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Turning “The Great Resignation” into “The Great Retention”

The last few years have brought HR & management teams a crisis of turnover among their teams. 2021 saw the United States turnover rate rocket to 57.3%, which is a crippling number for small businesses who can’t afford the cost of replacing an employee – which, per industry analyst Josh Bersin, can be 1.5x-2x their salary.

The Great Resignation, as some have called it, is one of the biggest factors separating companies that came out of the pandemic stronger than ever from companies that continue to struggle with turnover, employee shortages, and high recruitment costs. While high turnover can be influenced by any number of factors, there are proven employee retention strategies HR can implement to transform their organization into a talent destination and start the journey towards The Great Retention.

The first step, therefore, is determining the root cause of turnover within your team. Take deliberate steps to determine where to begin with pulse surveys, one-on-one’s, conducting exit interviews, asking employees about their experiences during one-on-one meetings, and conducting a meaningful audit of your workplace’s culture.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some of the biggest causes of turnover here – and how to fix them. It’s time to turn The Great Resignation into The Great Retention.

Employee Recognition & Rewards

Rewarding your employees for a job well done can actually be an enormous game-changer for your staff’s satisfaction and your organization’s turnover rate. If you don’t believe us, consider the facts that 75% of employees say receiving recognition makes them want to stay at their companies longer, and Gallup revealed that the #1 reason most people say they leave their jobs is because they feel they aren’t recognized or appreciated enough.

Changing a lack of recognition isn’t quite as simple as, well, recognition. It’s about motivating employees to put effort into their jobs with the knowledge that they’ll be appreciated for their work – and perhaps even rewarded with an extra prize from an incentive program. 

Rewards programs are proven winners when it comes to beating turnover – studies have shown that incentive programs boost productivity by 25-44% while simultaneously solidifying engagement and retention. Putting incentives ahead of your team keeps them focused and ready to commit to the company’s long-term.

Don’t forget, though, recognition doesn’t just come from management. If you can build a culture where your team members congratulate each other on accomplishments, you’ll have a community of appreciation that can completely defeat high turnover.

Onboarding & Learning Management

Another 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 practices, 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. 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 – make sure your onboarding process and LMS gets them there.

Create a culture of feedback

Communication and feedback are crucial in virtually every facet of professional life. If feedback within your workplace isn’t consistent and clear, it can cause misalignment, hurt productivity, and yes, increase turnover. Communication from employee to management is the subject here: there’s a 16% decrease in retention rates for workers who aren’t comfortable giving upwards feedback.

That ability to give feedback itself, while important, isn’t the sole factor that can defeat turnover on its own. It’s the content of what your workers are telling you. Your team’s feedback, when honest, can key you into everything that needs fixing or reassessing within your workplace. Perhaps your employees have an issue with the flexibility of their positions & work-life balance, or they feel that your performance review method isn’t as helpful as it could be. Learning about the issues your team cares about is by far the best way to tackle them, and you won’t hear about them without curating a culture of feedback.

While it might take a bit of time to get feedback from your team, we can give you feedback from some of the leading experts in the field of Human Resources. We compiled a list of our ten favorite pieces of advice on improving retention from guests on our podcast, The Culture Corner Podcast

Download our E-book 10 HR Strategies for the Retention Crisis in 2022 today for even more ways to curb turnover!

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