Due to what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” around 50% of employees say their organizations are understaffed. The voluntary turnover rate is 25%. As many leaders know well, retaining employees is more cost-effective than hiring new ones. Perhaps more importantly, keeping top talent around helps strengthen morale, customer experience, culture and more. It’s no surprise organizations are working hard to build loyalty among employees to boost employee retention. Here are five ideas:
5 ideas to keep staff sticking around
- Start health and wellness programs
- Offer growth and learning
- Provide unique benefits
- Encourage sharing opinions
- Create camaraderie
Idea #1: Start health and wellness programs
Around 52% of employees say health and wellness programs are a must-have. Healthy employees are more productive and 51% of overall healthy team members are more likely to stay for at least one more year.
With a variety of robust wellness activities, challenges and classes—plus prizes to incentivize participation—the Sun Prairie School District staff is encouraged, supported and rewarded for taking part in health initiatives.
“Our vision and mission is to engage staff in proactive wellness activities,” said Karyn Richmond, district wellness coordinator at Sun Prairie School District.
To do so, the Sun Prairie School District hosts a wellness challenge every month during the school year. By year-end, the district covers a range of wellness dimensions, including emotional, physical, financial and more.
In one of the challenges offered, staff members tailor the plan to meet their needs, choosing from seven options—like visiting the employee wellness clinic and participating in a wellness class—to build up points and win a prize. This year, prize drawings featured a tumbler, the perfect gift to keep their favorite healthy drink ice cold during those hot summer months.
Enjoy your favorite beverages with this vacuum-insulated cup.
The Sun Prairie School District also gave each wellness committee volunteer a T-shirt as a useful thank-you gift.
Idea #2: Offer growth and learning
Around 66% of employees from 18-24 say learning new skills is a top 3 perk. (Only health insurance and disability benefits rank higher.) And 79% of team members who have access to a formal development program feel engaged with their company.
When putting together growth and learning opportunities, be sure to:
- Ensure every employee, no matter their position, has access.
- Offer customizable options.
- Reward employees who complete a program.
- Center programs around short- and long-term goals.
Idea #3: Provide unique benefits
Paid time off, retirement packages and even remote work schedules are now considered the norm when it comes to perks and benefits. To help retain top talent, think outside the box and offer benefits that stand out from other companies. Ideas include:
- Tuition reimbursement
- Wellness incentives for fitness memberships and athletic equipment
- Paid time off for volunteering
- On-site conveniences—like oil changes, dry-cleaning and meal delivery
- Casual dress code
- Free drinks and snacks
With 48% of employees weighing work perks and benefits in their decision to work for a company, it’s crucial to stand out so staff won’t want to go job hunting.
Idea #4: Encourage sharing opinions
When employees are encouraged to freely speak their mind (with respect to other people), they feel valued. They feel heard. They feel engaged. About 30% of employees strongly agree that their opinions seem to count at work. This means there’s a 70% opportunity to encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas.
Make it clear to staff that there will never be retribution for sharing their thoughts. Send an anonymous monthly survey asking for opinions on any recent changes or potential initiatives. Take feedback seriously and implement it when realistic, so your team realizes it’s worthwhile to speak up.
Idea #5: Create camaraderie
When employees feel like they belong, there’s a 56% increase in job performance and turnover risk drops by 50%. When employees feel like they belong, they are 167% more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work.
That’s something James Longhitano, owner of County Refrigeration, knows well. Family-owned for over 50 years, County Refrigeration fixes all major household appliances. Longhitano wanted his team to look and feel cohesive and professional. With branded T-shirts sporting its logo, Longhitano was able to do just that.
“When you have uniform—in every sense of the word—everyone is on the same page and they feel like they’re part of the team,” Longhitano said.
“You get energized when you feel like you’re part of something; there’s a positive flow. The shirts are also very comfortable and high-quality, so much so that my employees sometimes wear them even when they’re not on the job.”
Keep top talent
Knowing how to retain employees starts with thinking about how you can improve their lives. Helping staff stay healthy, providing one-of-a-kind perks and creating a strong sense of belonging are just a few ways to ensure your organization’s employee retention stays strong, year after year.
Promote employee retention
Use promotional items as employee appreciation gifts.
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