Employee retention is a huge issue globally, now more than ever. With so many options job seekers now have, keeping employees loyal has become more challenging.
Still, it also holds true that employees happy with their jobs will stay longer, but what most businesses don’t seem to understand is the fact that some employees will leave no matter what they’re being offered.
Basically, the solution to this issue lies in understanding what drives employees to leave their respective companies, so let’s take a look at some key points.
Familiarize Yourself With Paths to Turnover
First and foremost, employers should understand paths that may lead to turnover so that they can devise successful offers to keep employees.
There are four primary paths to turnover:
1. Employee Dissatisfaction
Employee dissatisfaction happens left and right and can be caused by all kinds of events. That’s why it is crucial to establish a positive company culture and set up regular anonymous feedback sessions. To be able to address the issues, you’ll need to be aware of them first and there’s no better way to achieve that goal than by actually consulting your employees.
2. Better Job Alternatives
The most efficient way to ensure your employees won’t leave the company when they’re offered a better job opportunity is to offer the best opportunity yourself. To be able to do this, you’ll need to keep your business competitive and offer opportunities for career advancement.
3. Negative Experiences
Negative experiences usually trigger impulsive reactions, meaning that even employees who don’t have better job prospects or haven’t reached their goals may leave on impulse. Usually, such things happen when bad relationships are involved and, especially when bad relationships with the management are involved.
That’s why you should develop support mechanisms — conflict resolution procedures and employee assistance programs are good starting points.
4. Planned Life Changes
There’s that thing: people have their goals. Some employees plan to stay with the company unless they reach their goals. I.e., an employee may work until they start a family, get a better job opportunity, or get accepted into a degree program, to name some most common reasons.
When they reach their target, the business may offer rewards the employees are looking for. In some cases, a hybrid work model or a different contract type may do the trick. In other cases, employees will leave either way, but you can continue to try.
Some Employees Will Leave Either Way
That being said, it’s unrealistic to hope that a business can keep all employees long-term. People are simply different.
Moreover, with the job market rapidly expanding and remote work becoming the new norm, some people will find better work models. Also, keep in mind that employees' circumstances change just like every else’s. Life-changing events create shifts in perception and priorities and there’s no helping it.
Therefore, the first thing to do is to direct your retention strategy towards expected outcomes — good and bad likewise. The easiest way to do this is to talk to your employees. Ask them about their desired career paths and devise strategic interventions that will help them reach their goals. When their circumstances change, offer a new approach.
When it comes to the expected situations, the usual motivational strategies usually do the trick: training opportunities, promotions, salary raises, etc.
Make sure to nurture a positive company culture and good working conditions all the time. And remember that even if employees stay, it doesn’t mean they’re fully content.
Marketing leader Zach Grove, who recently switched jobs, has noticed that companies enjoy more leverage than they did during the Great Resignation.
“With the wave of tech layoffs in 2022, companies that were once starving for workers now find themselves with solid candidates applying for open roles. This dynamic is going to make many workers think twice before quitting—even if they’d like to make a change.”
Transition to a Hybrid Work Model
Speaking of changing circumstances, there’s an efficient strategy to help you go through any potential transition and help you keep your employees, namely hybrid work models.
With so many opportunities all around, it would be unrealistic to expect that every employee will bypass better opportunities that nowadays may come from literally anywhere in the world. Remote work has changed the rules of the game dramatically, so you should make sure your business is competitive at all times.
That’s why you should consider establishing a hybrid work model that suits you and your employees best. The options are, as follows:
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space - no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
- Almost entirely on premises - limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs - multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Partially remote work, large office space - the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Almost entirely off premises - mostly remote work with no office space
- Multiple microhubs - management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities (or countries, depending on the scope of your business operations)
As you can see, modernizing your work models doesn’t have to be sudden or radical; you can simply pick one hybrid work model that suits you best immediately and then gradually transition to another one. Regardless of the model you chose, make sure your tech stack can adapt. This means subscribing to a video conferencing app and a meeting note-taking software.
Set up Anonymous Feedback System
Finally, anonymous feedback is just perfect for conflict resolution and a slew of other occurrences as well. Make sure to employ a stellar HR team who is capable of analyzing paths to turnover. There should be a reward system as well. Offer flexible working hours and different contract types to attract talents from anywhere. Offer desired advancement opportunities. Ask the employees about their expectations and set up regular virtual team building events to foster open communication.
As you can see, here are many things you can do to prevent employees from leaving. However, you should also make peace with the fact that some employees will leave no matter what you do or offer. It’s a natural process.
Notwithstanding that, if your company is always offering the best it could, you may rest assured that you’re doing everything in your power to keep your employees. Those that would leave anyway will leave but the rest will remain and thrive.
Make sure not to get discouraged when some employees leave. It is unavoidable.
Finally, integrate your processes. If you’re hiring office workers and remote teams, ensure you’ve established proper communication channels and trained your employees to use them. As for the rest, go with the flow. Use employee feedback to guide you in the right direction.