Employee Retention Ideas: Effective Strategies to Keep Your Employees in 2023

28 March

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Employee Retention Ideas: Effective Strategies to Keep Your Employees in 2023

The average cost an employer spends on hiring one new employee is over $3,500. And with over 4 million American workers having quit their jobs in just December of 2022 alone, organisations are having to put extensive financial resources towards filling these roles.

Although the question of how to keep employees from leaving has kept employers scratching their heads since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the rate of employees quitting their jobs skyrocketed to unprecedented levels during the pandemic. And this trend of a higher-than-usual amount of employees leaving their jobs, which is also known as the Great Reshuffle or Great Resignation, is still continuing into 2023. 

While the causes of the Great Reshuffle are numerous, one significant contributing factor is shifting generational expectations. With Generation Z beginning to enter the workforce, they are demanding work-life balance, meaning and flexibility from their employer. And the organisations that take heed to these shifting employee expectations and values will be the ones that are able to both attract and retain top talent.

However, understanding employee expectations is only half the battle – and organisations also need to implement strategies to meet these expectations. So keep reading to discover seven effective employee retention ideas to retain your best talent in 2023.

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What is employee retention and why is it important?

Before covering the employee retention ideas you can apply to your organisation, let’s take a deeper dive into what employee retention is and why it matters. Employee retention is an organisation’s ability to reduce voluntary resignations. And while some turnover is inevitable at every organisation, at high rates, it can lead to poor company culture and high talent acquisition and onboarding costs. High employee attrition can also contribute to reduced productivity and operational efficiency.

For example, when an employee resigns, their areas of responsibility either get put on the backburner or spread to other employees. This not only makes the team and company less productive, but could also lead to high stress and reduced team morale. So because of all the negative consequences of high attrition, it pays to keep employees. And deploying employee retention strategies will help you do just that.

7 Effective strategies to retain your best employees in 2023

Now that we’ve covered why employee retention matters, let’s dive into how to keep your employees from leaving by applying seven effective strategies.

1. Engaging and effective onboarding

First impressions matter. And this is particularly true when it comes to onboarding new employees. If employees don’t feel supported and valued during their first interactions with their new employer, these feelings could linger – and contribute to higher levels of turnover. But with only 12% of employees stating that their company has an effective onboarding programme, far too many companies overlook this prime opportunity to retain top talent.

So how can you design your onboarding programme to stand out amongst the competition and lead to higher rates of employee retention? By making it engaging and effective. As opposed to simply asking new hires to read through pages of PDFs and watch generic PowerPoint presentations, try incorporating more stimulating and engaging digital learning tactics.

Even smaller companies that may not have a dedicated learning and development team can leverage digital learning design to develop better onboarding processes. Some particularly effective strategies include social learning in which employees have an opportunity to interact or solve problems in breakout rooms or group chats.

2. Management style

With 57% of employees having left a job due to poor management, the aphorism is true – people do often quit bosses, not jobs. And for this reason, hiring and developing effective leaders is vital for employee retention. 

One of the best ways to prevent poor management from driving away your top talent is to examine your hiring criteria. Research consistently shows that the most effective managers have higher levels of emotional intelligence. However, managers are often assessed on their technical and cognitive skills, rather than their emotional intelligence skills.

In addition to hiring managers with the right qualifications, another way to increase managerial competence is to continuously develop your managers. Through offering courses and training on effective management and leadership, you can help ensure your managers are top-notch and driving employee retention – not attrition.

3. Learning and development opportunities

The workforce is in a state of flux. And employee expectations around what a company should offer them are changing. While previous generations may have prioritised a competitive salary and stable employment above all, millennials and Gen Z expect more. And they want a company to invest in their learning and development.

Learning and development is so important for employee retention that companies who rate high on employee training experience a 53% lower attrition rate than those who rate poorly on employee training. Therefore, supporting your employees with their growth is vital to both attracting and keeping your best employees.

If you don’t already have an L&D team or training specialist, it might be worth considering bringing these skills in-house. This way, you have the skills needed to build training that effectively develops your employees. And your employees are able to recognise that their company prioritises their growth.

4. Appreciating your employees

Being appreciated makes employees feel psychologically safe and like their work has meaning. And because of this, employee appreciation plays a vital role in employee satisfaction, morale, loyalty, performance and employee retention. In fact, 53.1% of employees want their organisations to better recognise their hard work.

So while it’s clear that making your employees feel appreciated is a huge contributor to employee retention, it can be difficult for many organisations to know where to start. And depending on the type of organisation and culture, how you go about showing your employees appreciation will vary. 

Some companies show appreciation through competitive compensation while others have employee recognition programmes that reward employees for their efforts and achievement. However, the best way to determine what makes your employees feel appreciated is to ask them through surveys and feedback. This can go a long way in making them feel like a valued – and heard – member of your organisation.

5. Flexible work options

Although distributed teams and telecommuting have existed since the inception of the internet, the abrupt shift to remote working that occurred during the pandemic left the world of work permanently altered. 

As both employees and organisations alike discovered that employees can be equally productive when working remotely, five days a week in the office is viewed by many as a thing of the past. And while there are benefits to both office-based and remote work, many employees still seek flexible work options from their employer.

If your organisation is not interested – or able – to completely forgo set working hours and office-based employees, there are other ways to give employees flexibility. You could try having core working hours from 10am-4pm and letting employees decide themselves when they want to start and end to meet their workweek. 

6. Fostering a culture of innovation

From contributing to company growth to increasing competitive advantage, there are myriad benefits of fostering a culture of company growth. And among these benefits, one of the most important is that it can help you retain top talent.

High-performers refer to employees who are engaged in their work and invested in the success of their organisation. And these attributes naturally lead to these employees wanting to contribute ideas and solve problems. But if their organisation does not foster a culture in which they are encouraged to innovate, they most likely won’t be satisfied. 

Some methods to foster a culture of innovation include encouraging open communication, empowering employees and being agile. It is also important to continuously develop your employees. When employees are encouraged to develop themselves and improve their skills, this will encourage a culture of continuous improvement – and innovation. 

7. Investing in your departments

Employee retention doesn’t only involve deciphering how to keep individual employees, but actually requires a systematic approach. Employee dissatisfaction can be contagious – and if a team or department is discontented or feels as though they are getting the short end of the stick, this could lead to a departmental retention issue.

One of the best employee retention ideas to demonstrate appreciation for all departments is to invest equally in their development. For example, you may frequently train sales teams on new product features as this is vital information for their role. However, it could lead to other teams feeling disgruntled and as though their development is deprioritised.  

Therefore, consider development opportunities for all your teams. Even if you believe that teams, such as payroll or customer service already have the skills they need, there may be gaps of which senior management aren’t aware. However, even if the teams are equipped to do their jobs well, investing in the development of all your departments ensures employees feel as though they are treated fairly.

How to implement employee retention strategies

One of the most effective ways to start implementing employee retention strategies in your organisation is by supporting employees’ learning and development. Investing in your employees’ learning and development can drive a culture of innovation, make employees feel appreciated, improve managerial competency and make your onboarding more effective. And these outcomes will all contribute to higher employee retention.

To start creating learning and development programmes to retain your top employees, speak to an advisor at Digital Learning Institute today. The Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design can equip you with the skills you need to effectively develop and retain talent.

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