Summary: We’ve compiled 7 of the best employee retention strategies that are tried, tested and true to IC.
With only about 32% of the workforce in the United States engaged in their jobs, and 51% actively looking for a new job (or watching job listings), employee retention is a growing concern for many companies.
With employee engagement initiatives on the rise, is there something your organization could be doing better to retain your top talent? I was curious myself and set off on a mission to ask this question to our outstanding talent here at Intranet Connections as well as research how the best technology companies and others are using employee engagement initiatives to improve employee retention. Interestingly, your leaders could be a key component to improving your employee retention rate.
Based on my research, here are five of the best employee retention strategies you can put into place today:
1) Hire for Company Culture Fit
According to my findings, employee retention starts with company culture. It is critical that leaders are communicating the company’s core values and company culture to job candidates during the hiring process. One of the primary reasons it seems that top employees are quitting their job is because they do not fit in with the company culture and as a result, the job isn’t what they expected.
This one hit home here at Intranet Connections. I’ve heard Rob and our Leadership Team here say this time and time again, “hire for culture fit over skill set – people can learn new skills, but they will not change to fit our culture.” This is often one organizations’ struggle with the most because job descriptions are written to fill a gap in skills, not necessarily a gap in culture.
If Candidate A can fulfill more of the ‘required skills’ outlined in the job description than Candidate B, but Candidate B is a better fit for the company’s culture who would you hire? More often than not, you’ll hire to fulfill the gap in skill set than culture fit. However, to ensure your organization is retaining employees, first hire for culture fit – skills can always be taught. And with the right culture fit, employees will be more engaged, which brings me to my next point…
2) Expedite the HR Onboarding Process
HR onboarding processes such as meetings, lectures, lengthy videos, and printed materials can be costly to produce, hard to maintain and difficult to measure its effectiveness. Here at IC, we use our own intranet ‘SQirl‘ and the Online Form Builder application to develop interactive onboarding tests, which quiz our new employees on training material and our product videos. It encourages self-learning and the self-starting nature that we tend to look for when hiring.
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3) Truly Engage Employees
Here it is again, that employee engagement we keep hearing about. Having engaged employees at work isn’t only critical for an organizations success, it’s necessary. More engaged employees are happier and thus have a longer tenure with their employer. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the employee is just happy at work – a fully engaged employee has an emotional commitment to the organization and achieving its goals. To ensure employees are fully engaged:
- Leaders need to communicate company goals clearly
- Employees must have access to the resources they need to make smart decisions
- Recognition has to be frequent, and genuine
Include employees in the goal defining process and get their feedback along every step of the way – tracking goals and employee feedback is a great way to leverage your Corporate Intranet. Make sure they are able to access the company goals and progress. And when an employee helps in achieving a company goal, recognize it.
4) Promote from Within
Acknowledging your talent’s potential by promoting from within is one of the best ways to improve employee retention. We are always on the lookout for where the passion lies within the team. We have a history of hiring and promoting within as we believe in mentoring and nurturing the talents and passions of our IC champions – and everyone working here ends up being an intranet champion! We promote our job postings internally in multiple touchpoints so that everyone can see the job openings coming up and have a chance to apply for them. Specifically, we talk about the new roles opening up as we grow on our corporate intranet through our Blogs and Company News, and this heightened awareness will help to avoid your employees from looking elsewhere for growth opportunities.
5) Recognize Your Talent
A primary reason employees are leaving their jobs is because they don’t feel valued for their work. This complaint often surfaces as the ultimate reason employees leave a company. Firsthand, I’ve heard this multiple times from my old classmates who are choosing to leave their current employers.
Simply providing a quick “pat on the back” for a job well-done can make an employee feel valued and therefore happier at work. It is important to recognize when an employee or colleague has performed well. Employee recognition is key when it comes to improved employee retention. This can be as simple as walking down the hall to a colleague’s office to say, “Good Job”.
It is satisfying to work in a company and on a team where people feel cared about and acknowledged by their peers. That is why empathy is so important to us and important in how we want to engage with our customers. The Employee Recognition Application is a great way to recognize employees’ accomplishments, both small and large, and recognizes them for their impact and valuable contributions.
6) Open Communication & Collaboration
Employee retention can also be improved with an organization that promotes open communication and strong collaboration. For me personally, having open communication is extremely important, especially being newer to a company. Leaders should make themselves readily available to all employees and offer constant opportunities for face-to-face feedback and evaluation.
In addition to manager-to-employee communication, it is important to provide an opportunity for colleagues to openly communicate. Leaders can encourage collaboration and peer-to-peer recognition amongst employees to further promote employee engagement. Employees are more likely to stay in a work environment that allows room for collaborative efforts on projects and transparent communication. At Intranet Connections, we do a “Lunch and Learn” once a month and encourage an open-discussion at the end of each one. This is a great (and fun!) tool to get employees to collaborate and communicate with everyone in the office.
7) Create a Community Your Employees Are Proud Of
Lastly, to ensure employee retention, include an element of fun within the workplace. Organize fun team-building activities to help employees and managers get to know each other better. Team-building activities also help in defining and maintaining company culture. People can spend 40+ hours a week at work with a number of them seeing colleagues more than their own families. It’s important to create a family-like atmosphere and if you achieve this, employees are more likely to stay at an organization for the long-term.
Not everyone has the gumption to be a Manager (yet most seem to aspire to be one). However, we believe at Intranet Connections that everyone has the potential to be a leader. The best way to garner ideas from your top talent – and make them feel appreciated – is to let their voices be heard. Encouraging a collaborative environment through applications such as Idea Share, Discussion Forums and Company Blogs promotes creativity and increases employee job satisfaction.
Intranet Connections has done a terrific job of this, and I have built close bonds with everyone in the organization. We are constantly coming up with fun office activities, like brewery crawls, picnics, and an annual scavenger hunt coming up soon. Team-building activities can be as simple as arranging a pot-luck on the last Friday of every month or organizing a running club once a week. These simple activities build long-lasting relationships among employees and ultimately increase employee retention
The Power of Employee Retention
These five key elements are simple to implement and will ensure employees are happy and engaged at work. You’ll see a lower turnover and increased employee retention in no time!
Do you have an example I didn’t cover of how your organization retains and engages employees? I’d love to hear about it.