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WorkStride Blog

5 Simple Strategies Proven to Retain Your Best People

You did it.

You finally found that rockstar employee who’s knocking it out of the park. But even though that new hire is totally killing it, there’s a question creeping in the back of your mind.

“How long until someone else snatches them up?”

The story of star talent jumping ship is a something that’s all too familiar for modern companies. And while nobody wants to watch their employees depart for “greener” pastures, it’s especially painful when it’s our top talent that ends up bouncing.

Here’s some food for thought, though: 50% of all employees are actively keeping an eye on new opportunities. The phenomenon of job-hopping is a serious problem given the high cost of onboarding and the impact departing employees can have on office morale.

As a result, businesses are constantly trying to figure out how to retain employees and fight the notion that their companies represent a revolving door.

The good news? Reducing employee turnover doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it have to be expensive.

In fact, we’ve broken down five simple strategies today’s companies roll out to retain their best talent. Any combination of these tips is fair game for companies of all shapes and sizes, too.

1. Provide the Proper Perks and Benefits

Reality check: the benefits you offer your employees speak volumes in terms of how much you value your workers as people.

Sure, workers expect certain base benefits such as health insurance and PTO. That said, businesses that go above and beyond with perks are more likely to keep their top talent happy. Perhaps that’s why 83% of companies state that retaining employees is the top objective of their benefits according to a recent MetLife report.

Think about it. If Company A is offering flextime, a paid gym memberships and travel reimbursement and Company B is offering little more than bare-bones health insurance, the choice is a no contest, right?

SnackNation1The takeaway? Perks are a major factor when it comes to swaying top-tier employees. And despite popular belief, the best employee benefits don’t necessarily come with a massive price tag.

For example, remote work opportunities and flexible schedules are cited as two of the most-wanted perks of modern employees. Just about any office could adopt a more flexible schedule without breaking the bank. Heck, even something as seemingly simple as offering up awesome office snacks could be someone’s tipping point to stick around.

2. Recognize a Job Well Done

Workers today want more than just a paycheck: they want praise, too.

Considering that two-thirds of workers would quit their jobs if they didn’t feel appreciated, there’s definitely a concrete incentive for management to go out of their way to pat workers on the back.

Perhaps that’s exactly why companies with effective recognition programs see 31% less voluntary turnover.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to employee recognition, which spells good news for companies who might be on a tight budget.

Beyond in-person “thank you’s” and mentions during meetings, some cost-effective ways to show your team some love include:
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  • Highlighting an employee’s job well done via a company-wide email or Slack shout-out (there are tons of Slack apps such as Disco to do exactly that)
  • Featuring employees on your company site or highlighting happenings around the office on social media, creating a sense of community in the process
  • Company gatherings (think: potlucks and parties) where you can put the spotlight on individual employees or departments that deserve a figurative high-five

Recognition is a highly important part of the employee experience. If making employee recognition is a priority for your organization, WorkStride offers a comprehensive employee recognition platform. And for those of you on a budget, they also offer a rewards-only solution through integrating with ADP.

Taking the time to recognize your employees’ hard work does double duty of making your coworkers feel more valued while also creating a more positive office environment. In short, it’s a win-win.

3. Frequently Check In with Your Coworkers

There’s no excuse for managers or departments to treat each other like islands.

Unfortunately, isolation and a lack of communication can quickly sour even the most promising of employees.

Whereas highly engaged employees check in with higher-ups at least once a week, workers on their way out often feel in the dark about company goals or their performance. Meanwhile, strong social connections at work translate to happier, more engaged workers.

Clear communication is a two-way street. Not only should managers have a better pulse on the wants and needs of their teams, but those working within departments should be able to approach each other with ease.

This leads to more cooperation and collaboration, all the while discouraging toxic or passive-aggressive behavior.

Much like employee recognition, companies today can rely on apps and tech to take the legwork out of checking in with each other.

For example, pulse surveys like those from Office Vibe provide a quick, efficient avenue to measure employee engagement. Their eNPS surveys’ simple “scale of 1-10” questions touch directly on happiness and engagement, all of which can be answered in a matter of minutes (if that).

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Tiny Pulse offers a similar employee engagement platform that integrates directly with Slack to check in with workers.

However, it’s also critical to provide workers with an avenue to provide more detailed feedback such as SurveyMonkey’s tailored employee satisfaction surveys.

The beauty of these types of platforms is that they’re anonymous. This allows employees to speak their mind without repercussions as management receives real, unfiltered feedback. Knowing exactly what’s on the minds of your top talent could be key to keeping them around.

4. Give Your Talent Opportunities to Grow

Pop quiz: what makes your “best” talent so good, anyway? More likely than not, they’re hungry to perform at the highest level. In other words, they don’t want to stagnate. They want to grow.

The more an employee is able to focus on their strengths at work, the more engaged they are. On the flip side, stagnation and lack of upward movement is a contributing factor to why workers quit.

You can’t expect your top talent to be satisfied if they’re spinning their wheels. Introducing new opportunities and challenges is a must-do for keeping such workers engaged.

But what sort of challenges are we talking about? Consider any of the following as prime examples:

  • Opportunities to work with different teams or departments
  • Allowing someone a leadership role for a particular project
  • Increased freedom and flexibility with someone’s schedule

Empowering your employees allows them to rise to the occasion and again shows that you value their abilities.

5. Rethink Your Company Culture

Finally, let’s bring our list full-circle. High turnover is a tell-tale sign of poor company culture. And no, having a strong culture doesn’t necessarily mean having the insane sorts of office spaces you see in Silicon Valley. Culture ultimately boils down to your company’s beliefs and values.

What’s the mission of your business? Are your workers on board? What are you doing as a company to support your employees who in turn support that mission?

If your workers see your business as little more than a place to pick up a paycheck, you can’t be surprised when they decide to bounce. But when you establish a sort of “greater good” to work toward, your office instantly feels like more than just an office. These sorts of points might seem like fluff, by a recent report by Virgin Pulse notes the direct link between company culture and more engaged employees.

All of the aforementioned points, from perks to recognition, all speak directly to your culture. If you’ve yet to really put your finger down on what culture means to your company, perhaps now’s the best time to give it some serious thought for the sake of your employees.

What Are You Doing to Retain Your Best Talent?

Your best employees won’t stick around by accident. Companies today are responsible for actively taking steps to retain their best workers. Whether through showing your appreciation via perks and recognition programs or simply creating a more engaged office environment, even the smallest changes can make a massive difference.

When your workers understand that they’re valued, they’re more likely to show loyalty for the long-term. Regardless of your business or its goals, that sort of appreciation is something all companies should strive for.

About the Author

Andy Varas is the Content Manager at SnackNation. Dedicating himself to helping businesses create an engaging environment for their employees and making health & wellness a priority in the workplace.