Talented employees are an organization’s most valuable asset. In the post-pandemic world, people are learning to prioritize their mental health, which for some means leaving their job to pursue another opportunity. Employers are left to wonder why they’re losing top talent, and if their organization can do something to change it.

It’s significantly more efficient to retain quality people than it is to attract, recruit, train, and orient replacements. This post covers 18 employee retention strategies for 2024 employers can implement to attract and retain valuable people that contribute to the organization’s success.

How Important is Employee Retention?

As Americans continue to pursue the work-life flexibility granted during the pandemic, many are looking to remote positions, or aren’t looking for work at all. This means employees have a wider range of potential employers while employers have a smaller pool of potential employees.

High turnover rates not only rapidly eat up time and money, they impact the remaining staff. Employees who stay often take on increased workloads, leading to stress, frustration, and negative interactions with colleagues. The time invested in recruiting, interviewing, and training employees vanishes, and productivity often declines when people are on their way out. It can cost 6-9 months of an employee’s salary to replace them.

Why are Employees Leaving Their Jobs?

While organizations can’t be everything to everyone, there are common pressure points that drive employees to resign:

  • Expected a raise that never came
  • Benefits not competitive
  • Overworked
  • Unsupported/lack of recognition
  • Not valued or appreciated
  • Limited growth opportunity
  • Need flexibility
  • Role clarity
  • Relationship with management
  • Company culture

Fortunately, the majority of reasons for resignation are preventable with deliberate action.

Effective Employee Retention Strategies

So, what makes your company worth working for? Let’s dive into 18 employee retention strategies for 2024.

1. Managing for Employee Retention

The relationship between an employee and their manager has a huge impact on an employee’s experience. It’s up to leadership to foster mutual trust, get to know team members on an individual level, and play to their unique strengths. Effective leaders have a pulse on the environment and can regulate whether it needs a calming influence or an injection of energy.

Managers can reduce stress by setting clear goals for employees, stepping back and allowing autonomy, and checking in to evaluate progress. Nothing is more powerful than inspiring confidence and engagement by acknowledging employees’ improvements and achievements.

Leadership can also alleviate employee stress and strengthen trust by being dedicated to the organization’s mission.

2. Consider the Cultural Fit of Prospective Employees

An employee retention strategy begins in the recruiting process. Recruiters must be intentional in selecting candidates they believe can align with the organization’s mission and vision to hire for longevity. This can mean rather than solely focusing on degrees and experience, consider a candidate’s fit in the workplace culture. Skills and expertise can be developed, but the right fit for a team is organic and impacts productivity for better or for worse.

3. Remarkable Onboarding & Offboarding Experience

While new employees experience the onboarding process, they may witness offboarding as well. It’s important to have excellent procedures for both to retain valuable employees. From the moment new hires arrive, they should feel cared for and that colleagues want to get to know them. Having support and being embedded into the organization from the start has lasting impressions and connections.

Managers should present realistic expectations to new hires and leadership can conduct exit interviews for insight on future retention strategies.

4. Competitive Compensation

It’s no surprise a key piece of any retention strategy is competitive compensation. This requires frequent reassessment of industry standards, transparency in what it takes to get to the next level, and follow-through to evaluate and adjust accordingly.

5. Benefits & Perks

The biggest non-salary factor for many are the benefits and/or perks a company offers. Factoring this into a retention strategy is vital, for as time goes on what was once considered competitive is now expected. Some examples are:

  • Lower healthcare premiums
  • Increased parental leave
  • Telehealth providers
  • Subsidized dependent care

6. Incentives & Recognition

In addition to traditional benefits, incentives and recognition contribute to retention rates. Some are seen as standard, such as bonuses or PTO. Others are cultivated and unique, like a culture of recognition where both management and peers frequently and specifically recognize one another for good work.

Employers can also ask employees what types of rewards incentivize them, such as gym memberships or stipends for fun events.

7. Commitment to Career Development

Talented employees will not remain in a stagnant position. Organizations dedicated to strengthening their retention strategy must invest in their workforce. Structured, clear career paths and managers that foster employees’ career trajectories retain valuable people. Invest time and resources into continued education, certification programs, and industry events. Encourage internal knowledge-sharing sessions.

Growing the talent of your workforce not only returns a VOI, it increases employee satisfaction. Learn more about Why Employee Development is Important for Their Well-Being.

8. Mentorship Programs

In the same vein of career development but with a personal touch, organizations that offer formal mentorship programs or encourage mentors in the workplace foster employee retention. Employees have the opportunity to learn how the organization operates, while mentors benefit from a fresh perspective.

Offering guidance, upskilling, and developing both personal and professional growth are all value-adds mentors provide for mentees. Organizations that embrace mentorship contribute to a growth-oriented company culture.

9. Consistent Feedback

Most employees are striving for the next step, and they’ll leave if it takes too long, or the path is inconsistent. Leadership should provide timely, constructive, and most importantly, useful feedback so employees can consistently learn and evolve. They need a practical, realistic plan for pursuing short and long-term career goals.

10. Healthy Communication

Open communication channels from multi-level management is vital for employee retention. Transparency in company forecasting helps employees feel secure in their position — which can be a huge stressor. Leadership can also share future goals and plans, and celebrate successes the workforce achieved together.

Most miscommunications stem from a lack of clear direction. Managers should proactively connect with their team on a regular basis to provide clarity and inquire about their workload and job satisfaction to eliminate barriers or obstacles. Employees should feel comfortable sharing ideas, questions, or concerns.

11. Toolkit for Success

It’s a huge frustration for employees to be assigned a task they don’t have the knowledge, tools, or resources to accomplish. Ensuring employees have properly functioning equipment, up-to-date software, and the resources they need relieves stress and improves productivity. An ergonomic workspace (ergonomic chair, standing desk, adjustable screen height, etc.) supports environmental well-being and helps maintain happier, healthier employees as it aids in pain relief and regular movement.

Organizations should also ensure employees feel safe in their environment with proper forms of security and emergency planning.

12. Positive Work Culture

Another post-pandemic trend is candidates willing to accept lower pay in exchange for a better workplace culture. It’s become a key driver in how satisfied employees feel with their job.

Workplace culture starts at the top. Supportive leadership committed to a positive culture:

  • Convey clear values
  • Adhere to strong commitments
  • Involve employees in creative decision-making
  • Emphasize employee relationships
  • Develop & implement retention strategies

13. Employee Engagement Strategy

Employees that feel ignored, underappreciated, or bored check out or resign. What’s the best way to keep employees engaged? Ask them! Utilize surveys or other forms of gathering feedback to allow employees to influence decisions that affect their work. Chances are, they know how to complete a task more efficiently than someone in the C-suite. Keep in mind gathering feedback is obsolete if it’s not actionized. To feel engaged in the company’s mission employees should be privy to specific goals and solutions, and have thoughts and ideas acknowledged.

14. Focus on Team Building

Team building helps employees feel connected and supported, and it contributes to the overall company culture. Multi-level leadership can intentionally facilitate connections by organizing events or activities in and outside the workspace. Creating opportunities for collaboration, such as cross-departmental projects or designated spaces, also improves communication channels and employees’ sense of community and belonging.

15. Implement Employee Wellness Initiatives

Demonstrating care for employee well-being is at the heart of an employee retention strategy. Implementing wellness initiatives like fitness challenges, health education webinars, and healthy cooking demos are fun, culture-building activities employees engage in and learn from as a team. Colleagues spend many hours together, and creating wellness opportunities is a great way to connect outside of their average workday.

Employers can also relieve pressure and help employees avoid burnout with stress management programs, workplace mental health programs, and retirement planning services. For employee wellness initiatives to be as effective as possible, they should address all eight pillars of well-being.

16. Promote Work-Life Balance

A poor work-life balance is a huge contributor to stress and burnout. Management should be vigilant and identify when workloads become unsustainable so additional staff can be utilized. Employers can verify hours worked aren’t excessive, encourage employees to use PTO, and convey the understanding that employees have rich lives outside of work to promote work-life balance.

17. Offer Hybrid or Remote Options

Mainly attributed to stressors like commuting or family caregiving, candidates are explicitly searching for hybrid or fully-remote roles, and employees are resigning rather than returning to the office full-time. Employers looking to retain their workforce must listen to their needs and priorities and be willing to accommodate what’s best for the organization as a whole.

For hybrid models, organizations can support employee retention by ensuring in-office days have the collaborative benefits of a shared workspace without a rigid approach.

18. Allow for Flexibility

While workforce models continue to fluctuate, many employees express the need or desire to maintain a degree of flexibility. Employees returning to full-time, in-office positions especially appreciate the ability to maintain some control over their lives. Employers can allow flexible hours to accommodate family caregiving, medical needs, or even quick errands. Flexible hours also allow employees to be more productive as they tackle their work at their most energetic and efficient times of the day.

Strive Wellness Programs to Increase Retention Rates

Wellness programs comprehensively address employee retention strategies. Employers that implement wellness initiatives show employees they’re cared for, build a positive workplace culture, and begin the journey to a healthier, happier, more resilient workforce. Strive wellness programs have options ranging from fitness classes such as yoga or full-body fitness, stress management initiatives like mindfulness meditation or art therapy, and nutrition coaching or health cooking demos, among so many others. Strive makes wellness easy with turnkey implementation and fully-burdened pricing that includes an account manager, a technology platform designed in-house for registration and liability, and marketing and communications. Our wellness offerings can be seamlessly integrated with existing wellness programs, or our team can fully administrate, launch, and manage a new and engaging wellness program. Book a discovery call with a wellness expert to explore the opportunities for your organization.
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