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6 Strategies on How to Improve Employee Retention

Companies big and small are all looking for key effective ways on how to improve employee retention. Finding and retaining top talent is a top concern in the business world today. In order to understand why workers are not staying at your company long enough to reach their first five-year milestone anniversary, it’s important to look at how the world of work (and technology) has changed over the past 10 years. It’s not that millennials are inherently disloyal or opportunistic—corporate America is just an entirely different place now than it was twenty (or even ten) years ago. While retention challenges can be intricate, here are common tactics on how to improve employee retention, leveraged by world-leading companies.

Employees rule: Unemployment is down, and companies can no longer expect workers just to be glad they have a job. Employers everywhere are scrambling to figure out how to engage their employees, build great company cultures, and keep their best talent from leaving.

The “always on” resume: LinkedIn has made the process of actively sending resumes mostly obsolete, as candidates’ information is ready available and searchable at all times. The days of “hiding” your resume on are over. Everyone’s out there, including your happiest employees. Even if they’re not actively looking, LinkedIn is constantly placing relevant job opportunities into its members’ feeds.

The never-ending network: Before Facebook and LinkedIn, people actually lost touch. Now, if your company has an opening that’s just perfect for your admin’s freshman year college roommate, she can probably track her down easily using any number of social networks to get her to come in for an interview.

The flexible workplace and career: Technology has made remote work easier than ever, lifting geographical limitations on an employee’s next career move. Careers have also become increasingly non-linear, and younger employees value jobs that allow them to learn, pursue passions, or make a difference in the world.

So…what can managers do on how to improve employee retention?

  1. Focus on building a magnetic culture: If an employee truly loves working at your company, he’ll be much less likely to read that recruiter’s email or click on that job listing. Foster open communication, commit to transparency, minimize politics, and encourage recognition of good work by managers and co-workers. Employees that feel connected to the organization’s mission and their peers are less likely to go elsewhere.
  2. Retain good managers, and fire bad ones: A highly skilled employee will leave if she feels stifled by an incompetent or unsupportive manager. On the flip side, a great manager will mentor and develop a star employee to become a future leader in your organization.
  3. Offer career development opportunities: Ensure that your employees have ample opportunities for skill development and career advancement within the company so they do not have to look elsewhere. Speak with employees one-on-one about their career goals and work with them to ensure your company is helping them get there.
  4. Offer competitive pay and benefits: Top talent is looking for top pay, good health benefits, generous PTO, and flexible work hours. Align pay increases to the market value for the person and position rather than using current pay as your guide. Why would an employee stay for $20k less then he could make elsewhere just because you generously gave him the “maximum 3% raise”?
  5. Have an employee referral program: Great employees are often the best source of more great employees. If you’re saving money on a recruiter’s commission, why not put it in the pockets of your staff? Not only is the extra cash nice, but employees tend to be more engaged when they have good relationships with co-workers.
  6. Part on good terms: If you do lose a great employee, make it easy for her to come back. Be supportive and stay in touch.

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