Obtaining top talent is difficult enough, but finding ways to increase employee retention, especially for high-performing quality employees, can be even more challenging for many organizations. Many believe they may not be able to go up against the popularity and people’s strong desire to work for the ‘Googles’ or ‘Apples’ of the world.
It’s certainly true that not every company has the means to provide indoor skydiving in between conference calls or helicopter-like drones whizzing through the hallways delivering morning coffee. However, there are many other simple and effective ways you can boost morale and keep people happy in order to build and maintain a highly-successful employee retention program. So what are some ways to improve employee satisfaction?
Offer Desirable Benefits
Clearly, this isn’t a new concept, but oftentimes employers overlook how important solid benefits are to employees to keep them working for a particular company. Not just the standard health insurance benefits either. If you’re wondering how to improve employee retention rates try thinking outside the ordinary. Really listen to what would make your employees happy. Some of these atypical yet highly sought after benefits include on-site babysitting or a child care allowance, performance bonuses for work well done, the ability to work from home, and more flexible vacations allowances.
Some companies are now offering employees stock options as part of the benefits package and just one of many effective employee retention ideas. This isn’t only seen as a major financial incentive, but it also helps to create a culture of ownership in which employees feel much more invested in his or her own success, and the ultimate success of your entire organization.
Organic energy bar company Clif Bar adopted this sustainable employee perk back in the year 2000 and has now achieved an astounding 97 percent retention rate.
Provide Catered Corporate Lunches
Catering for lunch may seem unnecessary to some or an even complicated process to implement as a retention strategy. However, food appears in numerous surveys as one of the top five most important benefits or perks for employees alongside health insurance and flexible work schedules.
It really makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. There’s not much else in the world that we invest more time thinking about, talking about, or enjoy consuming. Almost every social gathering or celebration involves food, so why wouldn’t it be considered a major perk to have amazing food available to us in the workplace?
Not only do employees seem to highly value food as a top benefit for job satisfaction, but providing delicious, healthy and nutritious corporate lunches is a major factor that contributes to increased employee productivity. Corporate lunch, it turns out, is a very effective and affordable way to boost overall employee morale, and guess what? Better morale and productivity equals higher company profits.
Higher morale amongst employees of course makes happier employees who continue to love working for a company rather than seeking to jump ship in search of greener pastures.
Corporate lunches are shown to significantly increase morale in the following ways:
- Removes the burden of meal prepping at home, which most often results in very sad and lackluster reheatable lunches or even no lunch at all
- Relieves stress and eliminates the battle with the lunch rush crowd
- Strengthens rapport, relationships and sense of belonging by creating an opportunity for employees to interact more often or with those they may not normally speak to
- Feeds inspiration and idea sharing through conversation
Define and Develop a Strong Corporate Culture
This doesn’t mean encouraging the sales management team to take the handmade natural pine wreath decorations off the wall at the annual holiday party and proceed to use them as hula hoops after one too many glasses of rum punch.
Having an established corporate culture isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s something that, at first, should be identified early on in a company by aligning with the core values of its leadership. Company culture should also match the values of the types of team members the organization wishes to employ.
According a to recent Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of employees feel their values don’t align with those of their employer. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey thinks this is because many organizations “lack a sense of higher purpose because they’ve never defined why they exist or have completely forgotten it.”
He believes one of the most effective employee retention strategies is the presence of a strong sense of company culture that unites employees around a common cause or higher purpose. For Whole Foods that means to “Support Team Member Excellence and Happiness” and to “Serve and Support Local and Global Communities.”
Offer a Clear Path for Growth
It’s all too common to find organizations who aren’t invested in helping employees grow and advance along their career path. This is a major mistake that’s often overlooked or misunderstood by employers.
According to the same employee Gallup poll, more than 60 percent don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans their employers at their current job have for them, and more than 70 percent don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer.
Clearly anyone who feels undervalued, underappreciated, hasn’t been shown possible opportunities for growth, or doesn’t have the same goals as their employer has for them isn’t going to stay for very long. It’s important to listen to your employees and develop more a of an “open-door policy” or hold a one-on-one meeting to encourage open communication with managers. Everyone likes to be heard, even if it’s something that the company has no way of addressing at that moment in time.
However, to improve turnover rates, it’s still not quite enough just to listen. You also need to take action on what you’ve heard. If employees are expressing certain goals they desire to reach, if their means to get there aren’t met, they’ll go elsewhere to get what they need to achieve their career goals. This means that companies need to offer guidance and additional training to continue retaining engaged employees.
Who wants to stay stagnant in his or her career? By offering to provide a new certification or specialized training, you’re not only showing that you value your employees, you’re also strengthening your employees’ loyalty, which also greatly increases the chances of them staying an employee for much longer.
Clif Bar Stat
Gallup Poll info
Whole Foods info