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How To Retain Top Talent: 10 Employee Retention Secrets

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Posted by: David Garcia February 09, 2024

There’s one common frustration that plagues just about all businesses, no matter the industry or company size. 

Employee turnover. 

Retaining top talent is hard, especially in the modern workforce, where employees continually seek better pay, work-life balance, and career growth. 

Every business is looking for top talent. 

If you want to survive and thrive in this current environment, you’ll need to equip yourself with the strategies needed to retain your employees. That way, they aren’t looking for greener pastures. 

With all that said, let’s hop into the top 10 employee retention secrets you’ll want to implement in your organization. 

What Are the Secrets To Retaining Top Talent?

Only 32% of employees are engaged, meaning the other 68% of workers are checked out. And every time a person quits, it’ll cost 33% of the employee’s annual salary for their exit. 

If you want to avoid the cycle of churn and burn, you’ll want to consider these insider tips. 

1. Motivate and Recognize Employees 

Every employee wants to know that their efforts mean something. 

Beyond the basic needs of human survival, like food and water, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that we all want to feel a sense of prestige and accomplishment. 

You’d be surprised how a simple “good job” or an employee of the month award can motivate your team and boost engagement. 

It doesn’t have to be a big accomplishment, either. Noticing that an employee goes above and beyond to help customers could be a big win. Pointing that out to the entire team or company would encourage that behavior and get others to follow suit. 

2. Use Feedback To Guide Decision-Making 

As Peter Drucker famously says, “What gets measured gets managed.” 

The best way to actually improve employee retention rates is to use raw data. 

That could be simply conducting exit interviews, reviewing Glassdoor reviews, and analyzing trends from your turnover rates. 

For example: 

  • Do employees commonly complain about the workload or struggle to finish their projects on time? 
  • Are your employees going to your competitors for better pay? 
  • Do you notice that you tend to hire for positions outside of your company rather than looking within? 

Also, ensure your managers and other top-level leaders continually ask how they could do a better job. This will ensure your management team is in touch and empathizing with ground-level employees. 

Getting honest feedback can be difficult, so make sure to openly encourage communication on how you can improve the environment to make their life less stressful. 

3. Develop a Top-Tier Onboarding Process 

The onboarding process sets the tone for what’s to come. It’s only natural for humans to enjoy tasks that we feel we’re good at. 

We naturally gravitate to those activities because they provide a sense of accomplishment. 

Along those same lines, the onboarding period can be extremely stressful and daunting. Employees often feel they are fed a firehose of information and instantly feel overwhelmed. 

It might help to give new hires quick wins to boost the feeling of accomplishment. Also, provide the necessary training and resources so they feel they have the guidance to succeed in their role. 

4. Focus on Quality Hires 

Employee retention all starts with making quality hires. One bad apple can easily spoil the bunch.

For example, if you fail to perform background checks, you might end up hiring unqualified individuals. That could jeopardize everyone’s safety and easily ruin your company’s reputation. 

That’s why we always encourage using a reliable background check service, like ScoutLogic, so your team can make smarter hires. 

Another good strategy is to require a skills test. Sure, the candidate might have relevant experience or even previous experiences, but you won’t know for sure until you put their skills to the test and determine for yourself.

5. Monitor and Prioritize Employee Engagement 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to employee engagement. But we all know what a worker who’s checked out looks like. 

Perhaps they disengage, show up to meetings late, or dislike speaking up. Another telltale sign is when you notice a dip in performance or quality of work. 

Workers who do the bare minimum are disengaged, and it’s often a matter of time before they submit their two-week notice. 

That said, keeping a pulse on employee engagement starts with sending out regular “feelers.” One good strategy is to send pulse surveys or employee NPS emails. You can ask questions like: 

  • Do you feel inspired to do your best work? 
  • What are your career goals, and are there enough growth opportunities? 
  • Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed? 

Beyond that, managers can ask more specific questions based on their current projects, workload, or team environment. 

6. Offer Competitive Compensation 

Every employee wants to get paid more. The key is to remain competitive in the industry. 

That way, if they look elsewhere, your role will provide comparable salaries. 

It’s a good idea to reward outstanding performance financially. Otherwise, employees will feel it won’t matter whether they perform well or poorly. 

7. Build a Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package 

If competitive compensation isn’t feasible based on your company’s finances, then a comprehensive employee benefits package is a must. 

The higher the position is within the organization or the more skilled the talent is, the better the benefits package they’ll come to expect. 

You’ll want to dazzle your top talent with benefits such as: 

  • Health insurance 
  • Retirement benefits 
  • Vacation and paid time off 
  • Flexible schedule and remote work options 
  • Wellness benefits 
  • Stock options 
  • Education and growth options 

Sometimes, a new hire will take a lower salary offer than another potential company because you’ve impressed them with a well-rounded package that checks all the boxes they’re looking for in an organization. 

8. Prioritize Culture 

If you want to win the talent war, then it’s important to build a welcoming culture

When employees love what they do and align their work with your company’s values, it’s the perfect scenario.

Workers wake up every morning excited to give it their all because they enjoy their jobs. 

Maybe your company culture is “work hard, play hard.” You enforce that by rewarding high achievers with fun excursions or other company outings. 

9. Promote Workplace Flexibility 

Remote work has infiltrated organizations across the world. Gone are the days of working strictly from 9 to 5. 

Some employees might need a flexible schedule to handle personal matters like picking up their children or attending doctor appointments. 

Or, some workers perform better on an independent schedule. In that case, remote work would allow these individuals to be most productive. 

If your competitors are transitioning to remote work, it might also be time for you to make the switch. 

10. Invest in Career Growth 

Investing in your people is the key to keeping employees around for the long haul. 

Your team is pouring their heart and soul into helping your organization grow, so it’s only right that you do the same. 

You can help support career mobility in many ways: 

  • Providing regular training and workshops 
  • Assigning new responsibilities to employees so they gain new skill 
  • Promoting employees to managerial roles or higher positions

Final Thoughts

Your people can make or break your organization. 

If you want to win the talent war and leave your competitors in the dust when recruiting and keeping talent, you’ll want to start with performing background checks. 

ScoutLogic offers a wide range of search types, from education verification to criminal searches. You’ll get fast and reliable results, so you can quickly weed out candidates who are a bad fit and give yourself the best chance at retaining top talent.

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