6 Strategies for Employee Retention

Millions of employees across industries have joined a mass exodus from the workplace, known as the Great Resignation, instigated by the pandemic. This tight labor market has returned the upper hand to American workers. Phrases such as “quiet quitting” and “act your wage” have become popularized as employees find community with others who don’t feel appropriately valued or appreciated by their employers.

Given the competitive labor market, you can’t afford to gamble with your most valuable asset: your employees.

If your business is losing top talent, it’s time to consider implementing some employee retention strategies. Let’s discuss how to ensure employee retention by looking at six staff retention ideas.

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How to Ensure Employee Retention: 6 Employee Retention Ideas

1. Offer competitive compensation

One of the most common strategies for how to improve employee retention is offering competitive compensation, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. You won’t retain workers that don’t feel they’re being fairly compensated. The wage you offer workers should be worthy of the sacrifice and hard work they put into their jobs, and enable them to afford the area’s cost of living. 

Additionally, as inflation rises and they gain experience/take on new responsibilities, their wages should be adjusted accordingly. Regularly assess your workers’ compensation and compare it to what the competition is offering so you don’t lose them to the other guys.

2. Hire the right people from the start

One of the best retention strategies for employers is hiring the right people from the start. This means hiring for cultural fit first. While hiring someone with the right skill sets is important, skills can be learned, but personality is hardwired. 

Not everyone is going to be a good fit for your company. Ten great qualities in a new hire that require zero talent are punctuality, work ethic, effort, body language, energy, attitude, passion, being coachable, doing extra, and being prepared. As a retention best practice, consider these qualities when hiring.

3. Provide creative benefits

Work-life balance isn’t just a buzzword that attracts talent; it helps retain talent. Every generation wants a better work-life balance, especially Millennials and Gen Z. People are looking for companies and jobs that support their lifestyles instead of their lives revolving around work.

If you listen to our podcast, The Skillwork Forum, you’ve heard us talk about workplace culture trends like creative benefits. Some of these include flexible scheduling, compressed workweeks, childcare, and mental health care. Offering these benefits and others can help restore employees’ sense of well-being and reduce feelings of burnout, keeping them happy and healthy.

4. Augment your workforce 

2022 data by Gallup shows that a third of all workers always or very often feel burned out at work. Mismatches between people and their jobs are chronic stressors that lead to burnout. In the trades, burnout is often a result of having too much work and not enough workers due to the skilled labor shortage

One employee retention tactic to avoid employee burnout is augmenting your workforce with temporary workers. This allows you to fill positions with experienced talent immediately, scale up and down as needed, and take on short-term projects without hiring a full-time employee when you only need a replacement temporarily.

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5. Recognize and reward employees

Employee recognition has a significant impact on retention, productivity, engagement, mental health, and happiness at work. According to a survey of 2,000 Americans, almost half of respondents left a job because they felt unappreciated. Another 65% admitted that they would work harder if they felt like their contributions were noticed by management. 

Recognition programs aren’t “one-size fits all.” They need to be customized to your company and its employees. People will alter their behaviors in order to be recognized, but when you recognize them and how you reward them is up to you. Research shows that 60% of organizations tie recognition to business goals, helping them reach goals faster. Once a goal is met, a reward may be a tangible gift, bonus, benefit, verbal affirmation, or varied based on the individual. 

6. Offer professional development

According to McKinsey & Company, lack of opportunities for career development and advancement was the top reason employees left jobs between April 2021 and April 2022. If you’re not giving your people a clear path to upward mobility, they’ll look for it elsewhere.

One way you can offer development opportunities is through upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling is the process of improving upon an employee’s existing abilities that relate to their current job. Reskilling is about training employees in new competencies that enable them to move into entirely different roles within your company.

In light of the 4th Industrial Revolution, some jobs are becoming obsolete. However, instead of letting go of employees with outdated skill sets, you can reskill them to perform different job functions that only humans can handle.

Now that you know how to ensure employee retention by implementing some of these employee retention ideas, how do you find employees in the first place?

Work With Skillwork to Hire Top Talent In the Trades

As America’s premier tradesmen staffing agency, our recruiters at Skillwork match skilled workers with employers across the country. 

With our expansive network, we find employers the most qualified workers for the job faster than they could do it themselves. Using a proprietary 8-step vetting process, we help companies hire the right people the first time.

Contact us today to learn more about how we work with employers to find tradesmen in the midst of the skilled labor shortage. 

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