An accountant turned writer, Arjun writes financial blog posts and research reports for clients across the globe, including Skale. Arjun has five years of financial writing experience across verticals. He is a CMA and CA (Intermediate) by qualification.