The issue of employee retention is extremely important for businesses and is closely linked to a couple of other rewarding practices. First of all, in order to even get the chance to boost employee retention, you need to be able to recognize the issue first.

For many traditional businesses where execs and managers have near to limitless promotion opportunities, employee retention is a huge issue.

With the emergence of startups and rapid technological advances, the whole system has been shaken to the bone, showing leaders that they will soon need to change their approach or else face serious business blows. And, it also shows employees that there are other options to pursue their professional goals.

Employee Turnover Costs Are Massive

To put things into the only perspective business policy makers understand: money. For, the fact remains that the ultimate goal of every business is - profit.

Expanding from there, employee retention is extremely important because new people will have to fill the positions, and new people need to be trained properly in order for the business to remain operating successfully. Training costs, resources and time and may well prove fruitless in the end if the reasons for people leaving aren’t addressed. Who is to guarantee that the new employees won’t leave the company when a better opportunity presents itself?

Most companies eventually realize that various incentives (monetary and other ones) are less expensive than the continual training of new employees. This approach is also likely to boost engagement and productivity, so it’s a win-win.

Employee Retention Strategies

Keeping “Talents”

With all these changes going on, there has emerged a new term - “talent.” It may seem somewhat vague to people trying to keep up with the trendy terminology, and for a good reason. While dubious “coaches” have been preaching that everyone can develop creativity and learn to work in a “flow state,” future-oriented businesses speak of talents and the importance of keeping them.

Wait, if everyone can learn to be creative and 100% productive, what on earth is a “talent?”

It turns out, not everyone can excel in creativity, which is, by the by, the very definition of creativity (“the ability to create new things and solve problems in novel ways,” with the two key factors contributing to the process being originality and functionality). As expected, people’s brains work in different ways, meaning that not everything can be learned (think in terms of people with the fixed-mindset).

“Talents” are thus defined as natural leaders (also a new term introduced by agile methodologies and directly opposed to managers in the traditional sense of the word) who can not only inspire others but also present difficult issues and vague ideas in an easily understandable way to everyone.

Startups underline the importance of keeping such people, no matter the cost, but the tricky part is: high salaries are not the main incentive for talents, albeit they are, of course, appreciated. Leaders are inspired by challenges, which is something they rarely find in traditional, rigid companies.

It is crucial, therefore, to recognize such people and allow them to do their jobs in their own way. Needless to say, losing a single talent is a huge loss for a company, seeing as they inspire others and drive positive change.

Retention Starts from the Interview

Rather than think about boosting retention rates after hiring employees, start thinking about it right from day one. To do this, you need to pinpoint and nicely tune the elements your business will be pursuing - from business culture to long-term strategy.

Once you know that, consider only the candidates that fit into it. It may sound unfair, but the truth is that not everyone has the ambition to lead, especially not if that means overtime work. Many people look for a stable 9-to-5 job after which they’ll come back to their families and forget about their work until the next working day.

If you are looking for employees who think outside of the box, don’t hire people who don’t have such ambitions. Only in this way will you be able to boost retention and pursue your business goals. Remember that engagement and productivity increase over time if the expectations of the employees are met, so the only thing you need to do is - recognize people who are aligned with your business strategy.

Offer Promotions

As mentioned above, not everyone chooses the workplace based on the salary alone. Many people look for different incentives, including promotions.

It is only reasonable for employees to expect certain rewards for their dedication, loyalty and hard work. Promotions are not only about money - they also come with greater responsibilities and challenges, which sends a clear message to the employees that effort is being rewarded.

Ensure Continual Education

Of course, not everyone is equipped with an equal skill set. That’s why juniors and seniors exist. To ensure that every employee will be given a chance at a promotion, ensure continual education.

This doesn’t mean that everyone should learn everything. Let’s take a look at how startups work for a bit. Because they operate in a fast-paced, ever-changing market, the employees are like a family. Everyone gives their best, and everyone brainstorms best solutions. In this way, all employees participate actively and, as a result, feel proud of every success as if it were their own.

This is the kind of education that will help you develop a business culture where everyone will fit in, and gladly at that. Allow people to choose their course and develop their careers in the way they want to see them progressing. Putting it into a legal frame is really the least of your problems if you are serious about boosting employee retention. The point is that employees should know that their efforts will be recognized and that their voices will be heard and appreciated.

Conclusion

Boosting employee retention is a continual process. Rather than a process, in fact, it should be a strategy. Experimenting is an option, but remember that employees basically always look for three things: recognition, rewards and freedom.

Retention should, hence, be observed through the prism of human nature rather than a complex trial-and-error matter. For best results, set anonymous feedback in place. Listening to your employees will give you the clearest picture of their expectations, after all.