3 Strategies To Help Improve Employee Retention

Want to know THE (nearly) universal problem I hear about with businesses we work with today?  Regardless of industry, nearly all of our clients struggle with one big issue.

Attracting & Retaining Great Talent

Companies from all over the country, in all kinds of different industries, need to find the best people…and they need to keep them.  It’s a struggle.  And while people often want to blame the work ethic of our country, math will tell you that there are simply fewer people working right now.  With Baby Boomers retiring, there is a gap between the number of jobs, and the number of workers to fill them.  So what do we do?

Compensation Is Not Enough

While a competitive compensation plan is important, sometimes money really can’t buy happiness at work.  Studies will tell you that once compensation hits a certain level, it fails to motivate behavior.  And as more and more employers adjust their pay rates, it becomes harder to be a differentiator.  So of course you need to pay your team well.  But if that is your entire strategy for attracting and retaining talent…it will probably fall short.

So what can you (as a leader) do to help improve your employee retention?  Here are 3 strategies.  These are some best practices that we have seen organizations create…so they can create a wonderful place to work.

Create A Tribe

Many new employees walk into a new work environment and feel completely disconnected.  They don’t feel a part of the tribe.  Sure, they get the “welcome packet” but that’s full of corporate jargon that tells them what they can and can’t do at work.  They don’t immediately feel a part of the team.

Create a Welcome Kit:  One way to make your new people feel welcome is to provide them with a quality welcome merch kit.  This kit might include a t-shirt, a backpack (to use for work), a water bottle, and a notebook.  This simple kit not only begins their work experience with “a gift” from the company, it immediately starts to indoctrinate them into the team.  They feel good about the organization and they feel like they belong.  You start to create a tribe.

Have Fun at Work:  When I worked at the Longaberger Company, Dave Longaberger said that 25% of your workday should be fun.  It wasn’t about having a foosball table or blowing off the tough stuff.  It was about giving people permission to laugh.  Dave knew that people who were happy tended to be more creative and productive.  Do you allow that?

Create a Culture of Care

Maya Angelou said that people will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.  And while there are many ways to show your team that you sincerely care about their well-being, here are a few strategies to consider.

Be more flexible with work time:  During the pandemic, everyone had to work from home.  So in most organizations, we have proven that it can be done.  Now that many organizations are moving back to the office (and we are too), leaders still have the chance to let people work from home when they need to.  In addition, we have seen some leaders be a bit more liberal with vacation time.  This flexibility gives your team the space to recharge and shows a level of “care” that many organizations don’t.

Create A Wellness Program:  The science is real.  If your brain is healthy, you are more healthy.  Healthy (in all senses of the word) employees are better employees. But most organizations don’t invest in health and wellness programs.  Creating a program that encourages your team to get physically and mentally healthy not only shows you care, but it will create outsized results in productivity as well.

Create a Culture of Appreciation

For years, we have said that there is an Appreciation Gap in the world today.  We talk about that here.  It’s the gap between the leaders (who think they show appreciation) and the employees and customers (who don’t feel appreciated).  As a matter of fact, we have repeatedly talked about creating an appreciation program to make sure your top customers know how much they mean to you.  It’s a powerful way to keep your customers.

It is also a strategy you can use to make sure your team knows you care.

Create a quarterly appreciation program for your employees.  Every quarter, select a nice piece of branded merch and give it out to your team.  Not only does it make sure you are saying “thank you” on a more regular basis, but it also helps to continue to build that tribe.

So those are 3 strategies that can help improve employee retention.  By creating a culture where people are excited to come to work, you can decrease turnover and improve your overall organization.

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Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.