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Employee Engagement

Creative Ways to Retain Employees and Reduce Turnover Rates

April 12, 2022
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7 min read
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Yes, we’re still talking about the Great Resignation — it’s still going strong, and its effect on the labor market is indisputable. 4.4 million U.S. workers quit in February, and with over 11 million job openings, those workers have options for their next job. As workers continue to resign, the benefits of employee retention have never been so apparent and companies are naming retention a top priority this year.

With 50% of CEOs saying that recruitment and retention are one of their biggest challenges in 2022, it’s time to turn to more creative ways to retain employees. You already know many of the tried-and-true employee retention strategies we’ve discussed before:

  • Ensuring pay and benefits are competitive
  • Recognizing employees’ achievements
  • Aligning company values and processes

While these are no doubt effective ways to keep employees on board, you need a variety of solutions that will appeal to everyone. So today, we’re going to explore some less commonly used ways to reduce employee turnover that you may not have tried — yet.

#Recruiting isn’t getting any easier, and that means it’s time to explore some new #EmployeeRetention solutions to keep your current employees engaged and motivated. Check out these 6 creative retention strategies:

1. Pair Up Mentors And Mentees

Most of us can think of a mentor we’ve had at some point in our education or career. Mentors are advisors, sounding boards, sources of wisdom, and more. They show us the ropes of our industries and provide valuable professional guidance. Mentors are an invaluable resource at all stages of a person’s career.

Another benefit of a mentorship program is its positive impact on the employee experience. 91% of employees who have a mentor are satisfied with their jobs. Mentors also reap the benefits at work, reporting greater career success and job satisfaction, too.  It’s not surprising that mentees’ retention rate is 50% higher than that of employees without a mentor, and mentors have a 69% retention rate.

Mentorship programs are also relatively easy to implement and incorporate into your onboarding program. To better your chances of running a program that works, follow these best practices:

  • Pair mentors and mentees scientifically — at least, somewhat scientifically. Create a questionnaire for new hires and mentors to ensure the pair can connect over shared goals and interests. Consider setting up new pairs of mentors and mentees as they move forward in their careers.
  • Set guidelines for the program to make sure participants both benefit from the relationship. Your program might include topics of discussion the mentor and mentee should cover and a suggested meeting schedule to encourage regular check-ins.
  • Establish mentoring relationships as part of the company culture. Put it in job descriptions and talk about it during candidate screenings. Facilitate regular discussions about the program to iterate and make sure it remains effective.

After you’ve determined how your program will work, pair new hires with a mentor during the onboarding process, brief them on the program, and keep up with regular check-ins.

2. Establish Career Paths

Employees want professional growth opportunities — and they’re willing to find new jobs to get them. 86% of employees said they would move jobs if the new company had more options for career development. Many employees — 76% — even said they work harder for a company that cares about their professional development. One way to combat this type of turnover is to discuss a career path with candidates and new hires.

Career pathing, or career mapping, is exactly what it sounds like. Career maps are plans for how employees can progress from their current roles. These can be standard but should leave room to be tailored to the employee’s strengths and goals. A career path gives employees a future to work toward — at your company.

3. Make Health And Wellness A Priority

An employer that values employees’ health and wellbeing is at the top of the list for job seekers in 2022. In a post-pandemic world, that means more than discounts on gym memberships or hosting a yoga class. It means encouraging employees to take care of their physical and mental health, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and providing support to help accomplish those goals.

During a time when three in five workers have experienced negative effects from work-related stress, including physical fatigue, preventing burnout is an extremely important retention strategy. It’s easy to understand why healthy, happy, supported employees are more productive and have lower turnover rates.

Here are some ways you can show your employees that their wellbeing is a priority and retain top employee talent:

  • Offer medical insurance that includes mental health coverage
  • Give employees adequate paid time off, including for illness, to help avoid burnout
  • Take company-wide mental health days or try flexible or no-meeting Fridays, a time for employees to take a day off or a break from meetings

4. Recognize Efforts And Accomplishments

We’ve talked about how recognition is motivating for employees — it boosts engagement and in turn, retention. 37% of employees said that simply recognizing their work is the number one thing their employer could do to enable their success. This is a retention strategy that you can begin with ease by taking a minute to recognize employees on a team call or sending a company- or department-wide email detailing a recent success. (Then, you can upgrade your recognition efforts with ClearCompany’s Employee Engagement Platform.)

You know that recognizing employees’ accomplishments is great for #Retention — but did you know that recognition of their efforts is just as effective? Find out more creative ways to #RetainEmployees:

What if we told you it’s just as effective to thank your employees for their efforts as for their achievements? Think about it — when only the most visible employees are recognized when a long project is completed, that can be disheartening to others who contributed. On the other hand, being thanked while working through a project is motivating and reassures employees that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Just saying “thank you” to your team members goes a long way toward keeping them on board long term.

5. Offer Flexible Work Options

The Office is Out — Almost

  • 38% of fully remote workers would actually prefer a hybrid schedule.
  • Four in ten workers who prefer hybrid work want to be in-office two to three days a week.
  • More than 60% of workers want a hybrid schedule that is coordinated so their in-office days coincide with their colleagues’.

After the pandemic forced anyone who could do so to work from home, many workers discovered they far preferred the home office. According to a recent Gallup poll, nine in ten employees who can work remotely want remote flexibility going forward. 54% of those working from home said they would look for another job if their employer stopped offering remote work options. Hybrid work schedules are popular, too, with six in ten employees saying that’s their preferred work environment.

The popularity of remote and hybrid work ties back to number three on this list: health and wellbeing. The work-life balance many workers have experienced working from home has had a positive effect on their wellbeing that they’re not willing to give up. With so many workers staunchly in favor of hybrid and remote work, there’s almost no chance we’ll see a complete return to the office.

You can find out which arrangement your employees prefer by conducting employee surveys. With the results, you can gauge overall sentiment and set plans for the future of remote and/or hybrid work at your company. If your employees are unable to work from home, you can offer other options for flexibility, for example allowing employees to work at different times of the day.

6. Hold Stay Interviews

In a recent post, we talked about the many benefits of stay interviews, which are discussions with employees about why they stay with your company and what might draw them to a new job. Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews aim to catch employee concerns before they’ve decided to find a new job. They can also reveal employees’ feelings about company culture, whether positive or negative.

Stay interviews are a valuable tool to show your employees that their voices are heard and their feedback matters, which increases engagement and in turn, retention. But, that’s only true if you listen to what employees are saying and make changes at your company to meet their needs and keep them on board.

You can prioritize employee retention and reduce turnover with these creative solutions. It has never been more clear that your employees are your company’s most valuable asset, so let them know you believe that by creating a workplace that appreciates, supports, and hears them.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch with the experts at ClearCompany and try out our suite of Employee Engagement solutions, including pre-built and customizable surveys you can use to gather employee feedback. Sign up for a demo today.

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