How to Retain Employees During the Great Resignation

It's no secret that hiring and training new employees is costly for businesses, and these expenses ultimately go to waste if those new employees don't stick around for at least a couple of years. Companies large and small have struggled with employee retention for decades now, but the problem has been exasperated by what is now referred to as the Great Resignation.

Spurred by the pandemic, more employees are searching for new employment, which has created significant difficulties for organizations in all industries. If your company has been impacted by the Great Resignation, or you have simply struggled to retain employees for a long time, there are a few simple changes you can make that can substantially help your employee retention rates. 

Learn more using our handy guide below! 

Establish a Company Culture

Whether you have taken steps to carefully and intentionally create a company culture or not, your organization inherently has a culture. Some corporations and businesses have a cutthroat, unsupportive, and abrasive company culture, which leaves employees feeling burned out, unappreciated, and even hostile toward one another. With the Great Resignation, employees are now searching for companies that have intentionally created an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive company culture. 

Take a few moments to think about the company culture currently present at your organization. Are employees encouraged to work collaboratively, think creatively, and take care of themselves and their families? Or, are employees expected to work outrageous amounts of hours per week, putting their personal lives and mental health in the back seat? Company culture can be improved or worsened with the implementation of policies, but it's important to first gain an understanding of the current culture your organization has created. 

It never hurts to ask employees from different levels about what the company's current culture is like, and how that impacts their day-to-day work lives. You can also send out a survey that asks all employees for suggestions or ideas about how to improve company culture.

Some simple and effective ways to improve your company's culture include:

  • Create and implement worthwhile company goals and values
  • Improving your organization's onboarding and training program
  • Provide constructive feedback to employees and ask for feedback in return
  • Recognize and reward meaningful work and contributions by employees
  • Encourage collaboration with other employees 

Many employees are made to feel that they're nothing more than a number and can be easily replaced. If you can change your company culture to show more appreciation for your employees and make them feel like a valuable asset to the company, they are more likely to stay for the long term. 

Clearly Communicate Compensation

When bringing in new employees, it is imperative that you clearly communicate the total compensation package you are offering.  Almost a third of employees quit within 90 days of starting a new job, and some of this can be attributed to poor communication about actual compensation and benefits packages offered to employees. 

Fortunately, Welcome makes it easy for organizations to break down and communicate the total compensation an employee will receive in an easily understood and digestible format. We're all about transparency. That's why our platform lets HR professionals and people teams communicate with new employees in a way that is both informative and engaging, making them fully aware of the salary they will be paid, the health benefits options they have, and other perks like equity in the company or paid maternity leave. 

Many employees work for organizations that offer helpful resources and benefits, but they never learn about them because they aren't clearly communicated to employees. This sometimes leads employees to mistakenly believe that their compensation is subpar, prompting them to look for employment elsewhere. 

Encourage Employee Feedback and Provide an Open-Door Policy for Employees

Employers usually don't hesitate to give their employees feedback, especially regarding areas for employee improvement. Most companies, however, don't encourage employees to give the company feedback. This is a mistake, as organizations can greatly benefit from regularly checking in with employees and asking questions about what they like about working there, and what could be improved. 

In companies with harsh company cultures or intimidating supervisors, many employees will be reluctant to speak up and voice their opinions about working at an organization. This is why it's important for companies to encourage employee feedback, which can be solicited in a variety of ways, including:

  • Company-wide surveys
  • 1-on-1 meetings with employees
  • Open group discussions at team meetings
  • Implementing an open-door policy for feedback

Perhaps the most challenging to achieve is implementing an open-door policy for feedback, but it also may be the most important. Open-door policies don't necessarily have to mean managers' doors are literally open all the time; instead, it can simply mean that employee's opinions and concerns are listened to by managers and leaders with genuine empathy and understanding. 

Offer Training Opportunities - Both Online and In-Person

Employees are far more likely to stay with a company that encourages them to continue learning and developing their skills. This can easily be accomplished by offering in-person and online training opportunities on a variety of subjects. Prioritize your employee's continued growth by allowing them to attend training opportunities during business hours.

Asking employees to learn new work-related skills in their free time is unlikely to produce meaningful results or show employees that your company cares about helping them reach their full potential. The best part about offering training and encouraging growth is that junior employees may someday be able to take on higher positions, which reduces hiring and training costs. It also ensures that managers and higher-ups have a fundamental understanding of how the company operates. 

Provide Incentives for Employees Who Stay With the Company

Another effective way to increase employee retention is by offering compelling incentives. Although many businesses recognize when an employee has remained with the company for several years, a mention in a newsletter or on paper isn't nearly enough to encourage them to stay.

Instead, show how their long-term dedication is paying off. Some enticing bonuses for longstanding workers might include:

  • The option to work from home one or more days per week
  • Increase the number of paid vacation days they receive per year
  • Offer cash bonuses
  • New job titles
  • Higher company contributions to retirement accounts
  • Designing an equity option plan that rewards high performance

These are just a few of the dozens of possible ways you can incentivize your employees to stay with the company. It's important to make additional perks available to long-standing employees but also make the requirements to receive them reasonable. For example, giving employees one more vacation day per year after they have worked at the company for ten years isn't likely to encourage people to stay longer than they otherwise would. 

Be Transparent About Why People Are Leaving and Address Issues Right Away

If your company has seen large numbers of employees leaving in a short period of time, it can help to ask departing employees why they wanted to leave. Once you have a firm understanding of the reasons people are looking for new jobs, whether it's better pay, superior benefits, a more welcoming company culture, or improved working conditions, you can get to work on addressing those problems immediately. 

Don't be afraid to clearly communicate with your employees about why past employees have opted to leave, but be sure to include steps your organization is taking to remedy the situations they have cited. The promise of improvements for employees can encourage current workers to stick around as your organization makes those changes. 

Keep Promises to Employees About Pay and Benefits

Alluding to a better compensation package during the interview and onboarding process, and later pulling out the rug, can stoke understandable frustration. When employees are misled or misunderstand the compensation offered on a regular basis, it can tarnish your company's reputation as a great place to work. This just makes it even more difficult to hire new employees in the future, and it should be avoided as much as possible. 

When you make promises or offer certain perks, wages, or anything else, you must follow through in order to show your employees that your company is honest and trustworthy. Employees with negative experiences at other companies may be quick to leave if they sense a company's promises won't be kept. 

Need Help With Employee Retention? Get in Touch With Welcome Today! 

At Welcome, we take pride in offering a solution that helps companies build lasting and trusting relationships with candidates and employees alike. Our platform facilitates clear communication about compensation, which encourages prospective employees to take your offer, saving you precious time and money. Our digital offer and total rewards services rely on real-time compensation and equity data, allowing us to constantly improve and help your company with employee retention even more. 

If you're interested in growing your team in a more seamless manner, please sign up with Welcome to learn more!