Retaining your best workers can challenge any business during the best of times. The life-changing pandemic added to the pressure, with surveys showing 44% of workers are looking for a new job in 2022.1
Some business owners may not have the capacity to provide big bonuses or reward your employees with fancy trips. But there are still plenty of ways you can improve employee loyalty and retain your top talent.
While a raise is always appreciated, there are other less costly employee retention techniques that can help keep your workers happy:
Find out your employees’ preferences — such as different hours or the ability to work remotely — and try to accommodate them. If you offer employees a choice of projects, you can keep them engaged with your business goals.2 While it may not make sense for you to operate remotely, think about whether you can offer other options, such as work from home days, flextime, or a compressed workweek.3
Establish a culture that makes it clear that you understand that time away from work is essential. Provide time off for family needs and proactively offer leave if someone has worked longer-than normal hours on a project. Set expectations for whether employees need to respond to emails on weekends or while on vacation.3
Employees usually want regular feedback on their job performance and how they can improve. You can have frequent, informal discussions with individual employees and ask them about their career goals. Employees with a sense that they have room to grow and learn are more likely to stay with your company.3
Wellness encompasses physical and mental health, as well as financial security. Survey your employees to determine if the benefits you offer match their needs. Your benefits package is an important part of your employees’ financial plans and supports their ability to provide health care for themselves and their dependents.2
The pandemic led many companies to change their benefits policies to offer more paid leave, support families with childcare or elder care needs, and to reimburse some remote work expenses.4
Along with traditional benefits, you may want to consider offering the occasional seminar on stress management or financial planning to help ensure your employees have the support they need.
You don’t need a big budget for employee recognition to thank someone at a meeting, send them a note, or celebrate a company milestone together. Everyone wants to be noticed and to receive an occasional compliment. Even if your workforce isn’t all together in the same building, you can still let everyone know when you’re rewarding someone’s hard work or celebrating their tenure with your company.3
“Pop-up” vacation days or even just a surprise free lunch can boost morale if done right. Multiple big companies have opted to add extra paid vacation days or wellness days to reduce burnout from overwork and stress.
While you may not be able to treat your entire workforce to a full week off, an occasional perk such as a Friday afternoon off can build company loyalty. Just be sure your reward matches your employees’ needs and doesn’t inadvertently complicate their childcare or other plans.5
Taking a thoughtful, personalized approach to what would help your employees most can be the path to getting what you want most: to keep them.
1 Iacurci, Greg, “The Great Resignation continues, as 44% of workers look for a new job”, March 22, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/22/great-resignation-continues-as-44percent-of-workers-seek-a-new-job.html
2 Deep Patel, “11 Proven Young Ways Entrepreneurs Can Retain Talent,” Entrepreneur, Nov. 7, 2018 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/322073
3 Robert Half, “14 Effective Employee Retention Strategies,” Robert Half Talent Solutions, April 30, 2021 https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/management-tips/effective-employee-retention-strategies
4 Stephen Miller, “Employers Continue to Alter Benefits in Response to Pandemic,” SHRM, Feb. 1, 2021 https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/employers-continue-to-alter-benefits-in-response-to-pandemic.aspx
5 Kate Morgan, “Can pop-up work holidays help workers de-stress?” BBC, June 10, 2021 https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210604-can-pop-up-work-holidays-help-workers-de-stress