When you work hard to recruit and hire top talent, it’s a shame when employees leave for another opportunity. Your people are your competitive advantage and when they move on, so does their knowledge. This leaves you with more than just an empty seat, it leaves you with an expertise gap that nobody else may ever fill in quite the same way. While you can’t expect that every employee will stay forever—the median employee tenure is 4.2 years—there are some things you can do to increase your employee retention rate overall.
Hire the right people
Employee retention begins during the recruitment process. Hiring a top performer with your desired skillset isn’t always enough. The candidate must also be the right culture fit to be successful and happy in your organization. Lean on your colleagues to help you identify great talent. Employee referrals are not only a great source of high-quality talent, they also result in new hires that are more satisfied and stay longer. Once the candidates are identified, use behavioral interview questions and reference checks to verify their skill- and culture-fit. Doing so will not only ensure that they are the right fit for your open role, but that your organization is the right fit for them. When you hire the right people, they will be more likely to stay long-term.
Offer a competitive compensation package
While the compensation package isn’t necessarily what makes top talent stay, it can be responsible for driving them to leave. Seventy three percent of organizations believe they provide fair compensation, but only 36% of employees agree. Top talent is in high demand, and may be approached by recruiters offering more competitive compensation. Don’t let that be the reason they decide to leave. After an increase in salary, forty two percent of employees said a better benefits package would make them more likely to stay in their jobs. Get ahead of the curve by offering a strong compensation package, including employee benefits and perks.
Build employee engagement from day one
Employee engagement is a key component of retaining your best employees. When top performers can work nearly anywhere they’d like, employees who are enthusiastic about their current roles would be quite discerning about new opportunities. Employee engagement is naturally highest at the beginning of employment when the candidate is excited to join a new organization, so make the most of it with a great onboarding program. Sixty nine percent of employees who had a great onboarding experience are likely to stay with their organization for three years. During onboarding, discuss your new hire’s desired career path and create goals to help them get there. Employees are more likely to stay longer if they can see a realistic future at your organization.
Invest in your employees
After creating a career path with your employees, invest in them to help them get there. Provide learning opportunities and mentoring to help them reach their goals, and give them new job responsibilities as opportunities arise. Recognize employees when they make a notable contribution and meet career goals. By investing resources in your employee’s professional development and recognizing their contributions, you show them how important they are to your organization. As an added bonus, your organization will reap the rewards of more knowledgeable employees who can step into leadership roles as they become available.
The best employee retention strategies help you go full circle so that one employee’s turnover can be mitigated with another’s succession. In order to make this work, however, you have to hire the right people, compensate them fairly, and keep up their engagement so they stay long enough to be promoted. If you can accomplish that, you can build a strong, knowledgeable workforce that sees turnover as a part of retention.