How can your company improve the employee experience to reduce turnover? Start with these five steps to boost loyalty among your team and create a workplace that encourages high-performing individuals to stay.
Invest in employee onboarding
Retention starts before your employee even walks through the door. The recruitment process and the transition period as an employee learns their new role, can have a significant impact on an employee’s willingness to go the distance with your organization. Data proves that businesses with a structured onboarding program see nearly two times the profit than companies that don’t follow any sort of onboarding strategy.
A great onboarding strategy is focused on the first 30, 60, and 90 days of a new hire’s experience. It provides clear guidelines for expectations on the first day – from the dress code to where to park – and continues with a roadmap of the training an employee needs to complete, managers and mentors assigned to them, and small goals that can build momentum toward bigger wins. At successful companies, onboarding is seen as a central and important investment in setting up an employee to achieve in the long-run. Make sure your managers are prepared to let a new hire set aside time for onboarding activities, even after their initial introduction to the team.
Offer the right compensation
Salary is important, but it’s just one piece of the overall benefits package a company can offer. There are other things today’s worker is looking for that can entice them to stay with your organization for longer. SHRM performed a survey and found that companies are offering some of these strategic benefits to retain high-performing employees:
- Growth opportunities (more on this in a minute)
- Flexible working and/or remote work
- Health care benefits
- Leave and vacation time
- Retirement benefits
- Student debt repayment and/or educational assistance
If you’re worried about an employee taking advantage of your benefits program and leaving anyway, consider linking rewards to retention. Some companies tie vacation hours to seniority, for instance, or offer stock options to longer-tenured employees. Look at the demographics of your workforce and tailor compensation based on their needs; for instance, Millennials are more likely to wish for student loan repayment benefits than Boomer employees.
Practice transparent leadership
“Regular meetings in which employees can offer ideas and ask questions, as well as ‘open-door policies’ that encourage employees to speak frankly with their managers help employees feel they are valued and that their input will be heard,” writes CIO.
Leaders who are transparent and open about their decision making will find employees who are more invested in the business’s future. Transparency leads to trust, and trust leads to higher engagement, productivity, and better business results. Make sure your managers hold regular meetings with their direct reports to keep teams working toward a common goal. Encourage honest feedback to travel up the chain of command, whether that’s through all-hands meetings, open-door office sessions, or a technology tool that makes it easy for employees to share their ideas.
Provide a clear career path
Customer support can often be a thankless job. It’s one of career paths with the highest turnover, even at top employee-ranked companies like Zappos and Southwest Airlines. In a job as seemingly thankless as customer service, how do you keep your highest performers engaged?
In short: career progression. “People are happiest when they feel they’re making progress on meaningful work, and happy workers tend to stay put. Support leaders who create deliberate career paths and growth goals for the people on their team will enjoy higher retention rates than those who don’t,” wrote HelpScout.
Today’s workers are looking to get compensated fairly for their work, of course, but they’re also drawn to career growth opportunities and meaningful work. Millennial employees want their work to invest in them professionally with mentorship, career development, the opportunity for promotion, and more. Offer a career advancement roadmap to help employees visualize where they can grow with your company.
Host exit interviews
Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that some of your employees will move on to bigger and better opportunities. When they do, take the time to capture their feedback and use it to continuously improve your employee experience.
Few organizations use an exit interview, but those who do see immense benefits for their employee retention rates. “If done well, an EI—whether it be a face-to-face conversation, a questionnaire, a survey, or some combination of those methods—can catalyze leaders’ listening skills, reveal what does or doesn’t work inside the organization, highlight hidden challenges and opportunities, and generate essential competitive intelligence. It can promote engagement and enhance retention by signaling to employees that their views matter,” writes Harvard Business Review.
The exit interview gives you the chance to validate all the other efforts your organization is making to keep top talent. Ask employees if they remember their onboarding process, if they felt a clear sense of purpose at work, and if they frequently interacted with senior executives. Gather data points to continuously improve and show your employees why they should be invested in growing with your business.
Chanler is the Business Development Manager at Elevate Talent, a recruiting agency that helps companies build their Go-To-Market and People Operations teams.