5 employee retention tips

Retention is always a huge priority. From the cost of staff turnover to general productivity, it’s vital to keep your teams intact.  

But as the U.S. job market starts to bounce back, retaining your employees should be an even higher priority. Workers might have stayed in their role throughout 2020 for a sense of security but now might feel more confident in leaving. Or, due to personal needs that arose, such as commutes or scheduling demands, your workers are looking for a new job. 

These five tips can help you retain employees - this year and beyond. 

1. Re-consider or re-evaluate the benefits or perks you offer. 

First and foremost, cover the standards, like health insurance and retirement. That will look different company-by-company, but health, safety and security are important themes for all workers right now and will be in the future. 

Then, look to how you add perks to daily working life and set yourself apart from other potential employers. This can be everything from gym memberships to snacks at the office. Survey your teams to ask what they want in a completely- or mostly-remote environment. To get you started with some ideas, check out these benefits to offer remote workers.  

2. Understand that flexible hours and remote work are now essentials. 

We’re all used to cats jumping into view, dogs barking, kids screaming, and juggling personal and professional schedules. Working remotely at least some of the time was on the rise in the past few years, accelerated by the pandemic and is now ingrained in our workforce. Even if you offer just one or two days of remote work per week, workers now expect better work-life balance. HR, hiring managers and leaders should set the tone moving forward that flexibility is a key part of workplace settings. Just at the end of 2020, CareerBuilder found that 25% of respondents strongly preferred flexible hours and 35% wouldn’t accept a job offer if there was no remote work option.  

3. Offer upskilling, professional development and growth opportunities. 

By the final few months of 2020, 75% of candidates said they spent the year learning new skills with the explicit intent of transferring roles, while 88% of these same job seekers said they were actively job hunting. The majority of respondents were employed – meaning these workers are becoming more qualified for better or other roles, even if they have a job. By offering your current employees the ability to improve their skills in their current role, with potential opportunities for promotions or responsibility growth in the future, you increase the likelihood your workers will want to stay. Set clear paths for your current team to grow and innovate, while offering course partnerships or reimbursements for development, and you can decrease the chance your employees will take their talents elsewhere. 

4. Pay your employees competitive wages. 

Consider national averages, plus that person’s experience and skills. Location might still be important in huge, expensive markets like major U.S. cities, but ensure your team is compensated fairly. Know what it costs to live (and enjoy life) near your office or where your candidates reside. 

5. Focus on culture. 

This includes the fun stuff – like happy hours and company events – as well as diversity and inclusion, and how employees are recognized and promoted. 

To bring an element of fun and replicate in-person interaction, for example, CareerBuilder hosts baking competitions, celebrates employees’ hard work and organizes cross-team get-togethers to promote collaboration. These things are important to keep morale high, reduce stress and just make your employees feel comfortable at work. 

Other crucial pieces of your culture, however, include addressing and alleviating obstacles or challenges: 

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