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The Beginner's Guide to Developing an Employee Retention Plan

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We’re in an age of a “quitting economy.” Employees are stuck in an endless loop looking for jobs that simply prepare them for their next job. In the United States alone, 3 million employees quit their job every month in search of greener pastures. Organizations have long been struggling to maintain employee satisfaction and long-term retention of their staff.

Published on:
November 20, 2018
Illustrations by:
Written by:
Eddy Lim

We’re in an age of a “quitting economy.” Employees are stuck in an endless loop looking for jobs that simply prepare them for their next job. In the United States alone, 3 million employees quit their job every month in search of greener pastures. Organizations have long been struggling to maintain employee satisfaction and long-term retention of their staff.

The problem is worse than ever now.

Employee retention

is crucial in maintaining a successful organization. Keeping both top-performing members and new hires in your organization should be your top priority. A study by the Center of American Progress found that replacing an employee may cost up to double their salary. Furthermore, you lose not only the knowledge of the employee, but overall productivity and staff morale.

How do we stop this from happening?

Creating an effective employee retention program is key to managing your staff’s expectations of your company. We’ve devised a series of pointers to help you keep both your top performers and new recruits.

1. Have a well-developed onboarding program

An infographic from BambooHR


Image by BambooHR

An onboarding program is one method to establish transparency with new employees. For example, Twitter has an exemplary onboarding program. Before the employee starts their first day, they have a company email address, a company T-shirt, and a bottle of wine waiting. New employees even have breakfast with the CEO on the first day.

Similarly, you should aim to introduce the established culture of your company to new hires. Ease newcomers into their role and manage their expectations.

New hires often leave due to their expectations not matching with reality.

A company that cultivates a culture of open communication increases staff morale and builds trust between subordinates and superiors. Morale improves significantly when team members feel free to speak their minds, share ideas, address conflicts, and other grievances.

Managers have a critical role in the onboarding process. A Gallup study revealed that over 75% of reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers. A good onboarding program ensures that the manager is attentive to employees’ wellbeing and makes necessary changes to accommodate them. The onboarding program should last more than a week and is suggested to continue for up to three months. Having an extended onboarding program ensures new hires learn the ropes at their own pace, and have the necessary time to digest the wealth of new information.

2. Offer appropriate rewards and benefits

Illustration of an person resting on a gift box

Workplace perks and incentive programs are effective ways to keep your employees engaged and happy. However, it’s important to understand the needs of your staff members. A boomer will be motivated by different factors than a millennial. Find out what your employees use frequently and reward them accordingly.

A competitive benefits and coverage package should personally tailor to your employees’ needs. A study by America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) discovered that 56% of employees indicated employer-provided coverage was a key factor in their choice to remain at their current job. Providing competitive insurance policies, effective savings plans and other perks – gym memberships, childcare, covering travel costs – go a long way to keeping your employees happy at work.

3. Provide a clear and defined path for promotion

Illustration of two people interacting with a map

One of the biggest reasons for people leaving their job is lack of career direction and growth. Specifying a route for internal promotion can direct new employees’ enthusiasm garnered during the hiring process. Give workers something to work towards. Let them know

where they can be in your organization

. Be as realistic and detailed as possible.

A performance development plan (PDP) is a popular option for employers to arrange potential promotion paths with employees. Utilizing personalized PDPs not only creates professional goals for your workers, but lets them know what they can truly achieve in the long run.

4. Maintain your employees’ engagement

A happy, smiling employee

An engaged employee brims with confidence and energy and is able to achieve astonishing results.

Photo by Marius Ciocirlan

Engagement is critical in workplace performance and productivity. A study by Gallup found that a mere 32% of workers in the U.S. were engaged at their workplace. As such, it should be every employer’s priority to keep their staff motivated and performing at their best.

Engagement in the workplace can be achieved through a variety of means. Providing meaningful work, friendly competition, and blending work and play are drivers for productivity. Having an internal reward system geared for the top performers in your company can generate initiative and drive across the board.

At Arcade, we make it our goal to ensure your employees are constantly engaged with their work and performing at an optimal level. Click here to see how Arcade can help your teams prosper.

5. Invest in your employees’ growth

Illustration of a person about to launch a small rocket

Employees stick with jobs that help them grow both professionally and personally. Good employers invest in their employees’ development. Hosting skill-development workshops, team-building activities or incorporating micro-learning can cultivate interests outside of the workplace.

Stay interviews

are another great method to track employee growth and motivation. While exit interviews are fairly commonplace, stay interviews provide you with fundamental insights into how your workplace can be both improved and maintained. Author Richard Finnegan proposes that the stay interview is the “absolute best trust-building activity… and therefore the best retention tool.”

Wrapping it up:

A study by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace found that employee burnout contributes up to half of annual workforce turnover. An employee retention strategy is one of the most effective ways to prevent your best talent from leaving your organization.

Ensure your employees understand the big picture. Letting them know where their job leads them is vital in retaining their interest. A transparent onboarding program, combined with a culture of open communication works wonders in maintaining employee trust in your organization.

Employees care about more than money

. They’re humans too – they’re looking for a job that’s fulfilling and has the potential to help them grow.

Maintain and promote engagement

. An engaged worker is a productive worker. At Arcade, we believe workplace engagement is imperative in maintaining happiness and workplace efficiency.

Learn more about how Arcade can transform your workplace.

Cover photo by Jonas Jacobsson.

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