Let's Discuss Four Ways to Retain Employees That You Never Considered


Let's Discuss Four Ways to Retain Employees That You Never Considered  

Jill Lutz | Founder - Let’s Build Talent

With over 3 million workers missing from the labor force as of July 2022, it’s more important than ever to keep the current employees that you have happy - so that they don’t jump ship for greener pastures. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic fostered in a wave of work-from-home and flexible work arrangements, it takes more than just remote work and great pay with strong benefits to ensure that your employees will stick around for the long haul. Consider the following four ways to increase or maintain employee retention at your company.

Show Me the…Career Path

When we interview candidates for open positions with our clients, the Let’s Build Talent recruiting team hears the following questions from candidates ALL. THE. TIME.

  • What does a possible career path look like at this company?
  • Will there be opportunities for growth if I am offered the position and am successful?
  • What does success look like at Company XYZ? 
  • What type of training is offered during the first week or two? 

Potential employees want to know how they can contribute to the team, become successful and grow within your organization. Yes, compensation and benefits are an important part of the mix, but stagnant employees become bored employees - who often find themselves looking at job boards for their next opportunity. 

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently cited a Verizon survey who found that over 60% of female employees were likely to accept roles with companies who had career development opportunities versus companies that did not. Many companies understand the importance of career development, and for a growing business, it’s hard to sometimes define what career development and growth looks like. Be honest about what your long-term and short-term goals are and how a prospective employee can help you achieve those goals. Share stories of current employees who grew with your company - and how you have remained committed to their success. 

Drama-Free Work Zone

Nothing brings down team morale more than drama, pettiness and backstabbing in the workplace. Cultivating a strong team-focused culture is challenging, but important to keeping everyone happy and satisfied in the workplace. 

Creating a drama free workplace starts with hiring the right people. While not everyone will do work exactly the way that you would, people who have common skill sets and values often work well together. 

As you onboard new employees to your growing team, ensure that you treat everyone fairly and have transparent policies in place. Having an up-to-date employee handbook is critical, even if your team is small, so that employees have some type of reference guide. 

As a leader, deal with conflict or any workplace issue, regardless of the size, quickly. Conflict occurs when personalities clash and complex work issues need to be resolved. Encouraging employees to work together and talk out issues helps, but if they get to an impasse, be there to work out remaining challenges and find a solution. And once the issue is resolved, avoid rehashing that issue later on - it’s over and time to move on. 

Care About Your Community

Want to foster teamwork and strong citizenship? Engage your employees in community service activities that they enjoy. Providing a set amount of “free” time off (i.e. paid time that does not count against their vacation bank, if you can swing it) that allows employees to volunteer at a non-profit of their choice gets them out of their routine and sends good vibes through the community about your company. 

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship showed in a 2019 study that companies reported, “community involvement initiatives contribute to business success by enhancing reputation and helping to recruit and retain employees.” The study also found that employees who participate cultivate skills such as leadership and communication, making them stronger and more valuable employees. 

Not quite ready to give your employees free time off for community service? Participate in a community service project as a company, either annually, every six months, or even quarterly. Ask your team members where they would like to volunteer and take a vote - then set aside an afternoon or morning (yes, this is paid time) to participate. While you as the owner may organize the first volunteer effort, you can also determine employees who can then help plan and eventually lead planning efforts regularly. 

Meet 1x1 Every Month

Most managers often feel that “no news is good news” when it comes to dealing with employee relationships. And while very true, it’s always important to have your thumb on the pulse of what is happening at your company. The best way to engage an employee is to meet with them privately - get to know them, their work style and develop a personal and professional relationship that builds trust. 

While personal 1x1s with each direct report takes time, they are also critical to employee retention: 

  • You learn about challenges before they fester into much larger issues.
  • Find out what concerns your employees - even if they are unafraid to speak up, every employee wants an opportunity to share ideas, concerns and other thoughts privately with their supervisor.
  • Everyone loves undivided attention, even if it is only 15 minutes once per month. It shows that you care about their professional development in the workplace. 
  • A recent BetterUp blog cited that you can connect that employee’s work to the mission and goals of the company - which is often challenging for lower-level or brand new employees to fully understand. 

Always come prepared to a 1x1 meeting with a plan in place; encourage employees to bring discussion items as well, so that you both have a successful meeting. Keep meetings to 30 - 45 minutes, and offer to table items to the next meeting if you run out of time. 

It’s Extra Work, But Totally Worth It

I know - you already have enough on your plate without having to make every single person on your team feel special and heard. And you may be saying to yourself, “Back in my day, people showed up to work, and that was that - what gives??” 

Like we stated in our July 2022 blog, we have five generations of employees in the workplace now - and all these groups have different needs and expectations from their direct supervisors. Millennials make up the largest workforce, and this group is mindful of their work, what purpose it serves, and how they help advance an organization. 

It’s critical to understand how your team, especially if they cover four or five generations, interacts with one another and how the workplace is perceived by them. The insight you gain is invaluable - and it will eventually save you time as you proactively solve issues and are seen as a resource to your employees. Ultimately, employees will want to work with you and for you because you have their back - and you will find yourself placing less job posts to replace team members that have moved on! 

Are you struggling with employee retention issues in your company? What have you done to improve employee retention? If you are not sure on what steps to take next, it may be time to connect with Let’s Build Talent for advice. We offer hour-long strategy sessions for hiring managers and business leaders. Let’s see if it makes sense for us to work together by scheduling a no-obligation discovery call today! 


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