Finding high-quality, long-term employees can sometimes feel like an impossible task. In the last decade, the workforce has changed dramatically from long-term careers to job hopping on a regular basis. Over 90% of millennials expect to leave a job within 3 years, in many cases seeking a position they love over a boring 9 to 5 (source: Forbes). So how can you be the business that stands apart and keeps employees happier for longer? Here are 8 ways to increase employee retention rates and make your business the best it can be.
When reviewing resumes for open positions, don’t just take into account a candidate’s experience, but also their longevity. If their application is littered with 6 to 12-month roles, consider the fact that that they may be a job hopper by nature. While it can sometimes be difficult to eliminate candidates this way, especially if they are otherwise qualified, consider what you are looking for in an employee; is this role short-term or contract, or something more permanent? This will help to save you the shock of a quick turnaround when they inevitably leave within a few months.
While company culture may seem like just a buzzword these days, it is actually exceptionally important to the health of the company and the satisfaction of employees. 88% of workers report that they consider a positive culture to be important or essential to their dream position, so make sure to cultivate one (Source: Deloitte). A positive company culture can be as simple as starting Summer Fridays, allowing for flexibility in schedules, or even just snacks in the office. Small gestures like this will help your employees to feel valued and excited about coming to work.
Getting caught up in the day to day affairs of your business can sometimes leave you forgetting to celebrate the smaller aspects, such as work anniversaries, soaring sales, and new hires. Celebrating the little successes within your business will help your employees feel appreciated, especially when they have put in the work. Making a bulletin of all employees along with fun facts about themselves, sending out congratulatory emails for weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries, and even simple gestures like thanking your staff goes a long way in increasing employee retention rates.
If you know a star member of your team is going through a tough time, or just needs some flexibility, do your best to accommodate those needs, within reason. Whether it’s a health issue, familial situation, or just running a little behind, be understanding of the fact that we are all humans outside our 9 to 5 routine. The more flexibility you offer your employees, the more willing they will be to pick up extra shifts, stay late, or assist you when you need the favor returned.
People want to feel like they have room to grow, change, and learn in their roles, not that they are cemented into the same routine as long as their employment lasts. Providing higher education classes, trainings, or a career roadmap to the next stages of their employment within the company are all great ways to show your staff you are committed to their growth. Allowing your employees to visualize the next steps in their success will encourage them to remain with the company longer.
While many small businesses do not have the budget to offer their employees all the benefits of larger corporations, there are still many ways to remain competitive in your industry. These benefits don’t have to cut majorly into your budget—benefits such as extra vacation days, ability to work from home a certain number of days a month, and paid lunch breaks are all great incentives that can result in an increased employee retention rate. If you want to step outside the box, offering more unique perks such as sporting tickets, free massages, or paid lunches are all great ways to improve morale.
More than any other reason, employees leave jobs because they are unhappy with their leadership (Source: The Balance Careers). So how do you become the boss that is both respected and appreciated? Honesty (Source: Forbes). 65% of workers in America would rather have a good boss over a raise, which speaks to the fact that being honest and transparent with your employees will result in increased employee retention rates.
While you may not be able to offer the highest salaries in the industry, offering your employees a competitive and negotiable salary to start is a great way to attract long-lasting talent. While all the other perks mentioned are equally important, a competitive wage is a huge aspect of what encourages employees to stay.