Employee retention is one of the biggest concerns for human resources (HR). Your team’s loyalty not only reflects the company’s culture and productivity but also impacts its hiring and recruitment costs.

Although your organization can’t prevent turnover completely, there are certain steps it can take to retain quality personnel. The process involves answering key questions such as:

  • Do you know your current and potential employees’ needs and work hard to meet them?
  • Do you encourage internal development and offer advancement opportunities?
  • Do you actively facilitate good communication across teams and diverse individuals?

Many companies struggle to answer “yes” to these and face high numbers of employee departures as a result. In December 2023 alone, the average turnover rate across all industries in the U.S. stood at 3.4%, which amounted to 5.4 million departures.

To address this alarming concern, we’ll dive into the various aspects of employee retention and tackle various strategies you can utilize to keep, nurture, and maximize your current and future talent.

Why employee retention is important

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee tenure is 4.1 years, which is generally too short a time for a company to recoup its hiring and training costs.

When you have an excellent worker, make an effort to keep them, as high employee retention lets you enjoy multiple benefits and avoid certain pitfalls, including:

  • Cost savings: Retaining an employee is cheaper and, over the long term, more productive than hiring new ones (even if the employee isn’t a stellar worker). In fact, the average cost of hiring an employee in 2023 was $4,700, while the process of filling an open position typically took 44 days. Be aware, that figure excludes the cost of employee training and onboarding.
  • Performance: When an employee leaves, that empty role lowers productivity. Until you recruit and train a suitable replacement, the whole team suffers because they have to pick up the slack.
  • Competition: When you have the best talent, you gain a competitive advantage. Companies with high-performing employees reap 20% more sales and 30% more profitability than those whose teams underperform.
  • Culture: High turnover feeds a negative workplace culture, while high retention creates a positive one. A supportive work environment is extremely beneficial for your employer branding as well, which greatly contributes to attracting like-minded employees.

Common factors behind employee turnover

A departure is often the result of several problems that compounded over time and left an employee no choice but to find opportunities elsewhere. They can also leave for reasons beyond your control, like moving away or changing careers.

However, most circumstances that cause workers to quit are preventable. You can identify the warning signs early and work to address the underlying problems. To help you spot them, here are some of the most common reasons for voluntary turnover.

Poor job fit

This can arise due to poor hiring and recruitment strategies. For instance, overlooking assessments and job fit profiling can result in hiring people unsuitable for your open roles.

To address that gap and ensure your company uses top-notch hiring practices, we offer the Step One Survey II, a quick and cost-efficient pre-hiring assessment that pinpoints strong candidates by evaluating their past employment, as well as values like integrity, reliability, and work ethic.

Dissatisfied with pay and benefits

People who constantly worry about their health or paying their bills will be unable to focus on their jobs. They’re likely to end up underperforming or seeking opportunities from organizations that provide greater financial security.

To satisfy and retain your talent, it’s crucial you provide competitive salaries and benefits packages. It even ranked fourth in Work Institute’s study about key reasons why employees leave voluntarily. Other studies show evidence of this aspect’s heavy influence on retention, including:

  • 10% of workers cited compensation as a root cause for quitting.
  • 35% of them said they’d leave a job if they don’t earn a raise.
  • Organizations rated highly for compensation and benefits enjoyed 56% lower attrition than those who received a poor grade for it.

Lack of job security

Employees worldwide are currently facing a job security crisis, with 37% anxious about losing their livelihoods. Meanwhile, 42% stated they’d quit if their employer ignored their appeal for better conditions.

Obviously, workers who feel insecure about their employment will seek stability elsewhere. You can resolve this issue through open communication, transparent policies, and by offering employee learning opportunities that allow them to advance their careers.

Lack of work-life balance and burnout

Problems with employee work-life balance often indicate time management issues within your organization. Sometimes, people face strict demands at home and need a job that provides more breathing room for their circumstances.

So, if your workers voice concerns about this, investigate immediately. Their grievances could suggest:

  • You’re understaffed and existing teams suffer from excessive workloads
  • Deadlines are too strict
  • Inefficient planning and time management practices
  • Employees frequently work late to resolve important issues
  • Ineffective communication strategies
  • Workers have pressing commitments at home (e.g., childcare, schooling, medical care, senior care)

Remember, people want organizations to respect their lives outside of work. If possible, build policies that accommodate flexible schedules and allow personnel to request lighter workloads without issue.

Life is hectic and unpredictable as well, so keep this in mind when hiring new employees or planning schedules. For certain roles, consider work-from-home setups and flexible shifts where it makes sense.

Having the right HR tools makes this more feasible, and your efforts to help employees balance their work and personal lives will boost morale in turn.

Poor management and work environment

To thrive, employees must fit your company’s culture, work styles (e.g., Agile versus Waterfall), as well as managerial and communication styles.

However, sometimes problems may stem from subpar managers or senior employees, which creates the need to evaluate them through assessments, a performance improvement plan (PIP), and extra training.

If left unchecked, this can develop into a significant problem, since 82% of U.S. workers asserted they’d quit their jobs due to incompetent managers. That underscores how managerial issues can overshadow the perks of excellent positions, salaries, and benefits.

To pinpoint the sources of your personnel loss, whether they be individuals or organization-wide, measure employee turnover on a per-manager basis. Then, to address the issue and enhance retention, invest in developing your managers.

Limited advancement opportunities and lack of recognition

People stay motivated when there’s potential for growth. Recognizing their achievements also keeps them engaged and satisfied, with 37% of employees saying personal recognition would push them to go above and beyond.

Unfortunately, the opposite strongly applies as well: According to McKinsey, the top reason employees quit is they feel undervalued, and 54% of workers support that claim.

Since employees want environments that value their efforts and allow them to advance their careers, establish systems that acknowledge their milestones and reward their development, whether it be through bonuses, promotions, or other benefits.

How to improve employee retention and reduce turnover

Compared to keeping existing employees happy, engaged, and loyal, it costs much more to find and train new ones. While it’s impossible to reduce turnover to zero, there are several best practices you can employ to minimize it.


Benchmarking is an easy way to establish baselines for employee performance. Generally, your benchmarks should be based on a combination of your existing performance (internal data) and your industry’s performance standards (external data).

When setting internal benchmarks, use the following questions as guidance:

  • How does performance manifest in terms of quantifiable output?
  • What do median performance measurements in my company look like?
  • What minimum targets should employees hit to achieve individual and organizational goals?
  • How do my company’s benchmarks compare to others of a similar size in my industry?

By setting these parameters, you can determine where personnel performance should be, then gauge how, when, and why workers meet or exceed your expectations.

Performance models

Performance models delve deeply into what people do, why they do it, and how. They let you judge productivity and talent based on variables beyond output — a figure that becomes a misleading quantifier if used as the sole basis of performance.

Effective models have established benchmarks that allow you to:

  1. Communicate your expectations
  2. Identify the tools and training individuals need to meet them
  3. Set up processes that monitor whether or not people meet your set standards

These representations utilize profiles to define quality performance and consider factors that allow employees to excel. Those can include soft skills like communication and self-motivation, as well as traits and behaviors like independence.

The data provided also lets you spot the organization’s top performers, then define appropriate rewards and promotions. You can even use that information in your recruitment, hiring, and employee development practices.


Testing pinpoints desirable skills and traits that a regular interview would miss. As such, incorporating tests into your hiring process is an effective way to sift through hundreds of job candidates and select the best ones.

Employment testing has its limitations though, especially in predicting how candidates will behave over the long term, but it can reveal more about them in a relatively short amount of time. While there are numerous options available, the below three are some of the most important.

Skills tests

This category of assessments evaluates what an individual can and can’t do. Besides the typical job knowledge, they also take into account aspects like:

  • Hard skills: Typing speed, proficiency in certain machines or software, expertise in specific coding languages
  • Soft skills: Attention to detail, diligence, communication, critical thinking, conflict resolution

Skills tests also let you filter out qualified candidates who can’t take on a new job straight away, those who embellish their skills, or those who lack the necessary know-how.

However, keep in mind that these examinations need time to set up and interpret, so utilize them in the later part of your hiring process, when the candidate pool is smaller. Once applicants complete their tests, you can compare their results and make the right choice.

Competency assessments

Rather than focusing on hard skills, competencies deal more with soft skills and behaviors that contribute to success in a role. Assessments for these characteristics rely on existing job profiles and a competency framework to measure how and why candidates achieve their scores.

This type of testing is vital because it gauges how individuals are likely to react to specific situations and whether they’re good learners, natural leaders, self-motivated, or possess other desirable traits.

Competency assessments are often integrated into formal, structured interviews where individuals are given a series of prepared questions designed to see how they respond, behave, communicate, manage stress, etc.

They can also be incorporated into assignments where candidates are asked such questions in less-stressful environments or settings where they’ll have less time to rehearse answers.

Cultural testing

Hiring for your organization’s culture is crucial not only for fit but also for nurturing it. Culture testing can take the form of evaluations for emotional intelligence, cognitive ability, or behaviors but often incorporates tasks, especially in an office or physical work area.

Like competency assessments, these tests measure how individuals behave and respond to various situations. More importantly, they determine a candidate’s ability to fit in, contribute to a team, and provide improvements.

Since they also quantify one’s willingness to learn, ability to communicate openly, and passion for work, they help make better hiring decisions as well.

Although they aren’t foolproof, robust cultural testing expands on the interview process and enables you to identify candidates with characteristics that align with your company (and thus support higher retention).

Effective onboarding

According to Jobvite, employees leave organizations at an alarming rate, with 33% quitting within 90 days of being hired for a position. An effective employee onboarding process can improve new-hire retention by 82% with policies that involve:

  • Introducing the new employee to their team and the company
  • Following up with them throughout their first month
  • Ensuring they’re equipped with the technology and tools they need to perform well
  • Providing onboarding, training, and mentoring from day one
  • Running a skills gap analysis and providing remediation training where necessary
  • Encouraging full involvement in their team’s activities

The faster someone feels like a valued part of your organization, the more likely they are to stick with you.

Employee development

Bolstering your workers’ capabilities opens up more opportunities for them and improves their job satisfaction. Luckily, it can take different forms so you aren’t limited to a single avenue.

Learning and development

Workers want to hone their skills and advance their careers, and the ability to do so heavily impacts their company loyalty. In fact, 94% say they’d remain longer if their organization invested in their learning and development, which emphasizes how important these opportunities are for companies to improve retention.

Plus, it’s more feasible than in the past since educational content has become readily accessible. So, invest heavily in your worker’s training and development to keep them engaged. Access to programs that enhance their capabilities, value, and self-esteem will give them a compelling reason to stay. Your personnel can even choose how they consume content, (i.e., in person, online, or through a hybrid setup).

In that regard, decide which learning tools you should leverage. For example, more specialized roles may require personalized, data-based programs that offer fast advancement and more targeted curricula.

Career roadmaps and mentoring

Development can also involve mapping employees’ career paths alongside mentoring initiatives that allow them to list their personal goals and receive guidance on how to achieve them.

Doing this during onboarding, for instance, enables you to set expectations for each individual about their career objectives, how they want to evolve, and what opportunities you can offer to aid them. After that, you’ll need to follow up and ensure they remain consistent.

Regular workforce analysis

Workforce analysis is the examination of your employees to understand their current capabilities, identify existing skill gaps in your organization, and anticipate future needs.

Its proper execution helps you determine:

  • The number of employees and skill levels appropriate for specific tasks
  • The competencies they require to succeed
  • The proficiencies your workforce lacks
  • The expertise needed to adapt to industry trends
  • Actions that prepare you for fluctuations in manpower

To conduct workforce analysis successfully, keep in mind it’s a two-way street. Simply collecting data isn’t enough; you have to confirm your employees’ willingness to undergo the process and share its results.

For example, Peakon’s approach to retention entails sending frequent surveys that gather employee data and input. Companies can then use that information to drive positive change.

When done right, workforce analysis lets you investigate various aspects of your personnel to gauge the health of your organization and identify what is and isn’t working.

The benefits of regular workforce analysis

Conducting workforce analysis at consistent intervals brings several key benefits to your company.

Close skills gaps and reduce turnover

Thoroughly scrutinizing your employees allows you to hone in on the capabilities they lack, as well as the skills they need to adapt to industrial or technological changes. Based on that information, you can offer upskilling and reskilling opportunities to keep them in proper form, open doors for possible career advancement, and encourage them to stay.

Prepare for change

During industrial and technological fluctuations, a workforce analysis can bolster your change management efforts by determining where major manpower shifts will occur. Think of how artificial intelligence (AI) now helps streamline repetitive business processes but, in turn, renders certain roles obsolete.

This lets you accomplish two key actions:

  1. Prepare your employees and company structure in advance
  2. Avoid any delays and disruptions that result from external forces
Prevent unexpected shortages

With a robust analysis process, you can easily stay on top of your end-to-end workforce planning and management, from hiring to training and development, including advancement opportunities.

It also lets you patch up any issues before they grow and keep employees happy and willing to stay. For instance, you can:

  1. Check when employees typically retire
  2. Compare the average tenure of people in specific positions
  3. Gauge worker satisfaction
  4. Figure out when you’re likely to have empty spots

By knowing when employees normally leave or want to move up, you can make preparations in advance, such as having a new hire ready to fill an open role or offering incentives that entice people to stay with your company.

Competitive salaries

A study from Harvard University found that a $1 increase in pay “decreases turnover by 2.5 individuals” and attrition by 18.7%, as well as increases retention by 2.8%. This indicates how influential a role compensation plays in satisfying employees.

So, from day one, pay your hires competitively and provide as many benefits you can afford. In the long run, will scaling back your initial offer by 15% be worth the savings and enough to keep a talented individual when another employer offers more? Probably not.

Learn what each job is worth, then put your best foot forward at the start. After, adjust an employee’s compensation fairly as they move up the ladder.

Employee engagement

“Quiet quitting” is a trend that refers to doing the bare minimum required of one’s role, while “quiet quitters” are more likely to leave their jobs when better opportunities arise.

In a survey from Gallup, 41% of such individuals stated they would alter their workplace engagement or culture to make it better — two factors critical to employee retention.

Whether your organization’s workforce is highly engaged or looks forward to clocking out, you can always improve these business facets. However, it isn’t just about one-time perks, rewards, and gestures; true engagement stems from consistent, long-term efforts.

Link vision and strategy to daily work

Most people clock in, aim to accomplish certain goals, finish their work, then clock out and go home with no understanding of what they contribute. This can be demotivating, especially when individuals start to feel stagnant over the long term.

To avoid this situation, make sure everyone’s aware of what they’re working toward. You can do this by linking your organization’s overarching goals (vision and strategy) to smaller ones based on your personnel’s day-to-day tasks.

When people firmly grasp how valuable their work is and how close they are to reaching personal and organizational objectives, they feel more motivated and engaged.

Encourage accountability

Giving employees ownership over projects and letting them produce results their way can greatly empower them, nurture engagement, and build independence.

Although giving them full responsibility for a major work assignment does generate pressure, these opportunities also allow them room to make mistakes, learn from the experience, excel and be proud of what they produce, and yearn to improve.

This means you’ll have to account for the fact that some employees may not follow standardized processes. However, you can implement general controls and guidelines that ensure things are handled appropriately regardless of the approach workers take.

Recognize and reward employees

Make leaders and managers responsible for highlighting how personnel go above and beyond. Incentivize and reward them for excellent performance, shining a spotlight on their achievements.

For instance, employee recognition can take the form of:

  • Thank you notes
  • Employee of the month awards
  • Newsletter shoutouts
  • Service awards

These displays of positivity can nurture more constructive work environments. Acknowledging and sharing examples of creativity and passion can also be influential, as it encourages others to follow suit without fear of judgment or punishment.

By creating spaces where individuals can fail safely, try again, and develop, you enhance their productivity and satisfaction, which then cuts down turnover and produces stronger business results.

Enticing benefits

As we’ve discussed, benefits like allowances, bonuses, and health packages are major selling points for employees. With priorities shifting away from making more money towards achieving a healthy work-life balance, perks like flex work, daycare, and healthy lunch options could convince people to stay.

Learning opportunities and career advancement are desirable options as well. Before tossing out benefits left and right, however, make sure they’re relevant to your workers and feasible for your business.

In-office perks

A company break room, gym, or even an open bar on Friday afternoons are excellent workplace perks. Establishing spaces where teams can unwind and bond builds camaraderie and teamwork and allows them to enjoy being in the office beyond their shifts.

Such benefits are especially helpful for employees who work long hours, accommodate client schedules, and need a bit of “me time” during breaks or between meetings.

Flex work

The Covid-19 pandemic caused massive shifts in how people work, with an astounding 90% of U.S. office workers saying they’re not keen on a return to the old workplace. Nearly 40% of them also say they’d switch employers if one offers flexibility in their work location.

Once employees learned they could perform well outside the office, flexible work setups spiked in demand, especially since they avoid the stress of commutes and offer more time for personal life.

By providing hybrid and remote arrangements, you let personnel control their schedules while being more productive, which is an enticing reason to stay. But you also need a balance where employees are still available for online communication and face-to-face meetings.

Work-from-home days

Similar to the previous point, this benefit is closely tied to the Covid-19 pandemic as well, as it forced a massive chunk of the workforce to learn to be productive in remote environments. In recent years, companies have adapted to this trend and discovered employees can perform even better when working from home.

With the pandemic receded, however, many organizations have returned to on-site setups. If your business operations require you to do the same, allow your team to work from home at least one day a week.

Let them avoid the commute, have more time for themselves and their families, and maintain a work-life balance that encourages them to continue working for you.

Increase paid parental leave

An overwhelming 91.2% of U.S. families with children have at least one working parent, which means a large chunk of the working population has familial duties. Meanwhile, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that paid family leave is the one of the top benefits employees seek.

Paid parental leave gives new parents the time and support they need to care for their child. By helping them balance employment and their home lives, they can return to work with less stress, and you’ll be seen as an attractive employer.

For example, once Google increased their paid maternity leave period from 12 weeks to 18, the rate at which new mothers quit their jobs halved. That 50% increase in benefits, meanwhile, resulted in massive cost savings because Google didn’t have to replace anyone.

Support employee well-being

If your company supports employees throughout their personal challenges, they’ll spend less energy worrying and be able to focus on work.

However, this goes beyond shallow concern, requiring a more involved approach. If you can provide employees tools and resources that allow them to take control of their lives, you stand a better chance of retaining them.

Also, showing gratitude is an easy way to maintain morale. Fiscal compensation, expensive holidays, and the like are often choices accessible to large organizations, but you don’t have to follow suit. Instead, you could, for example, give your employees mental health days, send periodic surveys to check how they’re doing, or host meditation breaks during the workday.

Healthy company culture

Company culture largely influences peoples’ work experiences, and employees across various industries even rate it as highly important:

  • City workers: 38%
  • Workers with a college degree: 45%
  • Workers with children: 44%
  • Currently employed workers: 39%

A healthy culture should support personal development and establish positive recognition as the norm. That involves introducing open communication, cooperative attitudes, and a trusting atmosphere.

Be transparent. Let employees know where the company is going, how it plans to get there, and how their jobs are key to its success. Instill trust in your employees as well. Help them build good reputations to live up to so they’ll proudly stay with you.

Follow Microsoft’s example

Satya Nadella, who was instrumental in turning around Microsoft’s flagging profits, demonstrated the real power of a positive work culture.

He steered the company’s products based on a massive cultural shift, which resulted in a 27% year-over-year growth and stock tripling in value following his introduction as CEO.

Nadella stepped into an environment built around a strict hierarchy, bitter competition, and one-upmanship. But within a few years, his efforts produced a culture of sharing, open communication, innovation, and an emphasis on soft skills, which, in turn, manifested itself in Microsoft’s products, internal and external policies, and work-floor environment.

With company culture being mostly beyond your control though, how do you take a poor one and transform it into something powerful?

Identify cultural aspects that help achieve goals

Culture should align with the company’s strategies and goals, and that entails identifying cultural elements (particularly behaviors) that help achieve them.

Your behavioral framework, competency framework, or other forms of soft-skill analysis will help you uncover these facets. They answer questions such as:

  • What values help my teams achieve their objectives?
  • Are those principles currently represented in my organization’s culture? If not, why? If so, how?
  • Do the company’s leaders serve as concrete examples of desired behaviors that employees should follow?
  • What conditions are required to introduce these positive traits and change negative ones?

Create conditions for change

Having a conducive work environment is vital for fostering a healthy company culture, and there are various ways to create one.

Employee education

For an individual to cultivate beneficial behaviors, they must choose to negate counterproductive patterns. You can ask them to do so, but nothing will change if they decide to proceed with their old ways.

Introducing conditions that encourage transformation, along with information on why it’s important and how to go about it, is an effective way to institute a cultural shift.

Satya Nadella, who we previously mentioned, started transforming his company’s culture by handing out mandatory reading in the form of Nonviolent Communication, a book by Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg.

Depending on your organization’s goals, communications workshops, courses on hard skills, leadership or innovation coaching, or emotional intelligence training could be viable options.

Start with your leaders

Your employees won’t conduct themselves well if their leaders don’t do the same. New ideas must be introduced from the top, then trickle down. Individuals must also understand the reasoning behind any changes and be given the opportunity to follow suit.

For instance, if you tell employees to work as a group to promote innovation but still reward individual performance, they’ll likely ignore the initiative. Instead, introduce team-based rewards to gain buy-in from each member.

Although there are many ways to build a positive culture, companies with the highest talent retention structure theirs around their people, innovation, and development. They also utilize flat or open hierarchies rather than top-down ones. So, to retain talent, create a people-centric environment.

Effective communication

Your communication strategies influence how relationships within your organization are nurtured, as well as the efficiency of your employees’ work. They’re also vital to retain employees, with transparency and openness playing a key role in situations we’ll discuss further below.

To give you an idea of how to communicate in a way that keeps your workforce engaged and satisfied with their jobs, here are a few best practices.

Keep employees in the loop

Ensure continuous communication throughout your entire organization to prepare employees for any feedback or company developments. It also allows them to do their jobs well, particularly when navigating unfamiliar situations.

Workers also appreciate routine feedback, with 96% of them saying it’s a positive element because it keeps them on their toes and informs them of any performance issues or improvement areas. Regularly discuss their strengths, weaknesses, duties, goals, and development options to keep them engaged.

Ask for feedback

Feedback is a two-way street, meaning it’s highly beneficial if employees provide it as well. Processes that allow employees to give their input regularly can even reduce turnover by 14.9%.

Doing so promotes open communication in your culture and ensures employees feel their opinions are valued. That’s extremely important, especially when your decisions affect many in your organization.

Also, your workers likely possess business insights that you don’t, which they gain through first-hand experiences with your customers and company systems. So, whether it be through assessments, performance reviews, surveys, focus groups, or exit interviews, gather your workforce’s opinions. They’re excellent for identifying organizational problems so you can address them and improve retention.

Consider your audience

Internal newsletters or quick emails about upcoming company events, holidays, or other important office occurrences are beneficial to the whole organization.

However, not all information will be useful to every employee. So, before sending any communications, consider your audience. For instance, an email for people in marketing is irrelevant to HR or finance personnel.

Don’t clutter your employees’ inboxes; only send information that relates to their role or interests. If you frequently send inconsequential information, they may begin to ignore even your high-priority messages.

Use the right medium

Each employee has a preferred mode of communication. To meet them halfway, consider using different mediums or invite them to converse using their preferred method.

For instance, if an employee prefers quick communication, adopt platforms that allow you to send messages instantly. If you work with a freelancer who leans towards email, use that. Pinpoint what channels your organization has and which ones your audiences employs the most.

Retention during a restructure

Restructuring is often necessary when your company wants to redefine its workforce and align it with evolving goals. These organizational developments can involve introducing new processes and workflows or merging and splitting teams to create a more dynamic structure.

Losing some employees during such transitions is inevitable since their roles may become redundant or obsolete, but top talent is typically lost because the process can be disheartening. So, to save money and ensure your best workers stay during restructuring, take the following steps.

Be transparent and build trust

When organizations try to keep restructures on the down-low to avoid speculation, it often has the opposite effect. Employees will learn about the shake-up long before it hits and will start looking for new roles for fear of moving, losing their jobs, or any other difficult changes.

Through open and honest dialogue, you can assuage these concerns. Consider scheduling town halls, one-on-one meetings with managers, and regular updates for everyone affected. Alleviate their worries and assure them of their place in your company.

Invest in employee development

Continuing to invest in your workforce during a restructure is reassuring and shows you’re still committed to them. Offer workshops, courses, and other educational opportunities so your personnel develop skills that allow them to adapt to turbulent times.

This also applies to those you let go. Try to provide outplacement and proactive career services to move them into new roles, as this will help boost the morale of those who make it through the restructure.

Clearly communicate expectations

Most restructuring creates disruptions at every organizational level, whether due to redefining roles, changing software, or moving teams around. The company’s approach to pursuing goals changes as well, which results in a process that’s uncomfortable for many.

To align employees with your plan, explain the motivations behind it, help them understand why it’s necessary, and clearly communicate its expected effects. Talk about how the company will support them through their adjustments as well.

Reward those who meet or exceed expectations

Since restructuring can be an extremely stressful process for employees, it’s important you recognize and reward those who adapt and thrive. Being able to power through a tumultuous period deserves praise, and acknowledging those who do so will help you keep them.

Hold leaders accountable

Ensure adoption and high morale throughout your organization by holding managers and leaders accountable for new policies and procedures.

Before they introduce the restructure to the rest of your workforce, take them through courses and workshops that teach them what the alterations mean for the organization and how it affects everyone.

Employees will follow leaders’ examples, so pair workers with their superiors during the restructure. These setups open opportunities for managers to guide their staff through adjustment periods and reduce uncertainty.

Remote employee retention

As previously mentioned, the Covid-19 pandemic totally transformed how people work and disrupted organizations of all sizes.

Despite the worst of the crisis being over, 37% of employees consider a work-from-home option to be important, even for an in-office role, which indicates the continuing need for work-life balance.

To adapt to this shift and retain employees, accommodate their demands as much as possible. However, working remotely removes individuals from their organization and separates them from in-person experiences, and that can actually increase turnover and hinder engagement.

Although workers appreciate services and extra cash, you need to bring added value to those who work in fully remote environments. Below are some ways to accomplish that.

Build a culture for remote workers

Most remote employees are at least partially disconnected from their organizations and so  recognize and participate in its culture less than their in-office counterparts. Establishing a distinct culture for mixed and remote workers, however, boosts retention by allowing them to experience similar environments.

For example, you can manifest your organization’s cultural values for everyone to see by:

  • Creating shared digital meeting spaces and scheduling group video or voice meetings
  • Establishing a high level of work and task visibility across the organization
  • Hosting in-person events and meeting employees face-to-face whenever possible

Whether they’re part of a remote or in-office team, employees should understand the values they represent, so it’s vital you regularly include them in company activities.

Share knowledge and use appropriate tools

Sharing know-how is crucial to build a strong team with mutual values. Digital platforms that document work processes, assign and track tasks, and promote accountability and transparency help achieve this — ideally accompanied by a communication channel.

Slack, for instance, excels at allocating responsibilities and enabling clear communication, which is excellent for remote work. However, it lacks project and process management capabilities, but tools like Asana integrate these functions to make up for it.

By ensuring your tech stack is equipped to help remote workers stay connected, you can keep them engaged and happy.

Mentorship, training, & career development

Development opportunities and support are unquestionably important but often possess gaps in remote worker retention strategies. They’re critical no matter your personnel’s setup though: A survey from Workplace Intelligence revealed that a massive number of professionals would likely leave their jobs within the next year due to a lack of opportunities to develop their skills (64%) or advance their careers (66%).

To make your remote employees feel equally valued, offer them training and development similar to that provided for in-office workers. While face-to-face mentorship can be difficult in that context, you can develop adjacent programs that include video coaching, digital learning, and physical classes where individuals who live near enough can attend.

Host team activities

Modern teams enjoy the occasional pizza and board game night in the office. If you move online, however, such recreational activities become more difficult to coordinate and end up falling through the cracks.

To build camaraderie among your remote workers, have teams engage in events like digital happy hours or online games, challenges, and puzzles. Introducing elements of fun nurtures worker loyalty toward their team and the company.

Allow flexible work hours

Similar to how flexible schedules help retain your office workers, those working from home would appreciate a similar option, especially because they deal with more distractions and pressing household matters.

Offering agile work hours demonstrates your understanding of life’s unpredictability and shows your willingness to accommodate their needs.

Organizations are also shifting their focus from hours worked to productivity. When you know employee output when they’re in the office, you can hold them to those standards when they work at home and do away with strict time tracking.

Regularly gather 360° Feedback

Tools like 360° Feedback allow employees to evaluate each other’s work and management consistently, then provide constructive, actionable criticism. This assessment reveals many facets about workers, particularly their:

  • Management skills
  • The efficiency of their workflows
  • Communication skills and clarity
  • How they’re treated at work
  • Their colleagues’ contributions

By inserting regular touch points for gathering feedback, employees will feel their input is valued. It also allows you to identify the coaching and training necessary to help those who are struggling.

Consider office equipment for home use

The cost of buying the tools and equipment needed to perform a job is one of the heaviest expenses work-from-home employees face. To offset that, offer allowances for office equipment or provide printers, laptops, desks, etc. This reduces your employees’ financial burdens and eases their transition to a remote setup. It’s a huge benefit that gives workers a compelling reason to stay and also makes you a desirable employer.

Note: Source equipment from one supplier to ensure everyone works with the same models and software.

Let employees suggest benefits

Most people know what they want, especially when it comes to work benefits. So, open discussions about the perks your employees desire and why to make better decisions when creating compensation packages.

This gives employees some influence over how they’re treated and helps make them feel heard, respected, and valued.

Invest in onboarding

The impact of effective onboarding on employee retention also holds true for remote workers. Onboarding is your first opportunity to touch base with your employees, so a stellar experience is important for those who don’t go through it in person.

Assign coaches, establish uniform procedures, and provide the software or tools they need to transition easily into their new roles and your company’s processes.

How exit interviews influence employee retention

Although exit interviews are held for employees who are about to leave their roles, they can also support retention. The feedback you receive offers insight into what is and isn’t working within your company. You can then use that information to optimize undesirable processes, policies, or any other troubling aspects your departing employee points out and retain the workers you currently have.

Here are some tips to help you conduct effective exit interviews and that feed higher retention rates.

Choose the right interviewer

A critical concern with exit interviews is the quality of data collected. For instance, an employee dissatisfied with their CEO likely won’t open up about it. Everyone wants good references for their next job, so most would rather leave on positive terms than give their honest opinions.

To gain valuable insights, you need to assign the right person to run the interview. An HR specialist or the CEO might make the departing worker uncomfortable and compel them to provide generic answers. A better choice would be to assign a middle manager since, compared to company executives, they’re closer to employees, which lets them build trust easier.

Choose an appropriate time

Picking a random day for the interview and then sending an invitation via Google Calendar is a poor way to start the exit process.

You want the interviewee to feel comfortable and give honest feedback, so set a time that accommodates both your and the employee’s schedules. Two advisable times to hold an exit interview are:

  1. While the person is still at the company: Conducting the interview before the mental checkout sets in allows you to speak to the employee while their thoughts are still fresh. It also increases the probability of receiving truthful answers.
  2. A few weeks to a month after the employee leaves: This approach relies on timing, particularly when the former employee has settled into their new job. After some time has passed, they’ll feel more comfortable and provide candid answers about why they left.

It’s almost always best to conduct an exit interview in person. This way, you can hold a more personal and meaningful discussion that clearly shows you still value the employee.

Questions to ask during exit interviews

Did they give notice or quit immediately?

If your employee has spoken with you or their manager about changing jobs more than once, they’ve thought about it for a while. In most cases, that stems from personal desires rather than company frustrations.

However, if they quit on the spot, it could indicate more serious issues that have built up over time. This circumstance requires urgent action, so evaluate your managers, the company’s managerial styles, employees, and processes to find out why it happened.

Who did they inform directly?

If someone goes straight to HR or the CEO to quit instead of their direct superior, something’s amiss in their relationship. So, you first need to determine why the employee felt uncomfortable telling their manager about their decision.

Was there animosity, or were they afraid? Did the employee’s manager push all the work onto them? By pinpointing these issues, you’ll discover where you need to make change.

How long were they with the company before quitting?

If an employee quits less than six months after being hired, chances are they were a bad fit. They may have accepted the job as an interim position while continuing to look elsewhere, or perhaps they expected a different setup and were disappointed by the reality of the role.

However, if your long-time employees leave, there’s likely a problem you need to fix — and quickly. Their departure may be due to a disruptive change, such as them needing to move to a different city. Other times, though, it could be poor management or an issue in your business operations.

Wrapping up — A people-centric approach retains employees

An effective retention strategy covers the full life cycle of your employees, from their date of onboarding to their final day with the company. Your approach should ensure that workers have:

  • A healthy work-life balance
  • Opportunities to develop their skills and careers
  • A conducive work environment and culture
  • Support from your organization

Of course, each person has different values, so it’s important to identify what impacts their individual performance, satisfaction, and happiness. As you work to improve your standing among your personnel, we provide a large library of assessments and various HR solutions that can aid your retention efforts. If you’re interested in our support, get in touch today!