A strong company demands the consistency and continuity of long-term players — those employees who have helped move the business through multiple growth stages and come out on the other side with essential knowledge and experience. Veterans like these are the ones who’ll shape your business for the better.
Unfortunately, this kind of team member — the kind that sticks around — is becoming rarer and rarer. According to LinkedIn, one third of new hires quit after about six months. For many roles, that’s barely enough time to get up and running.
It’s a discouraging statistic, but there are concrete steps you can take to boost long-term employee retention. Here are 7 of our favorites.
Employee retention tip #1: Hire people who actually want to work for your company.
An unfortunate power dynamic often exists between hiring managers and job candidates. You know the kind I’m talking about: The hiring manager makes candidates jump through hoops to find the most competitive talent, and job seekers go along with it because, well, they are competitive — they want to earn an offer, no matter what it takes. Sadly, this way of doing things sours the interview process, turning it into an inauthentic interaction that serves nobody. It’s much better to focus on fit.
During the hiring process, treat candidates like potential partners. Encourage them to ask questions and discover more about the company. Be sure that if you offer them the job, they’ll actually want to work for you.
Employee retention tip #2: Empower new hires with an effective onboarding process.
An employee’s first day is their first real impression of your company — and first impressions, as we all know, are important. Make sure your new hires feel set up for success with a great onboarding process. Instead of overloading them with information and process docs, take a more holistic approach: Help them get to know the company and their co-workers. Give them room to explore. If you’re trying to hire for the long term, you need employees to feel valued — not like a nameless plug to fill a hole.
Employee retention tip #3: Make sure your company has a great culture.
Even employees who love their roles won’t stick around if the company doesn’t have a great culture. As an employer, it’s your job to make sure your workers actually want to come into work.
Here are some tips for making that happen: Provide ways for employees to recognize one another, like gratitude notes. Schedule team-building activities outside of work, like sporting events or happy hours. And, if all else fails, provide free snacks.
Employee retention tip #4: Help your team understand their strengths.
Most people don’t enjoy doing a job they aren’t good at. Working against our talents and strengths can easily lead to insecurities and self-doubt, which in turn can lead to job dissatisfaction. The problem is, not everybody has a great grasp of what their strengths and talents actually are. To help employees learn more about their personal potential for success, try the CliftonStrengths assessment, a tool designed to help individuals uncover their talents. With a better understanding of how they add value, employees will be able to shape their jobs in a way that they find more satisfying and fulfilling.
Employee retention tip #5: Encourage workplace friendships.
Did you know that having a friend you see on most days is the psychological equivalent of earning an extra $100,000 each year? It’s an extraordinary statistic, one that powerfully conveys the importance of creating a workplace environment where employees are encouraged to build and develop strong friendships.
Employee retention tip #6: Prevent burnout.
According to one survey, 50% of people report feeling consistently exhausted because of work. Obviously, this is a not a great sign for employee retention. Workers who feel completely burnt out are much more likely to quit.
How do you prevent burnout? Start by ensuring your employees have the proper amount of support. The harder the job, the more support and time for recovery a worker will need. Beyond that, encourage exercise, mindfulness and relationship building.
Employee retention tip #7: Offer a leadership academy — for everybody.
If you want to keep employees around for the long haul, you’ll need to provide opportunities for growth. Talented, driven individuals want to push their careers forward, and if they can’t do that at your company, they’ll move on. One great way to help your people grow is by offering a leadership academy that’s open to everybody. After all, even employees that aren’t in traditional management roles deserve a route to develop leadership skills.
When it comes down to it, keeping top talent is about providing a great place to work with room for growth. Whatever particular strategies you choose, make sure you keep those two things in mind. And if you need a bit more help coming up with ways to improve your company’s work culture, check out this checklist: