By Felecia Brasfield

Workers across the board are leaving their jobs at an alarmingly high rate.  According to the US Department of Labor over 11.5 million Americans quit their job during the second quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the highest resignation rates are among those 30 to 45 years old. In order to improve your employee retention rate, it is imperative to understand what expectations they have about their employment experience. The modern-day workforce is looking for more options like the ability to work remotely and positive encouragement. These newer options matter to employees almost as much as income. 

Benefits of Improving Retention Rates

Employers take a significant (hit) as their skilled and talented workers resign. On average, US employers estimate that turnover costs exceed over one trillion dollars annually. That is a substantial amount of money spent each year recruiting and onboarding new staff.  Aside from the financial burden, the company also experiences the loss of knowledge and expertise. In order to avoid these unexpected hurdles, companies should focus on ways to boost morale and keep other staff members engaged during the new hire process in order to improve employee retention rates.

How to Improve Retention

Maintain Open and Intentional Communication 

Employees should always feel comfortable going to supervisors with any questions, concerns, or ideas they have. Managers and human resource professionals should work together to foster an uplifting environment throughout the entire company. 

Consider Employee Recognition or Reward Programs

Finding ways to express gratitude to employees communicates to them that their hard work is making a positive impact on the company. Simply having supervisors say ‘thank you’ to their direct reports on a regular basis fosters confidence and bolsters employee retention.

This article from Talent Lyft has some great ways to get started implementing employee recognition programs. 

Beef Up Onboarding

Onboarding and training a new hire is vital to the long-term success of the person being hired. The company should be strategic with their onboarding process, being mindful to include position expectations, company culture, and opportunities to help them build relationships with their co-workers. 

Assign Mentors 

Assigning a mentor to work with the new hire is a great way to add value to the onboarding process and improve employee retention. The new employee learns the ins and outs of the company, plus the mentor provides a listening ear when needed. The mentor also has the opportunity to gain fresh ideas and suggestions from the new employee. 

Provide Training and Development Opportunities

If an employee feels they do not have a future with the company they are more likely to leave. Providing development opportunities aids the employer in prioritizing promotions, creating coaching opportunities, and designing structured performance plans. Training opportunities help employees to identify areas for growth and uncover skills that may help them be high performers at work. 

Encourage Employees to Have a Work-Life Balance  

Employers who respect and even encourage their staff to have a life outside of work are likely to hold on to employees longer. Electronic devices provide numerous ways for constant communication which can make maintaining a healthy work-life balance difficult. Employees should not feel that they have to be available to their supervisor or their employer 24 hours a day. Time away from work rejuvenates and refreshes the employee. Start by encouraging employees to set boundaries, take vacation days, and use all resources available to them. 

Conduct Thorough Exit Interviews 

Turnover cannot always be avoided, however conducting exit interviews can produce valuable information. As employees leave they are more likely to be transparent about what they thought worked well and what hindered their professional advancement. Oftentimes they will share their exact reasons for leaving. 

Finally, don’t ever underestimate the power of positivity. Employers who create a positive environment for their staff are setting the stage for better employee retention. 

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”~ Dale Carnegie 

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