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How to Implement an Employee Retention Policy

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The importance of employee retention cannot be overstated – employee turnover is the single most costly issue your organization can deal with. When your company begins to hemorrhage team members at the same speed they hire them, your recruitment cost skyrockets, your productivity goes down, and your culture suffers.

There are plenty of innovative employee retention strategies you can implement, but the trouble often isn’t the development of the plan – it’s the execution of it. This is why you should introduce an employee retention policy.

You might not have heard of an employee retention policy, which is why we’re here to guide you through it. An employee retention policy is simply a plan to keep turnover rates down by implementing a series of executables that can be tracked as goals, or as progress made over a period of time. 

Drivers of employee retention like strong communication and feedback are certainly great for preventing turnover, but because they can’t be checked off as complete, you won’t put them on your employee retention policy. The goal of an employee retention policy is for it to become a staple of your organization’s leadership strategy, and for future people-leaders to be able to adopt and uphold it.

So, what sort of things should be found in your policy?

DEIBA Initiatives

Throughout the last decade, employers and workers alike have realized the critical importance of DEIBA to culture, employee satisfaction, and even profit.

DEIBA stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Accessibility. It’s a common misconception that introducing diversity initiatives into a workplace brings intangible benefits rather than measurable boosts in productivity, but that’s not the case. Companies in the top diversity quartile are 25% more likely to have above-average profits, while companies in the fourth quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 27% more likely to underperform on profitability. It matters as a driver for employee retention, culture, and business success.

You can include DEIBA in your retention policy in one of two ways: laying out clear initiatives to improve DEIBA, or by hiring a third party diversity consultant to audit your organization for diversity issues. We suggest beginning with a DEIBA audit, then taking their advice to form a set of guidelines for your employee retention policy. If you’re looking to do it internally, remember one thing: it’s not as simple as checking off boxes and filling a gender/race ratio. To learn more, check out our DEIBA e-book here.

An Employee Recognition program

Recognition is not just a nice-to-have – remember that. It’s a necessity whose absence could damage your organization’s employee retention rates. In fact, the number one reason most people leave their jobs is a lack of recognition, according to Gallup. People leaders must celebrate their team’s completed projects, personal milestones, little wins, and even birthdays/anniversaries in any way possible. Recognition builds a sense of community and motivates your employees to continue to strive for success. 

That’s why employee incentive programs should be integral to your employee retention policy. These programs help managers reward their teams with bonuses, gifts, or events for putting in exceptional effort on the job. Whether given to one worker or a whole department, the presence of distinct incentives will motivate your staff to go above and beyond to both gain recognition and receive that “something special” that’s waiting for them.

Studies have shown that incentive programs boost productivity by 25-44% while simultaneously solidifying employee retention and engagement. Give your teams what they deserve while giving your company the high retention rates it deserves.

Building a social workplace community

No matter what industry you work in, our ever-growing digital landscape is vital to day-to-day operations. This has become even more apparent following the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed millions of workers all over the world to online-only capabilities. This cost organizations everywhere productivity and employee retention – but it didn’t have to.

Thanks in part to that same pandemic, the usage of HR software skyrocketed and is now shaping up to be the future of work. According to business analytics platform CB Insights, HR software is projected to become a $43 billion dollar industry by 2026. More and more top level organizations are adopting it every day, which is why it should be HR teams’ #1 priority. The question has shifted from “Should we invest in HR software?” to “Which software should we choose?” The software you should choose should be a social workplace community.

Adopting social workplace community software into your employee retention policy should be a key priority for hybrid and remote teams wishing to strengthen their culture and align their teams. Think of it like a productive version of social media – and what makes today’s most popular social networks so engaging? Constant online access, engaging content, connections to people with similar interests, and most importantly, a fun user experience designed for the users themselves. Imagine if that was available to every employee, via desktop or a mobile app, specifically for your workplace…

As helpful as this software is for remote businesses, it’s also an excellent solution for frontline teams, such as hospital or food service workers, whose days are too busy for the kind of togetherness that you would hope to develop at work. An online community – especially one they can access from their phone – can help them stay in touch with their employer, manager and coworkers whenever they have the opportunity.

What makes social workplace community software such a great driver of employee retention is the fact that it’s specifically crafted to appeal to the employee just as much as – or more than- management. Too many HR platforms are designed to make the management team’s life easier by forwarding assignments more quickly, while these platforms are instead made for your people.

Picture a social media platform that doesn’t distract from work, but enhances your work. A system like that will engage your company’s team and keep them productive regardless of where they operate from. A social workplace community reconnects all of your employees and makes collaboration easy, boosting employee retention and productivity.

Mastering onboarding and educating

An overlooked factor contributing to the retention crisis is the huge variance in companies’ prioritization of consistent education. We all know how messy onboarding programs can be if not planned carefully, but did you know that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they feel that they received a great onboarding experience? How about the fact that 1 in 10 employees have left a company because of a poor onboarding experience?

While every company has some sort of onboarding practice, not every company attempts to help workers learn more as they continue their careers with them. Education is a higher priority for the national workforce than you might think; 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn.

That’s why learning management systems are so important to a company’s success. Learning Management Systems, or LMS’s, hold collections of educational material that teach information about countless different jobs and sectors. Whether your new hires need to learn more about sales strategies, financial tips, or OSHA rules, a good LMS will be flexible enough to cover your varied learning goals. 

The lessons will often be in video form, but you’ll sometimes find what you need in written format similar to a textbook, or as an interactive lesson. At its core, an LMS aims to thoroughly improve the old method of teaching employees skills without diverting too far from what works. Educating workers is critical to employee retention; young talent will leave in droves if they don’t feel like they’re being developed. 

Not only do they increase employee knowledge and confidence, but they actually engage teams enough to keep them working at the same place. When your company excels at continued education, it becomes a talent destination for the top minds of any industry. Everyone wants to learn – add education to your employee retention policy and make sure your onboarding process and LMS gets them there.

We’re not done yet!

We’ve got plenty more resources on building the best workforce from the bottom to the top. Take a look at our e-book on Mastering the Employee Experience, or our 10 HR Strategies For the Retention Crisis piece, as told by experts from all sorts of industries. All of our resources can be found in our Library – check them out here! To see HelloTeam in action, click here — and to set up a meeting with us, go here!

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