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6 key strategies to improve retention rates

Apr 25, 2019

[ English Translation – View Original Article (in French) ]

Improving retention rates is a goal for all companies. In a society where employees are increasingly nomadic, companies must reinvent their management practices to retain talent.

According to a study conducted by Deloitte in 2016, 66% of millennials expect to change jobs by 2020.

Although millennials are just beginning their careers, we are nonetheless far from the time when we kept a single job throughout our working lives.

So how can we encourage people to stay with the same company for several years?

Plan the integration of new employees to improve retention rates carefully

Employee retention starts from day one. An employee’s motivation is at its peak upon arrival. They are looking forward to discovering their tasks, their projects, their colleagues, their office. This is the perfect opportunity to turn them into ambassadors.

There’s nothing worse for a new employee than to arrive in an office where the computer is not ready or even, where no one is there to welcome them.

Recently, I met with an HR manager who told me that her company offers sweaters bearing the company’s logo when the employee has completed his first year of service. Why wait? They would proudly wear their sweaters on their first day.

There are several initiatives that can be put in place to integrate new employees:

  • Decorate their desk
  • Ask team members to write a welcome note
  • Establish a mentor to answer questions
  • Arrange a meeting with the President
  • Provide training on your tools and processes
  • Explain the company’s history and vision, etc.
The employee must leave at the end of the day with a “WOW!” feeling.

They must be eager to tell their loved ones about their first day… and maybe even on social networks!

Leverage employee recognition activities

Once the employee is integrated, it is necessary to continue following his development. Like many initiatives, the most difficult thing is not their implementation, but rather monitoring them.

To keep your employees engaged over the course of months and years, you can organize employee recognition events. Here are some ideas for workplace recognition:

  • Organize a dinner or a team outing
  • Ask the manager to write a letter or a few words for his employees
  • Publish your team’s initiatives on social media
  • Offer to let your employees finish the day early
  • Implement employee recognition software that provides reward points for employees to purchase products of their choosing
  • Quite simply, ask the employee what he or she expects from his or her manager in terms of recognition!

Offer flexibility to reduce team stress levels

In the past, employees had to be flexible in relation to their organization, but the tide has now turned. Although it is still a two-way relationship, more and more businesses are drawing the short and of the stick due to labour shortages.

To ensure employee retention, it is now up to companies to adapt to employees, not the other way around.

It is this new trend that has led to the emergence of companies like Flow, a job search platform for employers who offer flexible working conditions.

In concrete terms, what is flexibility at work?

It gives the employee a sense of freedom. That he or she occupies a position that corresponds to their lifestyle and values. This may seem unrealistic for some sectors, such as manufacturing, for which home-based working is not an option.

Beyond working remotely and vacation days, flexibility is above all a mentality, a caring way of managing your organization and your employees.

If a staff member is ill, be empathetic and offer them rest. With positive managers who care about the well-being of employees, it is possible to be flexible in any type of organization.

Help your employees develop their knowledge, they must never stop learning

If your company offers to pay for membership fees to professional associations, studies or training, talk to your employees about it! There are many organizations that have this type of program but do not promote it.

Yet, a recent study of 400 employees from different generations showed the importance of workforce training: 70% of respondents indicated that training and career development opportunities influenced their decision to stay in their current job.

If you are not comfortable training your employees, register them for online training, invite speakers, pay for their specialized courses, etc. Be proactive and offer them the training before they ask you.

Promote team spirit to improve the atmosphere in the office

Employees are more loyal when they build strong relationships with their colleagues. Find ways to involve employees in joint projects. They may be related to their usual tasks or outside the scope of their duties.

When employees get to know each other, they are better able to understand and adapt to the reality of their colleagues.

Offer stimulating projects to your employees

If your employees don’t like their daily tasks, they are more likely to resign.

Find out regularly what they prefer. Are they in the right place at the right time? Perhaps a new position is more in line with their aspirations, but if you don’t know their ambitions, you won’t have the reflex to offer them the opportunity.

There are some industries where turnover is higher due to redundant or mundane work. In this case, try to improve the atmosphere at work, whether by being more flexible or by working as a team.

The goal is not to have the best retention rate ever, but to keep your key employees as long as possible; to retain those who support your mission and have a significant impact on the organization.

Ultimately, caring for employees is an ongoing task that should never be taken for granted. The best talents want to be stimulated, to feel their impact on the organization and they want to be challenged. Listen to them and ask them what makes them want to get up in the morning?

Why did they choose to work for you? What keeps them motivated? By having the answers to these questions, you will know more about the most effective ways to attract and retain your employees.

Marianne Lemay

A speaker, blogger and vlogger, all her initiatives aim to inspire human resources professionals to become even more innovative.

mariannelemay.com

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