By Justin Biel, trends editor at Grow Wire
⏰ 4-minute read
The 2019 job market presents workers with a growing variety of roles and benefits. So, as an employer, you’re charged with maintaining a top-notch employee retention strategy.
Legendary staffing firm Robert Half is a global authority on retention. The firm’s metro marketing manager offers six reasons good employees stick around.
To keep your best employees, work to ensure they feel their career, time, opinions and personalities are respected and honored.
For professionals in the corporate sphere, the job market is looking up. According to U.S. News, 2019 is bringing higher wages, more benefits, an increased focus on diversity and a push toward more respectful work environments. With options and benefits increasing, employers must work harder to retain top talent.
This rings especially true when you consider the cost of turnover. When an entry-level employee leaves, it costs their employer 50% of their salary, according to Forbes. For mid-level employees, it’s 125% of salary, and executives ding their companies 200% of their salaries upon exiting.
So, building a financially sound organization includes developing structures that keep your best employees around.
Professional staffing agencies are well-positioned to offer advice on this topic. They cater to both employees and employers, which gives them a unique perspective on retention.
Robert Half is a pioneer in the staffing industry and widely considered one of the best recruiting firms in the world. With over 70 years of experience, the firm has both hard data and nuanced insights on retention.
Here are six reasons good employees stick around, according to Robert Half’s metro marketing manager Luke Stratmann.
1. They came into their role wanting to stick around.
Obviously, retention comes from making more long-term hires than not, Stratmann said. It’s critical to perform due diligence during recruiting to evaluate whether a candidate is likely to both succeed and desire to stay in the role once hired.
For this reason, Stratmann recommends making hires through company referrals.
“It can also be beneficial to bring in candidates on a temporary or project basis so both parties can test the waters,” he added.
Stratmann also acknowledged that company positioning and branding can impact incoming employees.
“Employers need to pay attention to their corporate culture for recruitment and retention and promote what makes their company unique,” he said.
2. They feel they have career growth opportunities.
“Career advancement is top of mind for many employees,” said Stratmann. “Companies should structure positions so workers can grow their careers without leaving the firm.”
Support this desire by giving your employees ongoing training, professional development courses and continual challenges at the managerial level.
3. They feel heard.
Foster an open environment where employees regularly communicate with managers about job satisfaction.
“Talk with staff about what might enhance their job satisfaction, and remind them of the unique benefits provided by your company,” said Stratmann. “Find out if workloads are manageable and if additional resources are needed.”
Be deliberate about getting feedback from employees. A leader who performs managing-by-walking-around may gain valuable insights. If you have a more distant management style, plan regular meetings to address employee needs.
What's your leadership style? Take the Grow Wire Leadership Style Quiz to learn about your management traits and how to use them to boost your team’s productivity.
4. They feel respected and honored.
In a corporate environment, showing gratitude can go a long way.
“It seems obvious, but a simple ‘thank you’ and recognizing employee contributions will strengthen loyalty,” said Stratmann.
The past couple of years have also brought an increased focus on harassment-free workplaces, and employers are responding to the call. In LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Study, 80% of respondents said their company had “implemented some harassment prevention action in the last 12 months or is planning to.”
Be proactive about any workplace bullying or harassment issues, and make this commitment to your prospective team members when hiring. Companies who lead this charge will be rewarded with loyal teams.
5. They feel their time is respected and honored.
“There’s been more of a focus put on work flexibility in recent years,” said Stratmann. “Things like the ability to telecommute or an alternative schedule can go a long way toward keeping staff.”
A company’s ability to manage full- or part-time remote workers will directly impact its retention rates this year and beyond, he added. The majority of corporate employers are on board with the trend: 56% of them allow for some form of remote work, according to OWL Labs’ 2018 “State of Remote Work” survey.
6. They feel they’re being paid adequately.
Unsurprisingly, compensation is king when it comes to retention. Research suggests that 44% of workers would leave their job for a better salary.
Of course, deliberately underpaying employees is a sure way to lose your top talent to the competition. Striving to deliver competitive compensation, meanwhile, wins skilled employees and keeps them around for the long haul.
The bottom line
Employee retention starts in the recruiting phase. Take measures to ensure your prospective hires intend to stay with the company and will succeed in their roles.
Then, ensure your teams feel respected in all areas including their time, their careers and their feelings and preferences.