Effective Retention Strategies to Make Your Top Talents Stay

Employee Retention Strategies

Many businesses have been using multiple ways and combinations of employee retention strategies. However, how effective are they and what should you do to adopt the strategies for the long run.

Multiple surveys have deemed that skilled employees that are aligned to a company are hard to come by. 

  • Nearly half of workers have left a job because it didn’t align with their expectations (source: ThriveMap)
  • 41% of employees feel personally aligned with their company’s mission and 49% with their values, yet 94% of employees and 98% of employers say those connections are critical (source: Reward Gateway)
  • 93% of workers said trustworthy leadership was the most crucial factor in creating alignment, with 93% saying it’s important but just 61% feeling their companies are aligned with their values (source: MetLife)
  • Almost 70% of employees said their companies occasionally struggle in aligning with, being sensitive about and adhering to local laws, practices and cultures (Globalization Partners)

Therefore, you will jump to use whatever means to retain your employees when you see one.

However, retaining talents is not a simple one-time deal. It should be well inculcated in the people strategy and into the company culture.

The Importance of Retaining Employees

Have you been in a workplace where there are many reorganisations, turnovers and changes?

The constant changes around your employees can negatively influence their motivation and morale. 

The following are some other reasons why employee retention strategy must be in place as part of your HR strategy.

  • Reduce the cost of acquisition, transition, and training
  • Increase productivity
  • Give better customer experience
  • Subject matter expert
  • Knowledge, skills, and expertise retention
  • Influence the output of others through motivating workplace
  • Better growth and achievements

Retaining employees, especially those that contribute, is critical.

The Cause of High Turnover

Now, if you’re still unaware of why your turnover is high, or your employee retention is failing, you might want to check out this article on 10 reasons why employee retention strategies fail.

In a gist, some of the reasons why your employees left are

  • untapped potential
  • the lack of career development & growth
  • bad employee engagement & lack of communication
  • toxic employees not removed immediately
  • used only one retention strategy for all problems
  • undetected conflict
  • inconsistent leadership
  • underappreciated staff

20 Employee Retention Strategies You Can Use

If you’re well aware of the root cause and problems of employee retention and looking for solutions, then this article is for you.

Here are the ways to retain your employees we’ve collected. Let’s admit it. Some of what we’ve learned may be alarming for people from different generations. 

But, time is different, and we need to adapt to strategic changes to ensure we cater to the next largest group of the workforce, the millennials.

1. Improve your hiring process to hire right from the start.

One of the best ways to avoid having to retain a person forcibly is to hire right from the beginning. Not an easy task. But, with technology, we can analyse more data points to make better-informed decisions. 

You can find out more tactics here on how to the right employee [link article #9 – hire the right employee].

2. The employee engagement strategy is not an option.

Many companies, particularly startups, tend to overlook the importance of cultivating employee engagement. Sometimes, being busy became the reason for not focusing on it. 

Employee engagement strategies are so vital to making employees feel right at home amidst the company, people, the work, direction and vision of the company, the managers, colleagues and more.

3. Sustain a brand value that everyone can be proud of.

Keeping up an excellent reputation matters to your employees. We want everyone in the company to feel proud of being part of an awesome team that brings a positive impact on lives, for instance.

Being proud will lead to feeling motivated, hence improving your employees’ productivity.

4. Be an inspiring leader, not a micromanaging boss.

The term boss is old school, especially to millennials. One of the reasons it has been losing its reputation as once symbol of power and stature is that the managerial style is no longer applicable. 

We do not want to boss over everyone. The best manager is one that leads by inspiring, setting an example, or motivation.

5. Train managers to be leaders too

Be on the lookout for your managers. Since we all know that employees usually leave the boss, not the company.

Ensure that your managers are trained to be leaders, not another boss.

6. Give a competitive salary and benefits

Monetary returns, compensations, and rewards are still essential variables for many employees on top of other benefits. 

Therefore, if you can’t offer your employees better, you cannot expect them to stay. 

7. Let your employees grow professionally and personally

Give your employees the tools to grow and succeed. Be it for their life improvements or career advancement; growth is vital for humans. 

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualisation is the greatest need to achieve fulfilment and happiness in life or work. Through growth, one can achieve self-actualisation.

8. Provide a safe, open and respectful communication channel

Allow platforms for open and honest feedback or discussion. At Hatch Asia, we call it Brown Box. It is a ‘channel’ for our employees to submit feedback, improvement ideas, and comments anonymously. 

Providing a secure communication channel for every employee allows both employer and employee to resolve any issues as quickly as it arises.

9. Truly connect with your team

You will not expect your team to run by itself smoothly. Occasionally, you will need to get involved. Not just to boss around, but to be genuinely concerned about every individual whenever possible.

10. Foster respect, variety and inclusion in the workplace

A workplace that respects individuality and inclusivity will retain the right talents. We have a full article to talk about how diversity and inclusion strategy can genuinely help your business.

11. Honest feedback and review

I believe that, in general, everyone prefers brutal truth than sugar-coated lies. Even when they don’t know it yet. Anyone will come to terms with brutal truths.

Practice honest feedback and review with your employees. It will encourage faster and better growth for the staff and the company.

12. Minimise sudden major changes in the workplace

No one likes changes. 

Employees will feel agitated or anxious if their colleagues, office desks, managers, and job scope changes every few months or weeks. 

As much as possible, avoid sudden big changes. Achieve that with better business planning to anticipate risks and flush out potential problems and resolutions.

13. Predict potential retention strategies issue

Speaking of strategic planning, you will also want to predict potential issues in your retention strategies.

Be ready with recommendations or alternatives whenever possible, and you will have a strong employee retention strategy.

14. Ensure a clean and safe environment for your employees

No one likes to work in a hazardous office. Also, a clean and safe environment promotes productivity.

15. Retain progressive improvements in retention strategies

Your retention strategies should not be a one time deal. Where once defined is used forever. 

People change, culture evolves, employees adapt, millennials grow up and enter the workforce—these are just some of the inevitable changes that may render your employee retention plan useless.

16. Customise work environment based on team needs

Consider various workplace settings for different needs. For instance, 

  • bean-bags room for casual ideation meeting, 
  • standing area for those who’d like to flex their legs while working after long hours sitting,
  • noise cancellation room for important conference calls with clients,
  • and more.

17. Offer game rooms or recreational areas

Allow the culmination of creativity, teamwork and collaboration among your employees through play. Game rooms and simple recreational areas can be added if the budget permits to encourage team play.

18. Allow special bring-your-child-to-work days

Working mothers are common today. Support your employees who are often torn between going home early to their children or staying back at work to finish off that important email or task.

19. Offer a flexible working environment

Some personnel don’t need to be around the office all the time. Come up with policies and programmes for working over the weekend, work-from-home as required, or their choice of the workplace as they see fit. 

This is to encourage your employees to bring their best performance to work wherever they are most comfortable at the moment.

20. Run equal-voice meetings

Have a policy or inculcate a respectful meeting culture where everyone gets to say and be listened to on what they want to share. 

It could be topics that are work-related or not. As long as sharing openly and being respected is practised.

Finally

There is never a one-size fits all retention strategy.

In the context of the organization and the talent plays a huge role in executing retention strategies. 

In today’s environment where good talents have multiple avenues and streams to stretch their capabilities, it’s essential to truly understand what every individual is looking to achieve. 

Additionally, you will need to identify where your organization could assuage such aspirations with relevant roles within the company.

And should there be no means to retain talent, the door should always be left open. 

Because, in the future, there could very well be a possibility where the talents aspirations and the organization’s needs may be aligned.

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Anirudh Arvind

Anirudh Arvind

Anirudh Arvind, Regional Head & Senior Partner at Hatch Asia. He leads our Digital, Technology & Human Resources practice across Asia with substantial experience working with clients across multiple industries on assignments such as identifying high performing and high potential talent, building and rolling out global talent acquisition strategies, crafting out succession strategies and working with clients across the talent lifecycle

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