The labor market continues to transform post-pandemic, with studies showing the US workforce shrank as much as 2.6% in 2022, burdening productivity and affecting everything from physical to mental health in the workplace. Organizations must make significant efforts to retain their most valued personnel. As Human Resource managers, staying ahead of the curve with creative, rewarding employee retention strategies is essential. By taking proactive steps now, you can ensure your organization remains competitive in an increasingly challenging landscape.
To be attractive to prospective and existing employees, it’s vital to understand current trends and what the demands are. We’re reviewing 17 proven employee retention strategies, so you can keep the team you’ve worked so hard to put in place – let’s get started.
Current state of the job market
It’s no secret that the job market is highly volatile today. Rapidly changing technology, constant revisions to how we do business, toxic work environments, global competition driving down wages, and more – it’s an uphill battle for companies to find new ways to keep employees engaged and motivated.
17 strategies to retain employees
1. Offer competitive compensation packages
Make sure your compensation packages are attractive enough that employees want them, making your organization competitive and appealing against your competition. The deal breaker for exceptional new talent might simply come down to the benefits you’re offering. People today are looking for more than “just” a great salary and decent bonus. Maternity/Paternity pay, childcare accommodations, flex scheduling and remote options, and, of course, comprehensive healthcare are all must-have priorities when it comes to a stellar benefits package.
2. Create a positive work environment
Provide an environment where people feel valued and respected, so they don’t look elsewhere for employment opportunities. Think: mental health PTO days, strong onboarding policies and procedures, comfortable work stations and environments, investing in strong leadership, promoting transparency, resisting micromanaging, and more.
3. Offer & utilize Advanced Primary Care (APC) services
Employers or unions offering Advanced Primary Care (APC) services see benefits for the organization and their workers. APC is a solution to add to your healthcare benefits that provides your workers, and often their covered dependents, access to affordable and accessible care with features like:
Same- and next-day appointments (for urgent needs)
More time with a provider
Everside Health’s internal analysis looked at the performance of 80 clients and 170,000 workers and found that implementing APC benefits can lower organizational healthcare costs by 17% within 3 years and 31% within 5 years.
4. Establish a clear diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) policy
The benefits of making DE&I an organization-wide focus cannot be overstated. One study found that gender-diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform the competition. Another discovered that when HR policies emphasize gender diversity, organizations have lower turnover.
5. Foster open communication by listening to feedback & acting on it
Encourage open communication between management and staff by creating channels like suggestion boxes or online forums to share ideas without fear of repercussions or judgment from superiors. Actively listen to feedback received via surveys, focus groups, etc. so employees feel suggestions are taken seriously and considered then acted upon when feasible. The process will ultimately establish trust in the employer-employee relationship.
6. Invest in professional development opportunities
Give employees access to professional development to help facilitate career advancement. Workshops, certification programs, internal training courses, or seminars designed to help teams become more knowledgeable about their roles within a company are a win for both sides. Research shows that pursuing professional development increases job satisfaction and productivity and reduces turnover. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees said they’d stay at a company that offers growth opportunities. You can also offer tuition reimbursement plans to demonstrate a commitment to developing skill sets and keep morale high.
7. Show appreciation for employee efforts
Recognize hard work through rewards systems like bonuses or promotions, which show appreciation for individual efforts within teams rather than just rewarding collective success stories alone.
8. Establish flexible working arrangements
If possible, allow staff members flexibility over when and where they work – whether working remotely on certain days or adjusting start/finish times – so they have more time to spend with family or pursue personal interests.
9. Promote from within when possible
Showing loyalty towards existing employees by promoting from within whenever possible is a great way to reward those who’ve worked hard. It's also a great way to incentivize others to look up to higher positions within the company structure.
10. Implement an employee referral program
Introduce referral programs, where current team members can recommend potential candidates directly into recruitment processes, incentivizing monetarily if new hires come on board.
11. Provide mentoring programs
Put together mentorship programs where senior team members mentor junior colleagues – giving younger team members advice on career progression while allowing seasoned personnel a chance to impart knowledge.
12. Introduce well-being initiatives
Develop well-being initiatives such as health checks, stress awareness sessions, mental health support networks, etc., all designed to help staff maintain physical and emotional well-being. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (links to PDF) (BLS), in 2022 just 43% of private industry employees had wellness programs in place at their company. Offering well-being initiatives can be the game-changing competitive edge you’ve been looking for.
13. Set clear goals & objectives for employees
Ensure every employee has clear goals and objectives set at each stage throughout their tenure – providing motivation and guidance on what’s expected from them while making progress easier tracked.
14. Celebrate successes together as a team
Celebrate successes together when teams reach goals – have incentives in place as rewards.
15. Get involved with the local community
Encourage involvement in local community activities through charity fundraising events, volunteering initiatives, etc., showcasing corporate social responsibility values while building relationships across multiple sectors.
16. Offer team building & social events & outings
Organize regular social events away from workplace environments. Think: BBQs, day trips, catered lunches, Friday evening social hours, or trust-building activities – all of which allow team members to get to know each other better while enjoying themselves outside usual working hours. Studies show (links to PDF) that organizational team building can boost morale and increase company-wide retention.
17. Facilitate career advancement opportunities
Help facilitate career advancement opportunities by offering tuition reimbursement plans, internal training courses, etc. This shows a commitment to developing skill sets among the existing workforce, keeping morale high.
Implement employee retention strategies that strengthen your organization
Employee retention strategies are essential tools HR professionals use today. They will help ensure your organization stays competitive in an ever-changing job market landscape. Following the best practices outlined above, you can put yourself ahead of the game when retaining the key personnel you need to drive organizational success.
Organizations can stay competitive in today’s job market with one simple tactic: by implementing effective employee retention strategies.