The Last Employee Retention Ideas You'll Ever Need

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Hiring is expensive.


A recent study by Glassdoor found that the average cost of hiring in the US is $4,000 per employee, And that doesn’t count the substantial opportunity cost of losing an employee that you’ve spent time training and getting up to speed, and then the additional resources you need to spend to get the new one up ramped.

So employee retention is important. Really important. And to keep your sales team around is keep your sales team happy. 

Here are a few employee retention strategies to help you out.

1. Hire the Right People

This first employee retention idea might feel like a no-brainer, but keeping employees isn’t usually something that comes up in the hiring process.

In reality though, employee retention starts with the job posting.

Make sure that you include your company’s culture in your job description, because culture is vital. If you hire someone who doesn’t fit in with the company culture, they will struggle to last. By talking about the company culture in the job posting, the people who don’t like it will bypass your posting, and you’ll get (theoretically) only people who will be a good fit.

The interview is your second chance to see if someone will fit in with your other employees and the company culture. If you don’t think that they will, don’t hire them.

For great employees to truly love their jobs they have to feel like they belong—and they won’t feel that way if they don’t fit in.

2. Foster Career Development

One employee retention idea that we’ve seen success with is fostering career development. Your employees should feel that you’re actively interested in their careers, are looking for opportunities to help, and are rooting for them to grow and succeed.

That means:

  • Advocating for them internally, celebrating their success to your boss and your boss’s boss
  • Pushing them / the organization to invest in their training and development
  • Providing training and coaching for them internally on a daily and weekly basis
  • Creating a career map that guides them along a path to success

3. Be the Best

People always want to work with the best.

Companies that are seen as the leaders in their field are more likely to attract better prospective employees, and employees are more likely to stay when they know that they are at the top of their field. To be the best or to stay the best you need to have a good company culture – good values, and ethics.

And as a boss you have to invest in yourself, and your training.

Great bosses keep learning, growing, and developing themselves. Everyone wants to work with a great boss.

4. Train & Observe Your Managers

People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.

Employees interact with their managers every day, and it’s a relationship that, frankly, is ripe for abuse. If you have bad managers, your employee turnover is going to go up. At the same time, it’s  an incredible opportunity to build a meaningful connection that can last for years or even decades. What’s more, just like everyone’s got that one truly influential teacher in high school, everyone (should) have a manager that provides truly meaningful career and life guidance.

More tactically, managers are someone that your employees interact with every day. If the interaction isn’t positive, then they’ll leave. So often, the easiest employee retention idea you can deploy is to invest in training your managers.

If that daily interaction isn’t a positive one, then you will have a difficult time retaining employees.

5. Work / Life Balance

Out of all of the employee retention ideas this one will seem the most obvious. However, it’s something that many companies don’t embrace (or don’t embrace fully).

Because your employees aren’t machines. They have personal lives, with stresses and struggles and commitments.

It’s important as a boss for you to recognize that and to help make sure that your employees maintain a proper work/life balance. By doing this, you ensure that your employees stay with you because you are giving their lives that respect.

One great example of this employee retention idea in action is PepsiCo Australia / New Zealand’s CEO’s ‘leave loudly’ policy. Leaders are encouraged to loudly announce that they’re leaving early so that employees felt comfortable doing the same. 

This kind of policy implementation that reflects work / life balance (and, hopefully, your culture) is an easy employee retention idea that is fast and cheap to get started.

Wrap up

As we move into an increasingly saturated jobs market, employee retention ideas are going to have to move out of theory and into practice. Not only is employee retention critical to your organization’s success, but failing to retain top tier talent will cost you huge in the short- and long-run.

High hiring costs early on means that you’re spending more cash on finding and getting staff, while the opportunity cost of ramping new employees, plus the sunk cost of the training that goes into the ones who leave, mean employee retention is critical to your success.

Fortunately, employee retention is something you can manage relatively easily. Finding the right people, fostering career development, training your managers, and building work / life balance in your organization are all employee retention ideas you can start executing today.