We all know that employee retention is crucial if we want to save time, effort, and of course, money. In fact, a report from Gallup stated that “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary - and that's a conservative estimate.” So how do you stop the churn of departing employees - and the ensuing costs that are associated with it?
Well the good news is, if we look at what makes your employees stay at your company - or to be more specific, your great employees stay at your company, there are a number of takeaways we can learn from.
Because let’s face it - if certain factors are keeping your star players, your top dogs, your heavy lifters (okay, enough analogies) in your employ, wouldn’t it make sense to double down on those things to increase the chances of other employees staying with you too.
After all, good people are difficult to find and even harder to retain. And great retention rates have the added bonus of making your company look even more attractive to other top talent who may be looking to switch employers.
5 Reasons why great employees stay with their employers
Wondering how some organizations manage to retain staff so well? Proud of your own retention rates? Could you use a few pointers? Let’s take a look.
Reason #1: Salary and benefits
Okay, we’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Don’t worry - we have four other very valid reasons and it’s not all about the money, money, money…
But it stands to reason that people want - and deserve - to be paid a fair wage and to receive decent benefits in return for their hard work. Don’t we all?
So if you want to attract the best of the best, take a look at what you’re offering: Is your package better than your biggest competitor’s? How does it stack up within your industry? Could you offer more - whether that’s in monetary terms or in other benefits? These could be anything from duvet days to better maternity or paternity leave policies.
Reason #2: Their team and coworkers
No one wants to work with people they don’t like - let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Instead, working with people that inspire us, who we are comfortable around, who make us laugh, who we can trust, who are as dedicated to the task in hand as we are is a recipe for a far better work day.
As humans we want to motivate and be motivated and when there is that kind of energy in a team, it creates a snowball effect of positivity. And that makes us want to get up and go to work every morning - okay, or at least almost every morning!
Let’s face it - we spend around eight hours a day at work, generally speaking. That’s a massive percentage of time to be spent with people that we don’t get on with or who don’t share the same values as we do.
And this is why it’s crucial that you employ people that embody your company culture and have other team members interview potential new hires so they can have a say in the future of their team.
Reason # 3: A sense of purpose
We’re humans, not hamsters (no disrespect to hamsters!) We need purpose. There is nothing more demoralizing than doing a job we don’t believe in, a job that seems to have no end or no rhyme or reason, or tasks that don’t seem to be part of the bigger picture. Regardless of salary.
People stay with companies because they believe in the product or service, the culture, the vision, the mission. And those beliefs translate into productivity and engagement. And there’s nothing more motivating than being around people who believe in what they’re doing. It’s also a great way of attracting new candidates through word of mouth or social media.
It also looks pretty good to clients, customers and suppliers too!
Take a look at the ways you’re providing a sense of purpose to your employees. Sure, it’s not practical to say that every single task, every single day is going to be fun-filled and super rewarding.
Life isn’t like that. But even tasks that are perceived as mundane - data entry for example - can be gamified and made more rewarding by being broken down into small chunks instead of being presented as a never-ending, infinite task.
Reason #4: Finding challenges to overcome
If an employee is a top performer, chances are they are up for a challenge. It’s all about the motivation and the opportunities to thrive. Without that, lethargy starts to set in. And that’s when an employee starts to become demotivated and disengaged - and likely to start looking around for a new job.
But there are things you can proactively do to make sure that your great employees aren’t getting bored and restless.
For example, if you know a manager is facing challenges in a particular area, speak to them and see if there is a way to get a particular staff member, or even a team, involved. Solving issues is a great way to engage employees and it encourages teamwork and a sense of camaraderie.
Ensure that managers are setting goals for their people - this also plays into giving people a sense of purpose. Managers and leaders could also ask team members to identify particular challenges within their department or in their working processes and come up with solutions to overcome them.
Reason #5: Receiving recognition and feedback
No one likes turning up to work day in, day out to put in 110% only for it to go unnoticed. And that’s why recognition for a job well done is so crucial in helping to create loyal employees. And while we’re not suggesting that you have to lavish praise on someone merely for getting to work on time and doing their job, letting people know they’re valued is incredibly important.
There are a myriad of ways you can recognize employee contribution, from a simple - but sincere - thank you, to mentions in team meetings and company newsletters, to small gifts such as coffee shop or movie theater vouchers.
Similarly, asking for their opinions helps create a sense of belonging. It shows you’re interested in what your people think. Managers should be asking staff for feedback, and also giving them their own in return.
Just make sure that any valid feedback received from employees is acted upon wherever feasible and possible - otherwise it will come across as disingenuous and likely do more harm than good when it comes to instilling a sense of loyalty.
5 Reasons why great employees stay with their employers: conclusion
Great communication is key. An organization and its leaders who operate transparently are a huge factor for many employees when it comes to deciding whether to stay or go.
Loyalty isn’t a given - just because you’ve hired someone doesn’t mean that you’ve automatically earned the rights to their devotion!
Your company, its processes, its leadership and its values all need to be the very best they can be if you want to create a team of dedicated people who won’t jump ship given the slightest chance.