The concept of employee retention is getting a lot of buzz in the media right now, as many companies face unprecedented turnover levels due to resignations, lateral career shifts, early retirements, and other factors. However, the need for effective employee retention strategies is hardly a new issue for businesses.
One of the quintessential books about talent retention is Love’ Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. The book dates back to 1999, but the ideas inside are still rock-solid to this day, and one of the best is in the very first chapter. The idea is this: how do you improve employee retention ? When in doubt, try asking your employees.
Ways to Improve Employee Retention
Kaye and Jordan-Evans present a common phenomenon: businesses spend time, money, and energy developing employee retention strategies to try and keep their best talent, only to lose them anyway in the end. Why? Although they gave the problem a lot of thought, they never actually asked their employees what it would take to keep them on.
You might be afraid to ask your key talent what it would take to retain them if you can’t arrange whatever they suggest. However, you’re even more likely to miss the mark when guessing what they want if you don’t ask. Seeking insight doesn’t have to be a complicated conversation. During their annual reviews, you can ask your direct reports what you can do to make them want to stay long-term, but you need to be prepared to try to implement their suggestions.
Different people have different wants and needs. Suppose you’re meeting your colleagues’ basic needs by acknowledging their contributions to the business and providing humanistic and engaged management. In that case, you can start looking into other ways to improve their time at your company. A few common employee retention strategies are:
- Regular feedback
- Performance-based raises
- Continuing education opportunities
- Work-from-home days or fully remote work
- Investing in advanced training
- Flexible scheduling
- Compensation audits to ensure equitable pay
- Subsidized daycare for the children of employees
- Improved benefits and wellness incentives
However, you’ll never know which of these will work for your top talent unless you ask. Asking about their needs will make your people feel seen and valued as long as you make a good-faith attempt to work with them on implementing these incentives.
Please don’t wait until your top performers accept another offer to figure out how to keep them. Employee retention strategies should be a significant concern long before your associates start thinking about jumping ship. Turnover is inevitable, but you want your people to stay as long as possible and part on good terms when they leave.
Are you looking to improve talent retention at your organization? Keeping your talent doesn’t have to break your company budget. Fill out my “get started” form for a complimentary video call to work on employee retention strategies for your business with a professional coach.
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