In the broadest sense, employee retention depends on a combination of factors, including work-life balance, benefits, compensation, development and learning opportunities, and more. These factors also affect your recruitment rates, as a company that values its employees enough for them to stay is also one that others want to work for.
How you engage with your employees is especially critical now. In just the last year, we saw the shift to work from home, a necessitated reliance on technology and tools, and a larger focus on employee mental health and wellbeing. If your own organization doesn’t keep up, your recruitment and retention rates will be impacted.
Frightened by these statistics? Don’t fret! You’ve come to the right place. Here are four tips we recommend for the rest of 2021 and beyond:
- Revisit your training and onboarding process
- Offer professional development and continued learning opportunities
- Make sure to recognize employee performance
- Create flexible working arrangements
HR and performance management best practices are constantly changing in response to external factors in our society and economy, so reviewing your employee engagement strategies is always a beneficial idea. Ready to learn more? Let’s begin.
1. Revisit your training and onboarding process
Did you know that 76% of workplaces aren’t retaining their new hires after onboarding, with only 47% believing their onboarding program was effective at all?
Imagine this: You go through the expensive process of recruiting new employees. You take them through the entire training and onboarding process consisting of one-on-one coaching and tons of documents and paperwork. This took a month and two staff members’ time to complete altogether. In the end, half of these new employees leave your business within the first two months of working.
They might have left for all kinds of reasons, like moving away, deciding the position isn’t the right fit, or going back to school. No matter what, you don’t want the reason to be a poor training or onboarding process.
In the past year, training and onboarding shifted online due to the move to remote work. This was initially a struggle, as the lack of face-to-face interaction makes it much harder to teach concepts and learn about a new role. However, with the use of digital tools, like a performance management system and an online learning platform, training and onboarding became much easier.
It’s recommended to invest in good technology for reasons beyond just working from home. A digital system will make it easier to:
- Track employees as they go through the training and onboarding process
- Allow employees to go through the process on their own time and at their own pace
- Design a training/onboarding process that reflects your organization
Plus, when you digitize the training and onboarding process it’s much easier to improve this process as needed. Using the important data saved within your systems, you can get a better idea as to which segments had high engagements and which were lacking.
2. Offer professional development and continued learning opportunities
Did you know that 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their professional development?
When you lose employees due to a lack of learning or professional development opportunities, it can be one of the worst reasons for turnover. This is because staff members who are actively trying to learn and become better are the type of employees you should prioritize for retention.
If you don’t already have learning opportunities and internal training to upskill your existing workforce, now is the time to really dive in. Digital learning tools and corporate learning tech has actually become an extremely popular tool among HR professionals these days. This allows companies to deliver educational resources at scale!
As you explore the different learning experience platforms available, make sure to look for these features:
- An intuitive interface so that any one of your employees, no matter their digital literacy, can use it easily.
- Courses that are recommended based on your learners and past data.
- Integrated learning with the ability for you to host webinars, create curriculums, and comply with SCORM.
- Customizability so that the learning experience can be adapted based on employee preferences. For instance, LinkedIn found that 68% of employees prefer to learn at work, and 58% of employees prefer to learn at their own pace.
When recruiting, it’s not rare for employers to have trouble finding candidates with the exact experience and skills they need. With internal learning and professional development opportunities, you can better bridge this gap and provide employees with the type of engagement they deserve.
3. Make sure to recognize employee performance
Did you know that 66% of employees say they would quit their job if they felt unappreciated?
Recognizing your employees’ work and compensating them for their effort is one of the most crucial factors of your retention efforts. Without a comprehensive employee compensation strategy, it’s unlikely that your workers will feel valued, and instead, they’ll take their skills elsewhere.
According to Astron Solutions, there are two different types of employee compensation that are needed to support a comprehensive total rewards approach.
If you want to effectively recruit and retain your employees, you need much more than just an attractive salary. In fact, it’s more and more common for workers these days to value workplace culture and other indirect benefits over simply a large salary.
Along with a total rewards approach to compensation, you also should consider other ways to recognize employee work, like incentive plans, an increasingly popular type of employee compensation structure. These plans use rewards and other incentives to motivate team members to work harder and meet certain targets.
For instance, the first sales team that sells over $100,000 receives 5 extra PTO days. This not only motivates all of your employees to sell more of your service but also better positions you to meet revenue goals. And, it’s much easier to improve your employee experience when your business is doing well.
4. Create flexible working arrangements
Did you know that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely in some capacity post-pandemic?
Now that your workers know the logistics of remote working are very much doable, coming back to the office to work fully in-person is going to be much harder to incentivize. That’s why offering flexible working arrangements is critical if you want to both recruit prospects and retain your current employees.
One of the biggest challenges of having both remote and in-person employees is ensuring that company culture and employee engagement are consistent. Some employers are even worried that their remote employees’ loyalty will diminish if they’re not in the office at all.
However, there are ways to ensure that all employees within your flexible working arrangement are reaping full benefits and staying engaged! Here are some tips we recommend:
- Frequently check-in with both in-person and remote employees. Remote employees might do better with more frequent check-ins to make up for the time not in the office.
- Ensure all company information and major updates are accessible and communicated. If a meeting is held about something, make sure to include a Zoom link for your at-home workers.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page of expectations. Remote workers should still be doing the same work that your in-office employees are.
- Celebrate and show appreciation often. If an employee hits a target or a company goal is met, everyone should celebrate together, even your remote employees. If people can’t make it to an in-person celebration, make sure to keep a Zoom line open so that your virtual attendees still feel included and appreciated.
- Instill programs that both in-person and remote employees can take advantage of. For instance, a corporate giving program can benefit all of your workers and show them that leadership cares about the causes that their employees support.
- Use talent management software to track performance data and facilitate your employees’ progress. This can even help you determine promotion possibilities fairly, as you’ll have an unbiased overview of all employees, both remote and in-person.
Instilling a flexible work environment isn’t as daunting as you might think, and will use many of the strategies you’ve developed during the work-from-home phase of the last year. Plus, this strategy will not only help recruit and retain employees but also allow you to open your prospects to those from all over the world, providing a new pool of highly qualified talent.
As you think about the best ways to engage your employees for the rest of 2021 and beyond, it’s critical to consider how your organization can better meet their needs and still achieve target goals. If you need any other guidance when it comes to your employee recruitment and retention efforts, partnering with a dedicated HR consultant might also be a valuable idea. Good luck!