The pandemic brought huge uncertainty but the trend post-pandemic was a massive wave of resignations. It was so big in fact that it’s been coined “The Great Resignation”. Employee retention has reached new challenges where people want tailored jobs with flexibility and a healthy work-life balance. Now, companies must be nimble and creative for retaining top talent in an increasingly complex world.
A 2018 SHRM survey cites 47% of HR professionals giving employee retention as the top workforce management challenge. In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the overall turnover rate was 57.3 % with voluntary turnover at 25%. These statistics become increasingly alarming as the pool of talented candidates is slim. Moreover, the cost of replacing employees can be as high as two-thirds of their yearly salary, according to SHRM. Tracking employee turnover and retention is the first step. The real work begins when you assess these rates. Then, identify what you need to do to improve your employee retention strategies.
Innovative employee retention strategies revolve moving away from ‘tick-in-the-box’ programs toward tailored, individual solutions. You naturally improve employee retention when you put the individual at the center and focus on their intrinsic motivations.
Coaching provides an experiential learning environment that taps into our inner motivations. It does this by enhancing our competence and giving us a sense of control over our careers. Furthermore, you increase employee retention through coaching because coaches also help people find purpose and meaning in their work and life in general. There’s nothing more powerful for retention benefits than having a thought partner to keep you on track and give you a sense of progress and connection to your teams.
Benefits of employee retention
Reasons to concentrate on reducing turnover:
- Turnover is expensive.
- A company’s performance suffers from turnover due to a lack of continuity.
- With skilled employees becoming increasingly harder to find, retaining employees might be harder.
- You lose an employee’s knowledge and expertise when they leave. Unfortunately, there is no way to get all the loss back, even if you work diligently to make up for it.
The following metrics should be monitored with the AHP retention formulas. You can then determine employee stability when designing creative ways to retain employees.
- The average turnover when compared to promotions or transfers.
- The average tenure of your employees.
- Tracking positions filled vs. open positions.
- When measuring the turnover rate, break them into four categories: Voluntary, Involuntary, Desirable and employees noted as high-performing.
- Employees satisfaction survey rates.
Retention of talent can be split into two categories where the first one consists of the tangibles such as level of pay, working conditions, career opportunities, benefits, training, and work-life balance. The second category is the intangibles that link to intrinsic motivation. As mentioned, these can be summarized into finding meaning, having a choice of how to deliver the work, getting a sense of competence, and being able to see progress.
Solutions for retaining talent aren’t effective without understanding the problem, but this happens often mainly because the intangibles are difficult to pinpoint and measure. Assessing your current circumstances is the first step in reducing turnover and retaining employees. Next, learn about the problems you’re facing, and determine what you’ll do to rectify your retention benefits on offer. Retention issues are often connected, and solving one can help you solve others.
Problem: undervalued and disposable
The pandemic brought remote working and flexible hours to people and it’s impossible to take that back. On top of that, people learned just how devastating the impact of isolation can be. We’re social creatures and we need to feel that we belong and that we matter both at work and at home. If we don’t get that, it’s now so much easier to jump ship thanks to remote working and the endless opportunities now open to people.
Solution: invest in employee learning opportunities
Employee retention ideas should include coaching leaders to say thank you and well done more often. It’s easy to forget these simple phrases because most companies tend to only reward results. Actually, Western societies, in general, tend to reward individualism, wealth, and power.
Sadly, community values have been forgotten for a long time but pushed to the forefront during the pandemic. It takes a nimble and creative coach to guide a leader to become aware of those values alongside promoting wellbeing and vulnerability in order to shift the focus from results alone. With this new environment, people can be themselves more easily and more open to learning and mutual respect which drives greater retention.
Problem: lack of recognition
Some of the easy and cost-effective employee retention program examples start with recognizing employee contributions. Even well-compensated employees who do not feel appreciated for their work are much less likely to stick around.
Solution: build a genuine culture of recognition.
21% of people list recognition as the principal reason for remaining at their current employer. Recognizing contributions promptly and frequently ensures they are appreciated at the moment of greatest significance. Employees should also see how their contributions and their colleagues’ contributions align with the mission and culture of the organization. It helps the whole team understand the bigger picture behind their work and how their contributions, big or small, help drive the company forward. This connects deeply with intrinsic motivation and is a powerful way to increase employee retention.
Problem: lack of trust
Every working relationship operates on a balance of mutual trust. A lopsided balance of faith is a significant factor in employee turnover. A Tolero study found that a lack of trust is the reason 45% of employees quit.
Information is an important tool that you can provide to your employees. To make sound business decisions, employees need to feel they are given the correct information and resources to support them. It’s both demoralizing and inefficient to do your work on a need-to-know basis and drives low retention of talent.
Solution: embrace transparency
Transparency is the natural remedy for a lack of mutual trust. Increasing transparency is one of the best ways to improve mutual trust within an organization and should be part of your employee retention strategies.
At Lingo Live we often see leaders who are nervous to share the truth about bad situations. The reality is that when things are going wrong within a company, people gossip. This further drives low retention of talent and creates mistrust. Instead, coach your leaders to gain confidence to share information, whether good or bad and still maintain loyalty.
The importance of employee retention can be seen in this example.
A manager who constantly looks over their employees’ shoulders can cause tension and paranoia that ultimately leads to dependency. When employees feel like their ideas are invalid or are always afraid of criticism, it eventually takes its toll on creativity. Moreover, why bother making an effort if your boss is going to re-do everything anyway?
Instead, innovative employee retention strategies include giving autonomy. People will feel suffocated if they aren’t able to make even a little decision without management input. In the end, employees who think they can’t do anything right will stop trying altogether. When talented employees are micromanaged, they often do one thing; quit. It’s not pleasant to come into work every day where you feel like a prisoner under watch at all times.
Solution: embrace autonomy
Benefits of employee retention should include coaching. Micromanagers are only trying their best but deep down fear and insecurity drive their actions. A coach will guide them to become aware of their habits and how their behaviors impact their teams and overall performance. It’s a tough journey of discovery. Nevertheless, a coach creates a safe environment to motivate those managers to try something different.
Learning and development professionals can also play a role in preventing dissatisfied employees from leaving. They are on alert for signs of employee dissatisfaction and they can sometimes mediate between employees and bosses or highlight the need for a coach before it’s too late.
Creative ways to retain employees must be developed and implemented by all functions within an organization. Learning and development practices have a significant impact on retention. In fact, all HR and L&D roles have a part to play by partnering with leaders for retaining top talent across the following themes:
- Training and development
- Compensation and rewards
- Employee engagement
- Leadership and Development
What’s next for your business?
An organization’s ability to generate employee retention ideas and keep top talent will determine whether it succeeds or fails in the long run. A loyal team of happy employees is one of the most valuable benefits of employee retention. So, build a team through proper development and provide the right tools, support, and space to get the job done.
The importance of employee retention is more than just about costs and the bottom line. With the right strategies for retaining talent, you’ll create an environment of continuous development with loyalty and the willingness to go the extra mile. Our Lingo Live coaches support that approach by partnering with your leaders. We enable them to align their values and internal motivations with the overall goals and vision of your business. Fulfilled leaders with a sense of purpose will naturally bring your employees together for a greater purpose and greater success for all.