Everyone by now is aware of the nightmare that is staffing, especially in restaurants and retail. We can belabor the reasons, which are pretty well documented.

None of those change the fact that business is coming back and employees are scared. We all spend so much time and money trying to figure out how and where to find good people, yet we forget about the current employees we have and what we can do to create a culture that keeps them around. Everyone should know that the cost of an employee is astronomical and we’re not just talking about the dollar amount. We also mean the ramifications the entire workforce feeling when quality people leave. However, if we’re only focusing on the costs, a study found that turnover costs employers $15,000 per worker.

Not to mention, around 3 million Americans will leave a company in search of a better company and 31% quit before they even make it to half a year mark. With all of that said, keeping good employees is critical.

Great leaders know that they need to do more than just the bare minimum. It makes no difference how big your business is, anytime an employee leaves, it’s bad for business.

Knowing how important retention is, is only the first step. You need to have retention strategies in place and you better do it now.

Here’s a list of some of those strategies:

Smart Onboarding Process

So this article is primarily about retaining top talent, so we’re skipping the “hire the right person” strategy, mainly because that’s a separate article in and of itself. So, from the first day, your new hires have been set for success with a comprehensive, robust onboarding process. You aren’t just teaching the new hire about their job role and responsibilities; you got to be able to articulate and demonstrate your business culture. Again, ensuring you have the right culture is an article all on to itself.   You’ll want to lay out goals for them, for their first week, first month, first three months, first six months, and even their first year. Make sure they have every opportunity to talk with you about questions or issues they have, consider setting them up with a mentor if your plate is full.

Have Mentors

Speaking of mentors, pair a new hire with a seasoned employee to ensure the greatest chance of employee retention. Your veteran employee will act as their best resource and vice-versa, the new hire can offer fresh eyes and a new perspective on how things are done. You and/or their mentor need to introduce and ingratiate the new hire with all the employees, regardless of their position.

Communicate Often and Efficiently

When you have an open and healthy line of communication, you make employee retention much easier. As a leader, employees should feel like they can come to you with any and all ideas, questions, and concerns. And on the flip side, they are expecting you to be honest and open with them about what’s going on in the company and their own performance. Make sure you’re communicating with them on a regular basis.

Through an open dialogue, you not only strengthen your relationship with your current employees but potential, top candidates outside your organization will get wind of it and will be attracted to your company culture that values communication.

Celebrate Wins

Whether it’s an individual or team success, make sure you acknowledge it. Your team wants to feel like it is a part of a bigger cause. Make a big deal when either an individual or the team does well. Seize the opportunity to celebrate together whenever possible, be it a team lunch or a company outing.

  • Verbal Praise: Sometimes it’s enough to just say “Thank you, great work!” Offering verbal praise, but in a public setting, can boost the feeling of recognition an employee feels.
  • Written Praise: Sure, sending an email is nice but an email sent to every employee about an individual’s success does even better. By celebrating success company-wide, you influence the entire team to work harder and experience that same kind of recognition.
  • Throw a Party: When a huge success occurs, sometimes an event or party is appropriate.

Ask For Feedback and Act-On It

As far as employee retention strategies go, this one is often overlooked. You need to get into the habit of encouraging and listening to all the feedback your employees give, whether you enjoy it or not. Most humans in their lives want to feel as though they make a difference. And it’s no different at their place of work. So, if you want to boost morale and employee happiness, it’s time you listened and acted on what your employees are saying. Don’t wait for an annual review, provide weekly or monthly feedback to employees and make sure your employees have a platform where they can voice their thoughts.

Work-life Balance Mentality

I hate to be a broken record, but your company culture is key! Especially when it pertains to what you say and do regarding the work-life balance.  Creating a healthy work-life balance is essential for you and all your employees and they need to know that it is a priority. So make sure your employees are taking vacation days and if they work late, let them come in later the next day or offer a day off. If possible, arrange for telecommuting or flexible schedules to ensure a healthy work-life balance is more than possible in this day and age.

Offer Advanced Learning Opportunities

This is one I hear all the time about people that leave their jobs. “I just got bored with the same monotonous routine every day.” Your top employees need mental stimulation. Highly motivated people get bored easily.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Outside seminars and classes
  • Computerized training(can be done remotely)
  • DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles, and pamphlets
  • Mentoring programs
  • Cross-department training
  • Offer Learning Management System (LMS)

If you’re not sure what training opportunity suits your employees, the best then involve them in the discussion! Ask them how they learn best and what appeals to them to excel in the company.

The Bottom Line on Retention Strategies

When looking at employee retention strategies, you don’t need to break the bank to make it happen. When you are clever in your execution, you save on general cost and on employee turnover costs – now that sounds like a win-win situation. Be sure to review your employee retention strategies on a regular basis to ensure your strategies and company culture are working efficiently and effectively.