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November 20, 2023

Effective Retention Strategies For The “New” Way Of Work

Effective Retention Strategies For The

Attrition is on the rise and creating new challenges for companies that want to keep their star talent. Globally, Over half (51%) of employees expressed intent to leave their jobs in the U.S. That figure remains the same, with 50% actively seeking or watching for new places of employment. According to Employee Benefit News, employers pay about 33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace just one employee.

HR departments are working hard to combat turnover and win employee loyalty. Low churn rates afford companies numerous competitive advantages against the competition and create a far better work environment than a workforce where half the people have one foot out the door.  High churn rates hit companies where it counts:

  • Lost knowledge
  • Slowed productivity
  • Low morale
  • Team disruption
  • Onboarding lag time
  • Higher onboarding costs

However, organizations can improve employee retention when they pay attention to what employees want and need. Employees in today’s market are looking for more than a raise. Research shows employees stay longer in companies where these three are present:

  • Healthy work culture
  • Career pathing 
  • Professional development 

HR teams are actively working to increase the strength of these key value points in their organizations which have the power to drop churn rates and plant workers firmly on teams they love.

Improving Corporate Culture

A study by MIT Sloan Management Review shows that corporate culture is 10 times more important than compensation. HR teams can improve employees’ approval of work culture by making their organizations a healthy and vibrant place to be. Surveys and other forms of open communication can give HR teams insights into where employees feel culture lags. Workers report their stress is at an all-time high.

MetLife’s MetLife’s recent U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study finds that 82% of employees think it’s their company’s responsibility to care for workers. HR teams can demonstrate care with robust wellness programs. Flexible work options can give employees more control over how their work gets done in relation to personal responsibilities. Coaching support for employees can help them deal with the stress and anxiety they face in today’s challenging market. HR can introduce more opportunities for workers, wherever they are, to connect with their co-workers and forge beneficial relationships. These steps go a long way toward creating an organizational culture committed to its workforce. 

Career Paths

Career pathing is the work of aligning opportunities for employee career growth with the company’s priorities. An individual’s skills, interests, and career objectives all shape career pathing. Employees want to believe they have a future in their company. In some firms, they do and they can’t see it because opportunities are hidden under to-do lists and expectations. HR teams can light the way for employees to become aware of roles that exist in the future. 

An intentional guiding of employees toward areas where they can advance keeps employees in a state of engaged progression. HR can put solid career paths together and show employees how each step can lead them forward. Employees can access the knowledge of other roles and higher-level roles through a centralized talent-sourcing platform and learn the requirements for roles they may want to pursue. HR can promote hiring from within and help managers identify candidates who are ready for advancement. Coaching support can assist managers in creating a succession plan which they share with their team. Managers can hold regular performance evaluations and let employees know where they stand with regard to readiness. 

Professional Development

HR can provide continuous learning and skill development so employees can obtain the skills they need to perform well in their roles and prepare to move up. Individual coaching can be especially impactful for employees because it gives them specific and customized insight, often in real-time. Employees can better apply new knowledge and skills because they are relevant to what’s happening to them now, in current challenges and workloads. They get a chance to act on new insights while they make a difference. 

Mentorship programs can put workers in touch with senior executives and more experienced professionals who share what they’ve learned over the years. Employees can bring their deepest concerns to the mentor discussion because of the high-trust nature of a mentor/mentee relationship.  Sponsorship programs can guide managers and leaders toward areas where they can advocate for selected employees that they believe fit in an available role. 

HR departments can potentially reverse a retention problem by focusing on culture, career pathing, and professional development. Employee retention matters more in today’s workforce, given the stark market challenges organizations face. Companies don’t need churn costs added to the mix. Yet, a report by Jobvite found that only 26% of U.S.-based recruiters said their organizations were prioritizing retention. What an opportunity to move ahead! Companies that prioritize improving employee retention stand to attract talent away from the competition and keep loyal talent, with all the benefits they bring.


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