Start Small with Your Employee Retention Strategy

Employee retention is the rate at which a company is able to keep their employees working for their them. If a company keeps half of its employees around for one year, the employee retention rate for that specific year would be 50%. Many businesses are aware of the importance of employee retention and will enact policies or strategies in order to maintain a higher level of retention. When they are able to keep their existing employees around, they are able to reduce the costs associated with hiring and training new employees when their existing ones leave.

When employees work for the organization for a longer length of time it has a positive effect across the organization. Not only does it reduce the costs affiliated with recruiting and hiring, it can also have a direct effect on employee satisfaction and engagement. Having a good rate of employee retention allows for less lost productivity resulting from the time vacant positions remain open while recruiting is searching for a proper replacement employee.

Things Existing Employees Know but New Employees Don’t Learn In Training

Employees who work for the organization longer have a better understand the company culture, its leadership expectations, and are fluent in the lexicon and/or language of the company. Things like company acronyms, unwritten policies and an established work flow are a few of the things experienced employees just know and understand about your company.

Some of these things aren’t or can’t be taught in training. They require on-the-job time to learn and understand. It’s similar with employee camaraderie: it can’t be taught, it has to be fostered and developed. When there is an influx of new employees it has the potential to shift the entire environment and could potentially even lead to more turnover.

Your Employee Retention Strategy

Employee retention strategies don’t have to big or elaborate. They don’t have to be bold or flashy and they don’t have to cost millions of dollars. Your strategy just needs to start with a good understanding of your company’s culture and some diligent research, information collecting and proactive understanding.

Most of the information needed to formulate a good strategy for your company is right at your fingertips. For example, employee focus group meetings allow you to sit down with a concentrated group of employees and discuss the culture and values of your organization. You can delve into the things they like and the things they don’t like that may cause them to leave the company in the future. In groups of their peers, your employees will be able to build off of each other as well as feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts. Both exit interviews and stay interviews can also provide small insights into why employees have or may be considering leaving your company.

Once the information is collected, it is often pretty clear what sort of things can be done or what sort of changes can be made to keep your employees around. Know that not every employee will stay around for ever, but with a little effort, you can ensure that more of them will.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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