How to Retain Your Best Employees: 5 (Big) Questions to Ask Yourself

How to Retain Your Best Employees: 5 (Big) Questions to Ask Yourself

By now we have covered, in extensive detail, many aspects of recruitment and onboarding. But what happens to all these employees that you have made part of the company? Are they happy in their positions? Do they contribute enough to the workplace? And, perhaps most importantly, are they still there?

Employee retention is an important one because when done right, it can save the company a lot of time and money. Recruitment isn’t cheap, and neither is onboarding, so when you find the perfect employees, you want them to stay for a bit. More than that, you want them to want to stay. But how do you do that?

Let’s look at our best employee retention tips to make sure you’re not losing your best employees. Ask yourself these questions:

1) How good is your onboarding program?

You know how in school, your teacher would say there is no wrong answer to open ended questions? This isn’t one of those.

Simply put, your onboarding program should be good. But before that, of course, it should exist. We know there will be people who will still respond to this by saying they don’t have an onboarding program in place, and that kills us a bit. Really, after all this time? After all these blog posts?

A good onboarding program is what sets your employees up for success by equipping them with all the right tools to become productive, happy members of the company web. The right onboarding program will not only prepare employees to excel in their jobs, but also effectively integrate them into the company culture and make them feel part of their teams.

You can onboard remotely or in person, but just make sure that you do it. And that you do it well. Brushing over this crucial first step is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make in employee retention.

2) Are you compensating your employees enough?

Trick question. You shouldn’t be compensating them enough, you should be compensating them more than enough. Because they deserve it. And not only that, but because if you don’t, another company will.

When your goal is to retain employees, above average salaries shouldn’t have to be won, they should be part of the offering. And it’s not just the salary, of course, but the benefits packages. As a rule of thumb, take a look at what competitors are offering to their employees in similar roles. And if you can’t make your compensation package stand out, at least make it competitive.

Above average compensation isn’t the only way to retain employees, of course, but it sure is a main pillar and a substantial way in which employees will feel that they are appreciated. Skipping this step is one of the most vital mistakes that can lead to employee turnover.

3) Are you giving your employees space to grow?

Figuratively, of course, assuming that no one is getting any taller. All (bad) jokes aside, this is a big one. No relationship can be all take, and though businesses are inclined to believe that a competitive compensation package is enough to give, it simply isn’t. If you want to keep things interesting for your employees, you need to allow them room to grow both professionally and personally. Because no one wants to be stuck in a dead-end job.

Giving employees room to grow isn’t just in their best interest, of course, but also in yours. The more education they have access to, the more skills they develop, the more they can generate different points of view and approach the job through fresh perspectives. Not only that, but being offered opportunities to grow shows employees that they are valued, and encourages them to keep pursuing not just the opportunities but also the job.

Growth isn’t just about new skills, but also about health and wellness. Have you ever heard the term ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup?’ In the days of working-from-home and wearing multiple hats at once, this rings especially true. So, by focusing on wellness, allow your employees to grow on a personal level as well. This will let them avoid burnout and feel happier and more productive in the long run.

4) How would you rate your communication skills?

Not just you, but all managers. A big part of knowing whether you need to put more effort into retaining employees, and spotting any warning signs before they lead to turnover, is to maintain effective communication.

It’s important to realize that no one decides to leave a workplace within a day. It’s often a long process, of extensive pro and con lists, and ultimately deciding that the cons outweigh the pros. While the cons might be related to compensation or to lack of onboarding, it might also be due to other issues such as poor managerial relationships or feeling ‘stuck.’ And there is no way for you to know these, other than to speak to employees on a regular basis.

By scheduling regular one-on-one times, or group sessions, or even anonymous surveys with your employees, you can remain in the know about any issues that might be arising. Make sure these are safe spaces to express opinions, and that any suggestions are taken into consideration and put into effect.

Making employees feel heard, and actually hearing them, is one of the best things you can do to encourage them to stay.

5) How appreciative are you?

Not in a gratitude journal way, but in a of-your-employees kind of way. Are you just giving them the bare minimum (we hope not) or what the company requires, or are you going above and beyond to celebrate them and their wins?

When an employee becomes part of a company, they truly become part of a community. And while it is important to celebrate the community itself, it’s also important to highlight individual employees and to make them feel seen by sharing their accomplishments.

It’s not just the wins that should be celebrated, of course, but the day-to-days. What are you offering your employees other than compensation packages? Have you tried looking into flexible schedules, or flexible working conditions? Do you encourage pets in the office? Do you hold weekly happy hours, or have a desk-masseuse come in once a week? These are all great ways to encourage the sense of community while celebrating your employees on the daily.

And no, it doesn’t have to be budget-bending, huge acts of service. It can be as simple as a lack of micromanaging, acknowledging your employees with words of affirmation, and allowing for flexible hours as a way of showing trust.

So next time, don’t wait until you’re having turnover problems to look into the source of the problem. Instead, ask yourself these 5 questions and build a strong retention scheme in advance.