It’s necessary for your business to check whether it’s doing the right things and the offered workplaces are engaging enough. In this article, we’ll tackle the importance of employee retention, so buckle up and prepare to strengthen your business via the most significant resource—people.
What is Employee Retention?
The simplest retention definition is the actions implemented by the business to make sure its employees don’t quit their jobs. There are various retention rates; they can be low or high and indicate how many employees remained with the company during a certain period.
Employee retention implies reducing turnover by fostering a positive and inspiring work atmosphere. This helps to promote engagement, show appreciation to employees, and provide competitive pay while ensuring a stable work-life balance.
What are Remote Employee Retention Challenges?
There are multiple perks of working remotely, but the results aren’t always that bright when it comes to remote employee retention. You might be offering a flexible schedule and all other benefits but not having people in the same office can feel like you’re losing a grip on your team.
Adjusting to working from home is a daunting task. So here are a few of the most common remote employee retention challenges you might face:
1. Absence of the work-life balance
Managing at-home distractions is the biggest challenge for 47% of remote employees. Many people don’t necessarily have a designated workspace, which leads to the inability to focus on tasks and deliver high-quality results. Besides, employees try to squeeze in work whenever they can, trying to achieve greater results. However, this often leads to nothing but burnout.
Around 28,3% of the remote workers say that they have difficulties with concentrating, and 20% take longer to do tasks. This is because there’s pressure to hustle 24/7, and such type of work requires a multitude of skills, like time management and marketing. Switching between these skills throughout the day is exhausting, especially when people work in the same place they sleep. This blurs the boundary between work and home and makes employees feel pressure to be online when they should be offline.
2. Loneliness and isolation
Almost 22% of people say that unplugging after work is one of the biggest problems they face when working remotely. Meanwhile, 19% mention that they struggle with loneliness, and 17% lack communication.
Most of the remote workers could spend days on their own, not talking to other people because they don’t have to go anywhere but work. This might sound like the concentration on the tasks, but it’s not.
The disconnectivity from coworkers and the rest of the world makes remote employees feel lonely because they miss the social aspect of chatting on different topics with their colleagues when at home.
They’re more likely to feel lonely, which often results in higher rates of depression and anxiety.
3. The feeling of career stagnancy
Remote workers often feel “out of sight, out of mind,” worrying about being invisible in their job. As there is much less communication with the employees when working from home, they might feel bored or unappreciated. (You can also learn information about different types of employees to understand this topic better.)
Such situations also occur when the person doesn’t see positive changes in one’s career or feels like their work is a waste of time. This results in thinking about quitting frequently, not being sure about the future in the company, and feeling defeated or angry.
4. It’s hard to foster enthusiasm and creativity
When working from home, it’s several times harder to bond with colleagues. As a result, face-to-face interaction with like-minded co-workers is absent. However, it’s that synergy between colleagues that is the primary driver of the business’s ability to innovate.
Brainstorming often suffers because people don’t know how others react to their ideas, so they prefer to keep quiet over sharing their thoughts.
List of the Employee Retention Best Practices
Since the turnover is pricey, finding a replacement for your employee might cost as much as their double pay or 21% of their annual pay on average. This number varies in different fields of the IT industry, so for some employers, it might be even higher. The question is: “how to win the battle for retaining employees and not lose the team members in the competitive labor market?”
The following employee retention strategies will help your company adapt to the post-pandemic working environment and rise of the gig economy.
1. Provide more feedback and recognition
Due to the current situation in the world, many people have experienced certain changes in their lives and went through stress, anxiety, and workplace loneliness. So, opt for regular feedback and stay connected with your employees.
It’s necessary to keep a check on your team members and ask them about whether they’re facing any work challenges. Don’t be afraid to share what’s on your mind and let them know they’re not alone in complicated situations.
Communication and empathy can be major assets, increasing loyalty and trust in you as a leader. Frequent one-on-one meetings are great for discussing long- and short-term goals and helping them to shape the directions they need to follow to achieve these targets.
2. Create professional development opportunities
Working on the same tasks for several months is tiring and might decrease the retention of employees and interest in the projects.
So, you shouldn’t be afraid of challenging the team by assigning tasks that will make them search for the solutions themselves. A new and interesting problem will help them return their appetite for work, which might have become slightly blunt over time.
Stagnation in the current role is one of the basic factors that drive turnover because every 10 months a person remains in the same role, their chances of quitting increase by 1%. The opportunity to advance in a career shouldn’t be about management alone.
For example, Google and Microsoft have effective employee retention strategies. They implement a dual-track career ladder, where there are two general positions, namely contributor and people-partner. Certain roles, like a senior software developer or team manager, fall within this or that category. This helps companies benefit from their employees’ expertise because senior-level specialists can serve as mentors.
3. Encourage creativity and ask employees’ opinions
Saying that the company values creativity and actually proving these words are two opposite things because not many businesses have initiatives or policies to support it.
For instance, Google has one of the best retention strategies, which you can take as a model. It allows its employees to work on side projects that interest them as a part of its 80/20 program. If you’re going to emphasize creativity, make sure to take employees’ ideas with seriousness and think about how they can contribute in a tangible way.
Also, create opportunities for both public and private contributions because not all people are going to want to be recognized for their ideas. Encourage spontaneous decisions and risk-taking because learning from the mistakes helps to come out with innovative solutions.
Giving feedback is as important as receiving it because hearing employees’ thoughts and ideas about the company never hurts. In addition, it can give you new ideas about the organization’s further activities and help create a working place that fits teams’ demands.
4.Create a sense of belonging
Every employee wants to receive recognition for their work and feel valued. Your team members will be more loyal if you acknowledge their impact by implementing peer-to-peer recognition programs, sending emails with the names of the month’s best workers, or pointing out how exactly a specific person helped the project grow.
5.Reward efforts, and not just results
One of the employee retention best practices implies that you should shine a light on notable achievements, no matter how big or small they are. So, seize the opportunity to mark the milestone together when your team finished the project ahead of the deadline or an employee has reached a one-year “workaversary.”
Besides, things don’t always work out the way you want them to. Sometimes, it’s hard to reach certain numbers, and it’s not about the employees’ incompetency or lack of expertise. Remember to recognize the efforts because even if the target has been missed, the person gained experience, which deserves acknowledgment.
6.Take care of employee’s mental health
Sick leaves and free health check-ups have been on the companies’ benefit lists for a while, and now it’s time to emphasize mental health as well. One of the notable examples of using HR retention strategies is LinkedIn. The company gives its employees a mental week off to rest from work and prevent burnout.
Also, stress-management programs, time for fun and humor, and coverage for mental health services can go a long way.
7.Participate in CSR programs
If you’re working with millennials and Gen-Z employees, keep in mind that they value social responsibility and giving back to the community. So one of the best employee retention strategies comes down to helping those in need and contributing to society.
In addition, it fosters a sense of fulfillment and team bonding. Also, it inspires people and increases engagement because a company with strong values gives employees confidence in their employers and decreases turnover, positively impacting HR retention.
8.Emphasize quality, not quantity
Although burning the midnight oil seems noble and helps to achieve goals in the short term, the long-term result is burnout. Your human resources retention strategies should include regular check-ins to make sure the employees rest and connect with their loved ones.
You should tell the team that you value their dedication, but if long hours are regular, their performance is likely to decrease, resulting in lower quality of their work. It’s all about the right balance, and your employees need to be reminded of that.
9.Ensure an “open-door policy”
Retention strategies also imply creating a workplace where employees can freely express their opinions and share ideas about how to help the company develop. They should be given the opportunity to express their views both privately and publicly. Don’t forget about pointing out that you’re always there to listen to their thoughts and concerns and establish a culture of open communication.
10.Provide competitive salaries and benefits
When it comes to remote employee retention, you need to remember that the competitiveness is high, so it’s necessary to stay on the same page with the modern labor market offerings.
In addition, evaluate and adjust salaries offered by your organization to make sure they meet the average numbers. Besides, attractive social packages, like those that go beyond healthcare and paid sick leaves, will keep employees happy.
Useful Employee Retention Ideas
There are hundreds of employee retention ideas you can leverage to keep your teams inspired, interested in continuing working with your company, and get the most out of their knowledge and potential. Here are some additional HR retention strategies you can combine with the previous ones to achieve top results:
- Select and hire suitable employees at the outset
- Focus on employee education and development
- Provide clear and detailed performance evaluation
- Gain the employees’ trust and put efforts into maintaining it
- Make the team members understand they’re the most valuable assets of your company
- Provide perks
- Reward “overachievers” and encourage those that face certain struggles
- Establish a friendly working environment
- Encourage both personal and professional growth opportunities
To Wrap Up
Increasing employee retention is actually not that hard. When done correctly, the results will be visible to several stakeholders, including your company, employees, and customers. Employee retention strategies result in enthusiastic and productive teams that deliver high-quality results and make the clients want to do more business with your company.
However, the process of introducing employee retention best practices might be cumbersome and time-consuming for some companies.
If you don’t have an HR specialist, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time to handle this task. Nevertheless, a lack of experience in the field might lead to failures.
It’s pretty impossible to manage remote employee retention on your own because you have to monitor both the processes and people. Besides, if your team works from home, it might need additional psychological support to feel valued and involved because there’s less communication than in the office.
So, the optimal solution, in this case, is hiring an HR professional (one or several, depending on your company size) who will manage all these processes and ensure employee’s happiness.
HR Bit will be glad to make your employees feel valued and help your company succeed.
Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.