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Employee retention ideas

4 Effective Employee Retention Ideas That Work

It’s no secret that COVID has shifted the way that companies think about remote work — it’s had to. But millennials were way ahead of the curve when it came to more flexibility in their work schedules, and the benefits of remote work.Back in 2018, 77% of millennials said they would be more productive if they had more flexible hours. 


It’s no longer the days of employees feeling satisfied with a traditional 9-5, earning the same money their grandparents did. And it’s showing. Employee retention is becoming a real issue for companies, who are seeing their millennial talent leave at higher rates than ever before. 21% of millennials say they’ve changed jobs in the past year, and  they’re much more willing to look for better opportunities, and jump ship if those opportunities arise.


But it’s not an issue of loyalty, or impatience. There are real issues in the workplace that employees are finally tapping into, and they’re saying they’ve had enough. And as a company, you should be concerned about retaining your employees. Turnover is expensive — some estimates put the cost of replacing an employee at over $30,000.


If you’re interested in keeping your employees happy, you might want to take a look at ways to improve the company in ways that will make them want to stay. 


Here are some employee retention ideas for 2021 that you can implement, to ensure your employees are satisfied and excited to come back to work every day. 


Substantial pay

It’s no secret that people want to get paid for their work, and they want to get paid well. When it comes to retaining employees, reevaluating pay is one of the top priorities. Of course money only matters up to a certain point, but it’s a huge factor in an employee’s decision to stay at a  company, or look for a better opportunity. A Gallup poll shows that 44% of employees would be willing to take another job that offered them a 20% increase in pay or less. 


It makes sense — with student debt at an all-time high, millennial employees are struggling to afford rent at the same age their parents were buying houses. And COVID has made the financial struggle that much more difficult, leaving employees wondering how they’re going to make ends meet, and keeping their eyes out for higher paying jobs. 


With employees on the lookout for better pay, it’s on the companies to make sure they’re compensating their people properly, and in a substantial way. 


Recognition and engagement

Employees need to be engaged at work, so they’re not just going in and doing the bare minimum. Employees want to be productive and useful as much as companies want them to be. But people want their work to have meaning and purpose, and it’s hard to feel that when you’re not given autonomy, trust, and opportunities to grow in your position. 


Engagement, which is at an all time low. Over half of millennials say they don’t feel engaged at work. That’s a striking statistic in and of itself, but it also directly impacts job turnover. 59% of employees say they are less likely to quit if they feel engaged. Something has to be done about keeping employees feeling engaged. Companies should focus on offering opportunities for career development and leadership, and engaging their employees in challenging and autonomous roles. 


Another way to engage your employees? Give them the recognition they deserve. Lack of recognition is a huge reason employees tend to leave their jobs. In fact, 66% said they would quit because they don’t feel appreciated


Unfortunately, offering recognition doesn’t seem to be high-up on the list of priorities in the average office. According to a Gallup poll, only a third of employees say that they’ve received adequate recognition for a job well done in the last week. This isn’t about employees wanting praise and hand holding, though — it’s about feeling motivated, useful, and valued. A few ways to increase employee recognition are to offer awards, give good reviews, or even just a verbal “well done” in front of peers. And yes, promotions and raises do go a long way here as well.


Work-life balance 

Just because most of us are working remotely right now due to lockdown doesn’t mean we now have 24 hours a day to devote to our jobs. Employees are valuing work-life balance more than ever — over 80% of millennials (who make up half of the workforce) say that they consider how a job would impact their work-life balance before accepting. 


Therefore, even though we’re mostly working from home, it’s important to keep the same structure that you would have in an office. Don’t expect responses from your employees late at night or early in the morning just because you consider them more “accessible”. Answering emails from the couch doesn’t mean they don’t deserve down time like they did before. 


Flexible hours

Especially with most of us working from home, it’s easier than ever to shift hours. Maybe one of your employees is a morning bird, and can get more work done before you even wake up. Maybe some are night owls and can be more productive after 5 PM. 82% of employees say they’d stay at their company longer if it offered more flexibility, and 92% think it would improve their quality of life.  If your company doesn’t require certain employees to be available from 9-5, you may want to consider less traditional hours to satisfy your employees. Also, it might be time to consider the 4 day work week… It’s been shown to improve employee satisfaction and decrease stress by up to 45%. And it doesn’t negatively impact productivity; in fact, it can increase productivity by 20%. There’s a lot to be said for having extra time to decompress and return to work refreshed and excited to take on a new week. 


The bottom line is that as a company, it’s in your best interest to retain your employees. It costs you too much not to, both in time and money. So take the time to consider some of these employee retention ideas, so you can start keeping your talent satisfied and on your staff.

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