5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

4 minute read

Incentive, Employee Retention, Benefits

It's not just you, all businesses are feeling the pain when it comes to recruiting top talent and the anxiety of keeping your best workers happy so they don't leave.

Employees are your strongest and most valuable asset, and as you already know, it takes a lot of work to retain, hire and manage them. How do the best companies do it?

Here, we have outlined some tips and tricks we have picked up that work best for us, and they might be able to give you insight on what you might be able to implement to help attract the best fit employees.


1 - Core values

As your business grows, you run into a problem that many organizations face: loosing the identity that makes you unique. This will clouds your company’s purpose and vision and lower productivity and employee retention.

Core Values are the rules and boundaries that define the company's culture and personality, and provide a final "Should/Shouldn't" test for all the behaviors and decisions by everyone in the firm.
(Scaling Up)

After reading 'Scaling Up - Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0' our team worked to codify the company values that we all share. This is not a quick process and the results are not set in stone as they will evolve over time.

To give you an idea of what core values are, they should be able to be defined in a few, or one word each.

  • Treat everyone with respect
  • First class service for less
  • Never stop learning
  • Humble

Defining your company’s core values does a few things: it illustrates to candidates in your recruiting pipeline what you are about, it helps keep your company culture stable as you grow and it helps your employees make more decisions without having to consult with management.

2 - Core purpose

Sometimes called the 'company mission,' the core purpose is the drum beat that moves the organization forward. It's the why behind what you are doing and everyone, from your executives to interns to be able to clearly articulate what the purpose of your company is.

Roughly 70% of executives indicate that over the last 5 years they’ve seen an increase in the number of Millennials (71%), Gen Xers (69%) and Baby Boomers (46%) who want the opportunity for more social purpose work while on the job.

The best, most powerful core purpose examples can be just a few words:

  • 3M: Innovation
  • Disney: Happiness
  • Wal-Mart: Robin Hood

This is not the same as your brand promise, or your product, but the why your employees show up to work everyday, what gives the work everyone does have meaning.

3 - Hiring the right employees

While screening candidates, finding the right fit is critical for the health of your company culture. Hiring someone who doesn't work well with your team or is destructive will destroy productivity.

Hire slow, fire quickly

Pay close attention to signs that you may have a job-hopper, look for someone who is interested in growing with your company rather than gaining experience to take somewhere else. 

Some top questions to ask during an interview:

Responsibility: What do they like/dislike about their current or former employer?
Listen to see if they bad-mouth, blame others, or don't take responsibility

Goals: What are their career or personal goals?
How could those goals be accomplished with this position?

Culture: Who is the best manager you worked with and describe their traits?
Does this line up with how your current company culture operates?

Motivation: What demotivates you the most at your current/previous position?
Could this be tied to a company goal, variable compensation?

4 - Offer training

Look to see if it would be possible to offer some kind of professional development or continuing education program for employees.

42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work followed by health insurance (48%)

Investing in the professional growth of your employees is one of the best ways to show your commitment to them and will increase loyalty as well as provide more opportunities for internal hires as other positions become available.


5 - Pay and benefits 

Okay, this one should be pretty self-explanatory, if you want to hire the best talent, you have to pay well. However, understanding what motivates people beyond monetary compensation can make a huge difference in retaining employees.

As they say, employees don't quit bad companies, they leave poor managers.

Each employee is unique and understanding their motivations isn't hard to do, ask them on a regular basis. One way to look at compensation structures is to set up goals that will benefit the company and the employee: if you help us get the company to goal X, you will get to your goal of Y.

Think about adding a variable aspect to everyone's compensation, even if it's a small amount. You would be amazed how only +/- 5% will motivate team members to achieve the goals and outcomes you want to drive.


What have you found works for hiring and retaining the best employees?

Tagged: Incentive, Employee Retention, Benefits

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