The Importance of Employee Retention in the Modern Workforce 

April 26th, 2022

Andrej Fedek, Contributor, InterCool Studio

One of the biggest headaches many business owners and employers face is staff exodus. The main cause of it is the lack of effective employee retention strategies like better internal communication

Yet the significance of an organization’s ability to prevent or minimize employee turnover cannot be emphasized enough. Some well-known employee retention benefits include sustained productivity, customer relationships, and staff engagement. 

The most important thing for any company, big or small, is to keep its employees engaged and satisfied. Unfortunately, employee retention and staff turnover are becoming a significant threat every day, so we're here to help keep your team happy and focused on producing quality work. 

Why Is Employee Retention Important?

According to a USA Today article, a record 4.3 million Americans left their jobs in August 2021. The increasing remote work opportunities and changing workplace expectations over the past two years have significantly impacted this. Generational mindsets and a competitive job market are significant factors, as well. As the future of work evolves, employers are rethinking their strategies when it comes to employee recruiting, engagement, and retention. But how do you stay competitive when everyone is showing up to the war for talent with their best tools?

You should invest time and energy into encouraging your employees to continue learning

The nature of work is changing and flexibility is now a necessity. Proactive people can make the best of their careers, despite technology's changes. If you invest in your staff members’ professional development (e.g., learning management system and financial support), they are more likely to feel satisfied at work.

Compensation should be fair and equitable

It is vital to keep your wages for employees competitive, so you don't risk them looking for better options elsewhere. Call out your pay structure and bonuses in a clear, transparent way that outlines the ways one can earn more. These can be merit-based or based on performance. Make it clear to them when a raise will go into effect and how much. Most importantly, start with a wage or salary that is fair market value. Anyone can Google salary expectations for their job and industry; if you’re not meeting the minimum, you can be sure you won’t get the applicants you want or need.

Ensure your employees are healthy and happy

If this isn't a top priority for you, we recommend shifting your focus to these factors and concentrating on improving them. Now more than ever, people are looking to their employers to support their whole well-being (and to stop treating them like work robots). This goes far beyond giving them a chance to work from the office or home or work in a hybrid work model. So, for example, you should regularly check in with your team through a video call to ensure that they're satisfied, content, and healthy. One good way to create a culture that people want to work in is by scheduling team meetings. They don’t have to be solely focused on the job at hand. Instead, they can center around different activities or subjects like discussing social events – another way of making employees happy outside of the workplace.

Signs that may indicate your employees are burned out

Burnout is when an individual feels exhausted and lacks motivation. For example, too much work, lack of work-life balance, or an unhealthy environment can easily cause burnout. One sign may be that the individual has decreased enthusiasm for their work and lacks interest in what they are doing. This can also include a general sense of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and experiencing negative emotions at work, such as anger or frustration with colleagues.

It is difficult to know if your employees suffer from burnout without asking them about their workload. Find out how much time they spend in front of the computer, what time of day they feel most productive, and if they have enough sleep or breaks throughout their day. Help them to achieve and maintain the daily routine as healthily as possible, both physically and mentally

Reduce Employee Turnover with Better Internal Communication

For starters, employee turnover refers to the measure of the number of employees who leave an organization within a year or given period. A high turnover means that an increased number of employees is leaving an organization and vice versa. 

This is bad for business because it generally interrupts productivity and operations, leading to diminished revenues and profits both in the short and long run. 

Causes include a toxic company culture where the workplace is plagued by drama, fighting, and sadness to the point that everyone’s well-being is affected. Another cause is poor company management practices that make it difficult for employees to stay. This includes mismanagement of remote workers and other company resources and employers’ unwillingness to take on their employer responsibility, making it difficult for employees to remain in the organization due to safety issues. 

Fortunately, you can reduce employee turnover with better internal communication and excellent company management practices. One of the good practices includes using a trustworthy third-party service to help manage remote teams you can’t properly handle. 

These services enable organizations with remote employees to create inclusive and equitable employee experiences for all of their staff members regardless of where they live or who they are. By administering remote workforces effectively and establishing an environment of balance as well as belonging for remote teams, you can sustain high employee engagement and low turnover rates. 

Also, there are some tools to improve employee communication, like Workflow software Slack, WhatsApp Business, Microsoft Teams, and much more.

Better internal communication lowers turnover by making employees feel:

  • In the know.
  • More involved and included with the changes being made in your organization.
  • A sense of identity and belonging with the company.
  • Energized and motivated to make a difference for your organization.

Having said that, here’s how to use proper internal communications strategies to make your employees stay:

1. Let your employees know your values, mission, and vision

Communicating your company’s values, mission, and vision articulately is a powerful way to lower employee turnover with better internal communication. That’s because employees tend to feel motivated and happy to continue working when they clearly understand their organizations’ values, mission, and vision. 

On top of that, explaining to your staff members how their roles promote those values and the mission plus vision you are working towards can make them feel useful and that the company values their inputs. Most importantly, living these values in every aspect of your business (beyond using them as office buzzwords with no real meaning) will reinforce a welcoming, positive company culture. 

2. Keep your employees "in the know" when it comes to strategic decisions

Involving your employees in making strategic decisions is another excellent way to lower employee turnover. This is a sign of respect that keeps them engaged and interested in your business. It gives them a sense of belonging and motivates them to make a difference in your company. Lastly, it fosters transparency, which is key to employee trust and loyalty. 

3. Seek employee feedback continuously

Employees will feel like you listen to them and that their opinions really matter in the running of your organization when you soliciting their feedback often. This encourages employee engagement and discourages turnover. 

Apart from that, engaging with your team allows them to ask questions and share their concerns or ideas on doing things in a better way. It’s a priceless tactic for lowering the risk of mass exodus from your company, no matter how unpredictable the organization's future might look. 

You can use several methods to obtain employee feedback. These include 360-degree feedback, anonymous surveys, focus groups, and round table discussions presided over by a neutral third party.  

4. Laud every little success publicly

Lauding and acknowledging your success is one thing. Doing so publicly is quite another. How you communicate can make all the difference. Everyone will be encouraged to work hard to earn your praise by doing it publicly. 

Cultivating this form of kindness into your company culture will ensure that you retain your employees no matter how much your competitors offer or anything else that might entice your employees to want to leave you. Some employee recognition tools can integrate with your internal communication platforms to notify team members in real-time of a job well done.

5. Announce company structure and leadership style change (if applicable) 

Your company structure and leadership style can make or break your workforce, depending on whether they are good or bad. If they are pleasant, your employees will enjoy working for you, keeping the turnover rates low. The opposite is true if it’s unpleasant. Luckily, you can reverse it by announcing changes in company structure and leadership style. Make sure you communicate these changes to every employee, especially if you are not planning to implement them immediately. 

Solutions for When You're Already at a High Turnover Rate and Lack Resources to Retain Employees

1. Offer stock options

Allowing your employees to invest in your company through stock options is one of the most effective solutions to curb a high turnover rate. After all, this can make them feel like co-owners of the business. In addition, it can motivate them to stay even when the conditions are unfavorable to the extent that they would have otherwise walked away.

2. Encourage autonomy

Rather than being a micromanaging employer or boss, give your staff the chance to make decisions. After all, they have the necessary skills and capabilities. 

Many companies that encourage autonomy don’t witness high turnover rates. That’s because employees appreciate being allowed to work without someone constantly looking over their shoulders. They like to feel that they control their work and are not micromanaged. 

3. Encourage mastery

Providing opportunities for your employees to grow and giving them constructive feedback will see many of them, who may have otherwise left the organization in the future, change their minds about doing so. Encouraging mastery is one of the most effective employee retention solutions for small businesses and startups, as everybody wants to get better at what they do. 

Final Thoughts

Simply put, high employee turnover is bad for business. Yet many companies constantly face this headache, not because they want to but because they don’t know how to curb it. But the good news is that with the proper knowledge, you can minimize your turnover rate without necessarily having to offer significantly higher salaries and greater perks. The secret is to improve your internal communication strategies and work with the right software tools, such as Compt, to boost employee engagement and satisfaction. Being a great place to work doesn’t have to break the bank, but it does require an honest effort to be inclusive, transparent, and forward-thinking.

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