Four Employee Retention Strategies – What Really Matters to Employees
“I don’t like my boss and my career is going nowhere in this organization, but we get free lunch and the office has a game room, so I think I’ll stay,” said no employee ever.
Employees enjoy free lunch and ping pong, but these perks don’t improve retention or performance. The only perks known to improve employee loyalty and commitment is time off, a flexible schedule, and the ability to work from home. Everything else is nice to have, but does not impact career decisions.
We’ve all heard about the great workplace exodus. Employees are leaving jobs in droves for a different life. To retain employees, a job has to work for employees’ desired lifestyle – the number of hours employees want to work, the amount of commuting and travel they want to do, and the social aspects that get met at work. Once those basic needs are met, leaders and managers can focus on other things.
Organizational leaders and managers have been led down a path of expensive distractions disguised as employee retention strategies. Eliminate the noise and focus on the four things that really matter to employees. And provided you meet your employees’ lifestyle needs, your best people will stay.
After lifestyle needs, this is what’s important to your employees:
- I trust the leaders who run this organization.
- My opinion means something. I am listened to.
- I feel respected (by my manager) and have good relationships in the organization.
- My work is challenging and interesting.
So what should you do if you want to be a best place to work?
Here are Four Employee Retention Strategies Managers Can Take:
1. Meet one-on-one with employees and have meaningful discussions about performance and career goals.
2. Ask employees for their opinion and demonstrate that you’ve heard them.
3. Provide opportunities for employees to do work they enjoy.
4. Ensure employees who want to advance in your organization are learning and growing.
Read about our Be a Great Place to Work leadership training program that eliminates the noise and teaches the things leaders and managers really need to do to retain the best employees.
Tags: be a great place to work, best place to work, employee engagement, employee retention, employee retention strategies, employee turnover, leadership training, management training, managing people, the great workplace exodus
We keep hearing about flex, work from home etc. What about positions where that is not possible, at least not consistently? Operations, providing a critical service to the community (water, wastewater treatment etc.). How can you retain this population that sees 1/3 of the organization working remotely/flex, and they can’t have the same opportunities for their positions?
Hi Siri, Thanks for your question. As you said, not every job lends itself to working virtually. The key is to tell people the schedule requirements when they’re hired. Lay out the expectations clearly, so there are no surprises. For existing employees, explain why people need to work in person. People need to hear the rationale. Employees in careers/jobs that are customer facing, get it. They know they need to be in person. Those people will likely stay in their role, provided they’re in the right job for their skills and interests. The people who leave for a virtual job, weren’t right for the job they left. I hope this helps!