Employee retention is an extremely important, yet often overlooked, aspect of running a successful business. Research continually finds that retaining top employees is vital to ensure high morale, sales growth, and even improved satisfaction when it comes to your customers.

On the other hand, high employee turnover is a drain on a company’s financial resources. Losing your key employees can severely limit productivity, damage morale, and end up costing you a lot to find and train new employees.

A vast majority of leaders often assume that their employees will leave a role because they are not being paid enough, but the reality is that a large number of factors can contribute to high employee turnover rates. This can include feeling unappreciated, being overworked, tired of ineffective management, lack of advancement opportunities, and the list goes on.

This means that your company employee retention strategy must be aimed at incentivizing and improving every aspect of the employee experience. On top of paying your employees well for their work (which is still a crucial factor in employee retention), here are some effective retention strategies to ensure your top talent sticks around for the long haul.

Leader coming up with a career development plan for this employees.
Career development is a crucial key factor in ensuring an employee stays for the long haul. By investing in your employees, you are showing them you’re involved in their present and future career growth.

1. Invest in your employees’ career development

When businesses invest in their team members by providing them with opportunities to learn to skills or knowledge, it lets an employee know you’re invested in their present and future career growth. Up to 42% of employee believes their job satisfaction hinges on being provided with opportunities to develop their career.

You could invest in conferences or workshops for your employees to attend, offer tuition reimbursement, or even create an in-house mentoring program. It is also crucial to promote from within whenever possible.

2. Set clear-cut expectations and procedures

If employees don’t have a clear understanding of their job duties, company policies and procedures, and performance metrics, they’ll be evaluated against; they can become tremendously frustrated. This can lead to lowered morale to the point where the employee may be tempted to look elsewhere for employment.

Thankfully there’s a simple solution – communicate with your employees to guarantee they have a clear understanding of their daily duties, company policies and procedures, and so on. Provide regular feedback to your employees, so they know how they’re being evaluated. Don’t forget to make sure that your procedures and policies are fair and helpful to avoid having them backfire on you.

3. Encourage a culture of open communication

Morale will improve significantly if your employees feel as though they are free to speak their minds, share ideas, address any grievances, and actively participate in a company’s growth. Ensure that leadership is committed to transparent, open, and respectful communication and encourage this behavior from every member of your team.

You will find that by practicing these behaviors, there will be an improvement in the employee-management relationship, which is another crucial factor in keeping your employees happy.

Manager acknowledging the work of one of her employees who has perfected her time management technique with the help of employee time clock software.
Employee recognition and appreciation is a great way to improve retention rates. By acknowledging hard work, you let your employees know you’re invested in their career and results.

4. Make sure your employees feel valued

Whether you think so or not, your employees contribute a considerable percentage of their daily lives to helping your business meet the bottom line, so it’s imperative that they feel valued and respected. Ensure that your employees are treated fairly at all times and that leadership continually acknowledge team members for a job well done and the effort they daily put into their work.

A simple “thank you” is a great first step, but you can move on to provide greater rewards in the form of raises, promotions, bonuses, paid time off and gifts that can provide value to an employees life. If you’re not sure where to start or which rewards would appeal the most to your employes, then ask!

5. Offer benefits packages that are actually beneficial

You should give your employees access to packages that include affordable and high-quality health insurance, life insurance, sick leave and vacation time, family leave as well as a retirement savings plan. These are staple items, and beyond them, your company needs to consider what would genuinely serve the needs of your employees. You may consider including flexible scheduling, financial incentives, stock options, gym memberships, childcare, or sabbaticals.

Gather feedback from your employees to determine what benefits would actually improve their lives and wellbeing. You may want to consider customizable benefit options to account for different demographics of employees, such as Millennials or Baby Boomers, who often tend to be motivated by various factors.

6. Provide your employees with meaningful work

Many employees today – especially young workers such as Millenials – care a great deal about doing meaningful work as they do about having a career that pays the bills. That’s why it is crucial to provide your employees with stimulating assignments, varying tasks, and opportunities to make a real difference in your business or the community.

Opportunities for community outreach, philanthropic programs, social programs, and unification around a shared passion for your company can all help to provide your employees with a sense of meaning in their job.

Woman looking at her watch to ensure she's on task. Alternatively, she can use employee time clock software to help manage her time.
By allowing employees to control their time while at work, you can improve accountability and job satisfaction. Invest in employee time clock software to help make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible.

7. Gives employees control over their time

Employees often like to that they are working alongside or with a company rather than just for it. By using employee time clock software, you can put some responsibility and accountability back in the employee’s hands.

Employee time clock software allows your employees to be more accountable for their time and can help them to understand what duties their day is being comprised of. They may find they are spending too much time on one task, but not enough on another. This accountability makes an employee feel as though they are not just another cog, but that their time spent working is valuable and impacts the overall success of your business. There’s a lot of great employee time clock software available, so find a solution that is easy to use and helps make time tracking a breeze.

8. Don’t overburden your employees

If you overwhelm and burnout your employees, no amount of benefits can make up for that. Overworking employees can lead to decreased productivity and potentially even force them to give up on a project altogether.

If you’re not continually overworking your employees, they will have the desire and energy to stick around for the long haul. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that no member of your team is being asked to take on too much.

You should encourage your employees to prioritize a healthy work-life balance and make sure that leadership is modeling these behaviors so your employees feel comfortable following suit. You may initially fear a dip in productivity if your team members scale back on their work; you will find that working less can actually lead to higher productivity.

9. Understand why your employees stay

Many businesses will conduct exit interviews but rarely do they take the time to determine why some employees choose to stay. Reach out to your team for insight into why they decide to remain with the company. This information can be invaluable and help you to identify which policies or procedures are genuinely beneficial to your employee retention strategy. You can also determine if there’s any room for improvement. Just be open to feedback and actively use it to shape your internal policies and procedures.

Employee retention boils down to one thing: Do you treat your team members with respect, as if they are human beings with their own goals and needs? If your policies and procedures align with that question and you answered “yes” then you are well on your way to retaining satisfied employees for life.