Employee retention is a talent strategy employed by business leaders with the goal of maintaining current headcount and keeping the workforce intact. While there may be no shortage of qualified candidates ready to step in and fill a role, holding on to an existing staff of trained professionals already comfortable with corporate culture and attuned to the rhythms of day-to-day operations is in the best interest of every business.
Long-tenured employees have the right inside knowledge to make accurate and effective decisions that benefit the overall health of an organization. When employees feel valued, job satisfaction increases, and when job satisfaction increases, so does performance, leaving businesses with loyal, high-performing teams at their disposal.
Cost is another motivating factor that leads organizations to prioritize employee retention. The cost of turnover is high — about 21 percent of the employee's annual salary — so leading efforts to keep retention rates up is crucial to maintaining a healthy bottom line.
how employers improve retention
There are a number of factors for employers to consider when aiming to raise job satisfaction and lower turnover. These factors often vary from company to company, but there are some constants that managers can rely on to ensure they're providing employees with a fulfilling work experience. Chief among them are benefits. From a solid healthcare offering, to a 401(k) plan and ample paid time off, workers expect to see these incentives when selecting the ideal work environment. Yet less than half (39%) of workers are actually satisfied with the benefits they are offered.
Any additional perks employers can offer can go a long way in increasing retention. Incentives centered around improving work/life balance are appreciated, like remote working arrangements and flexible scheduling. In addition, improving communication around performance and promotion often impacts retention. Finally, regularly offering encouragement and praise, along with a clearly defined path to advancement, can increase employee morale and loyalty.
In short, employers need to provide employees with what they want if they hope to retain them — and what employees want is always changing, so business leaders must stay on top of the latest trends in worker expectations to maintain their current staffs. With our research showing that 55 percent of workers cited leaving jobs in the past because they received better benefits elsewhere, it's clear that failing to meet these expectations can result in low retention and a depleted talent pool as top candidates look elsewhere for new opportunities.
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