8 ways to keep your best employees

Attracting and hiring the right talent is difficult. But retaining them is a whole new challenge. The Great Resignation triggered by the pandemic is not just a buzzword, it is actually happening. Suddenly, people stop and question whether the work they are doing is really in line with their own wishes and goals - if not, they dare to make a new start. According to a Microsoft analysis, 41% of the global workforce is considering leaving their job this year, while the U.K. reached an all-time high of one million job vacancies last July. In Germany, more than a third of companies said they are lacking skilled workers. 

What can employers do to counteract this trend? What forms of appreciation, apart from material incentives, can help to improve their employee retention rates? We have summarized the most essential tips.

Offer employees a perspective for growth 

It’s crucial to offer your employees the opportunity to develop their skills and grow within the company. Only those who see a long-term perspective have reasons to stay. Encourage them to learn new skills through training, and show confidence by giving them more responsibilities, so they can grow. Have regular 1 on 1 evaluation meetings to talk about each individual's short- and long-term career goals and create a plan of what criteria the employee needs to meet to achieve them.

Encourage input and feedback

To know what your employees need, listen to them. Promote an open feedback culture to get an idea of how satisfied your team is. A recent study released by CareerAddict found out that 79% of employees would consider quitting because of their boss. However, few employees dare to directly criticize their boss. That's why it's also important to create opportunities for anonymous feedback.

Give your employees co-determination opportunities 

Gathering feedback is one thing, but it should not stop there. Show your employees that you take them seriously by responding to their wishes and implementing suggestions for change. This way, they can see that they are involved in decision-making processes and that their input is taken into account.

Create a strong company culture and offer competitive compensation 

Several studies, including one by Glassdoor and one by the recruitment consultancy Michael Page, have shown that workers value strong company culture and a pleasant working environment over higher pay, especially in the application phase. This might look different for retention. According to the Global Millennial Survey conducted by Deloitte in 2020, the biggest source of dissatisfaction for millennials is pay. In the survey, nearly half of respondents cited dissatisfaction with pay or financial benefits as the top reason for leaving their current employer. The percentage of respondents saying they were dissatisfied with the company culture was much lower. That doesn't mean millennials don't care about culture, the values, or the social actions of their employer - they simply expect more than that. To attract and retain millennials, offer both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

Show appreciation

Show your employees appreciation and respect for their efforts and achievements. Besides a salary increase or promotion, praise can also increase motivation. Acknowledge milestones and achievements, no matter if big or small. Create a chat channel for ad hoc praise throughout the team, nominate the employee of the month, celebrate company anniversaries and promotions, or show appreciation with a small gift. 

Provide space for flexibility

Flexibility is more important than ever. This can relate to the place of work, the work-life balance, and family-friendly working models. Anyone who refuses to accept this and strictly insists on a 9-to-5 model on-site might lose great talents, as flexible working arrangements have become an expectation rather than a nice benefit. 

Be transparent

Employees want to be involved in decisions: share strategies, plans, and goals, as well as the company's mission, with your team and show that their opinion can have an impact. If employees feel they can influence the future of the company, they are more likely to stay.

Employee wellbeing

Take care of your employees' health. After covid, health is a top priority for everyone and employers have a responsibility to take care of both the mental and physical health of their workforce. Health insurance, stress management programs, equipment for a healthy work-from-home setting, fitness facilities, or reimbursement for fitness classes are just a few examples of what your company might consider offering. Given the ongoing pandemic, hygiene in the workplace is also essential, so that all employees feel safe.

Final note

The last few years have not been easy for anyone - employees and employers. Many people have lost their jobs, some have made a conscious decision to change. The pandemic has also taken a toll on us physically, and it has ensured that the labor market and the role of companies have changed in the long term. The tips mentioned in the article show just a few strategies on how to retain excellent team members. Retention is an ongoing process that you should continuously re-evaluate - always focusing on employee feedback.

Jan 2022 - 4 min read

Katharina Höll

Katharina Höll

Senior Communications Manager

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