What Are the Keys to Employee Retention?

What Are the Keys to Employee Retention?

To uncover the secret to retaining employees, we sought insights from fifteen business leaders and managers. From genuine care for employee needs to making work meaningful and fostering community, these experts share their key strategies for employee retention.

  • Genuine Care for Employee Needs
  • Effective Recruitment
  • Individualized Approach and Emotional Intelligence
  • Employee Health and Measuring It
  • An Open and Fun Culture
  • Work-Life Balance and Employee Motivation
  • Flexible Work Environment
  • Growth, Recognition, and Supportive Culture
  • Positive Environment and Growth Opportunities
  • Proactive Pay Raises and Public Recognition
  • Valuing Employee Contribution
  • Promoting Internal Mobility
  • Rewards, Recognition, and Inclusion
  • Empathy and Understanding in Management
  • Meaningful Work and Fostering Community

Genuine Care for Employee Needs

Employees will go through a brick wall for you if they know you truly care about them. Caring is not something that can be manufactured. It only works when it is genuine.

Thus, I always looked for ways to care for and serve my employees in the ways that they needed. Whether they needed flex-time, encouragement, a listening ear, an opportunity to grow, or resources to be creative, I did what I could to meet their needs. In doing so, my teammates were not only retained, they were engaged.

Brent Hafele, M.A., ACCBrent Hafele, M.A., ACC
Head Coach and Owner, Vibrancy Unlocked

Effective Recruitment

More often than not, problems with employee retention are really just problems with recruitment, kicked down the road. This is particularly true at organizations that rely solely on interviews to screen, shortlist, and select candidates, which are notoriously ineffective at addressing culture fit.

Instead, pre-employment assessments are used before hiring, especially behavioral assessments during the early stages of the recruitment process. This way, specific traits, characteristics, and competencies that underpin culture fit in the organization can be captured.

Overall, this allows for the weeding out of misfitting candidates well before the interview stage, maximizing the probability of selecting candidates who will stay long-term. Although some misfits do slip through the cracks, employee retention is at an all-time high, and the results are satisfactory.

Chloe YarwoodChloe Yarwood
HR Manager, Test Partnership

Individualized Approach and Emotional Intelligence

Treat your employees how they want to be treated. Your relationship with your employees should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Learn how your employees want to communicate, work together, and work independently.

Practice emotional intelligence and really listen to them. When you work with your employees in the way that works best for them, they will really appreciate this and want to stay at the job with the company for the long term!

Beryl KrinskyBeryl Krinsky
Founder and CEO, B.Komplete

Employee Health and Measuring It

The secret to retaining employees is to genuinely care for their health and well-being. This belief led to a partnership with a company called Shae Wellness. Shae provides a corporate wellness platform that is AI-driven and customized to each employee. This platform helps the team focus on the mental, physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and environmental aspects of their life. It has been observed that when an employee’s personal health is positively affected, they tend to be much more loyal.

In terms of employee retention, the key is measuring it. This is the first step to understanding where you stand, especially when it comes to regrettable losses. Many companies don’t even track this, and if something isn’t being tracked, it’s hard to improve upon it. Therefore, it is highly recommended to start there.

Max HansenMax Hansen
CEO and Co-Founder, Y Scouts

An Open and Fun Culture

As the Operations Manager at Custom Exteriors, an exterior remodeling company north of Denver, Colorado, I’ve been a business owner for 20 years. The key to retaining our employees, we believe, is by creating an open, honest, and fun culture.

Our leadership team is humble and down-to-earth, which has allowed us to build a top-notch team. Regular one-on-ones to gauge team morale and adjust, flexible time off, allowing for remote work, and creating relationship-building experiences that include the owners are some of the strategies we use.

These, combined with other choices, have built an environment of mutual respect and understanding throughout the company. It’s been our experience that people are willing to make financial sacrifices to be a part of a fun and laid-back team. We’ve even seen employees relocate from one company to another just to continue to be a part of our team!

Niki OBrien
Niki Obrien, Operations Manager, Custom Exteriors

Work-Life Balance and Employee Motivation

In this fast-paced world, we are more focused on productivity, performance, output, and results. In the midst of this, we overlook one of the most important factors: work-life balance.

Keeping employees motivated is a strong emphasis. When employees are motivated, they establish harmony between their work and personal life. This helps them work with clarity, resulting in better productivity.

A powerful stress-management system is greatly emphasized. This includes setting realistic deadlines, optimizing workloads, and limiting overtime. When this is achieved, the retention rate goes up.

Demonstrating critical work-life balance by spending time with family and pursuing hobbies can inspire employees to focus on their personal lives.

In conclusion, maintaining a work-life balance is essential for keeping employees motivated, thereby resulting in a long-term association with the company.

Sandeep KashyapSandeep Kashyap
CEO and Founder, ProofHub

Flexible Work Environments

There is a reason I’ve been running a hybrid workforce management solution company for the last 11 years—I truly believe that a flexible work environment is the secret sauce when it comes to keeping employees happy, engaged, and productive.

There has been a wealth of research on hybrid work improving performance and retention, and as someone who practices what he preaches, I can definitely say I’ve found this to be true. More money, more benefits, development opportunities–all of those are important, don’t get me wrong, but without the freedom to organize your schedule to meet the needs of your life, then you will not be able to enjoy any of those other perks.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Growth, Recognition, and a Supportive Culture

At Authors On Mission, the secret to retaining employees revolves around personal and professional growth, along with regular recognition of contributions. This includes offering remote work with flexible work hours to make the work available and easy for all employees.

Investment in employees’ development is made by offering continuous learning opportunities and career advancement possibilities. Acknowledging their efforts, both big and small, is a priority. This culture of appreciation promotes job satisfaction and loyalty.

Open communication is also key. Feedback and ideas are encouraged, fostering an environment where every voice matters. In short, employees are retained by cultivating a supportive, growth-oriented, and appreciative work culture.

Vikrant ShauryaVikrant Shaurya
CEO, Authors On Mission

Positive Environment and Growth Opportunities

As a CEO, the secret to retaining employees lies in creating a positive and supportive work environment that values and invests in its employees. The key to employee retention is to focus on three crucial aspects: culture, growth opportunities, and work-life balance.

First and foremost, fostering a strong company culture is essential. Employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel a sense of belonging, appreciation, and camaraderie. Creating an inclusive and supportive culture where open communication and feedback are encouraged helps build strong relationships between team members and management.

Secondly, offering growth opportunities is crucial for retaining employees. Providing regular training, skill development programs, and opportunities for career advancement shows employees that the organization is invested in their professional growth. When employees see a clear path for advancement and development within the company, they are more likely to remain committed.

Sai BlackbyrnSai Blackbyrn
CEO, Coach Foundation

Proactive Pay Raises and Public Recognition

In my experience, proactively addressing pay raises has been an effective strategy for retaining employees. Top-performing team members should never feel the need to request a raise themselves. If an employee is consistently exceeding expectations, it’s important to acknowledge that and offer a pay increase before they feel the need to ask. This can alleviate the stress and discomfort often associated with negotiating a raise.

Public recognition also plays a key role in employee retention. Acknowledging an employee’s hard work and achievements in a public setting can be extremely rewarding. In fact, this kind of recognition can often be more impactful than a financial bonus. When people feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to be engaged, motivated, and loyal to the company.

Martin PotockiMartin Potocki
CEO, Jobera

Valuing Employee Contributions

My least favorite jobs were never the lowest-paying. They were places where my work and my contribution were not properly valued.

Maybe it was because there were other priorities. Maybe our project never released. Maybe it was valued, but never shown. Whatever the case, it’s extremely demoralizing to be in a place where your work is not terribly important to anyone. We try to do the exact opposite, ensuring that everyone at QBench is working in the mission-critical path. This has contributed to excellent retention and a great company culture.

Trevor EwenTrevor Ewen
COO, QBench

Promoting Internal Mobility

Promoting internal mobility is our company’s secret to keeping our employees happy and engaged. We believe in allowing our workers to explore various roles, move between different geographical locations, and transition between departments within the organization.

Our primary goal is to provide them with opportunities for personal growth and skill development, while nurturing a culture of continuous learning. To achieve this, we have designed a program that offers our employees a range of career-development options. For example, we facilitate role switches among workers with similar job levels but different responsibilities, allowing them to acquire diverse skills.

This helps them discover new passions and interests that align with their aspirations, but also enriches their overall skill repertoire. In conclusion, we firmly believe that internal mobility is a potent tool for cultivating a dynamic, engaged, and adaptable workforce.

Peter BrylaPeter Bryla
Community Manager, ResumeLab

Rewards, Recognition, and Inclusion

The key to employee retention is cultivating a culture that prioritizes rewards, recognition, and inclusion. Competitive rewards, including fair compensation and benefits, make employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. Recognizing and acknowledging employees’ efforts and achievements fosters a positive work environment and boosts morale, leading to increased engagement and retention. Creating an inclusive workplace where employees are respected, heard, and given growth opportunities is essential.

By promoting diversity, offering development programs, and fostering a supportive atmosphere, employees are more likely to remain loyal and committed. Retaining employees involves understanding their needs, creating a positive and inclusive environment, and demonstrating appreciation for their valuable contributions.

Shannon Garcia-LewisShannon Garcia-Lewis
Owner/Principal, Strategic Business Partners, LLC.

Empathy and Understanding in Management

We’ve all been taught the golden rule when we were kids: treat others how you would want to be treated. This is something I’ve applied to my various businesses over the years, and I’ve found it to be a successful mantra to manage by.

Putting yourself in their position and then asking, “Would I like to develop these skills? Would I like to receive this raise? Would I like to have this sort of leader? Would I like to have this sort of environment?” is a good way to figure out where your employees are coming from. It isn’t rocket science, though the hard part, as always, is to make it so that what works for your employees also works for your bottom line.

Kate KandeferKate Kandefer
CEO, SEOwind

 Meaningful Work and Fostering Community

The key to retention? Make work meaningful. Research shows that purpose is the ultimate motivator. When employees feel their work has significance beyond the bottom line, retention takes care of itself. Engage employees in identifying how their roles contribute value. Show them the impact of their efforts.

Additionally, don’t forget to give credit when and where it’s due. Appreciate the people behind the work. Celebrate their wins, both large and small, and work to build a culture community around it. Foster collaboration. People with friends at work stay. So, encourage coworker kindness. When people feel part of a caring, connected team, they stick around.

While a magic retention elixir doesn’t exist, in organizations where purpose, recognition, and community are strong, retention takes care of itself.

Andrea J Miller, ACC, SHRM-SCPAndrea J Miller, ACC, SHRM-SCP
CEO, LeadWell Company

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