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The 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics Report shows the overall turnover rate of employees is 57.3%. This number may sound high, but, as it turns out, many of the reasons employees gave for leaving their jobs could have been prevented. Business leaders share the key strategies to ensure employee retention in this comprehensive guide.

1. Foster Professional Growth through Outside Experiences

We retain our employees by fostering their professional growth. As business owners, we join organizations within our industry to expand our network and find prospects. But our employees can also benefit by joining these groups. Attending events helps employees gain industry insights discover mentorship opportunities, and open doors to unique collaborations they may not have otherwise known. By serving on a committee, they’ll improve their decision-making, develop their leadership skills, and add to their professional credentials. And when they present papers at workshops and conferences, they’ll broaden their communication skills while defining themselves as thought leaders and gaining trust and recognition for themselves and your business. Helping our employees develop in their careers helps them feel satisfied. This helps us keep them around a lot longer. 

-Zachary Okhah M.D., Founder, and Chief Surgeon PH-1 Miami

2. Recognize and Reward Employees

If you want to retain employees, it’s important to remember to recognize and reward good work. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to stay with a company. Showing that you recognize their hard work and dedication will go a long way in helping them want to continue working for you.

-Benjamin Smith, Founder Disco

3. Listen and Gather Feedback to Foster Trust and Engagement

One of the best ways to foster trust and employee engagement is to listen and discuss feedback. In addition to a complete open-door policy, I hold office hours every other week with the primary purpose of supporting that feedback mechanism. Employees tune in from home and gather in the office to hear about new developments, company strategy, and exciting news. Importantly, I directly answer ANY submitted questions (anonymously, through our corporate social intranet) or that are asked on the spot. The company has seen fantastic participation and has found it an excellent opportunity to discover what’s essential to our employees.

-Gireesh Sonnad, CEO Silverline

4. Offer Generous Benefits and Provide Incentives

Great benefits lead to higher employee retention. This could include the basics, such as PTO and health insurance, but many companies now go above and beyond to win over employees continuously. For example, things like bonuses, incentives, trips, and other rewards for hard work are also appreciated by employees. 

-Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing and e-Commerce Orgain

5. Challenge and Inspire Employees without Overwhelming

Create a balance for your employees between not overwhelming them with too many responsibilities and giving them mentally stimulating and challenging tasks to keep them interested in their work. This way, they’ll feel calm enough to focus and motivated to tackle assignments that spark their sense of curiosity, drive, and determination. Furthermore, when employees complete projects that are a little bit more difficult than projects they have done before, they will feel much more accomplished and inspired to take on future challenges. 

-Amber Theurer, Chief Marketing Officer ivee

6. Encourage Rest to Reduce Fatigue and Burnout

Encourage employees to take rest when needed. It has been proven to improve overall happiness and productivity. Even a few minutes each day reduces fatigue and helps avoid burnout. We encourage employees to take time each day and plan for a more extended period of rest in taking a vacation. Caring for our employees goes a long way in retention.

-Aidan Cole, CEO TatBrow

7. Provide Mentorship Opportunities for New and Current Employees

A great way to have a high employee retention rate is to have mentorship opportunities. These mentorships are great for new hires as well as current employees. The new hire will have guidance, and the mentor will gain a fresh perspective. It’s a win-win for everyone. Current employees can also benefit from mentorship opportunities, so be sure to extend the opportunity to them as well. This will help with employee retention. 

-Omid Semino, CEO Diamond Mansion

8. Create a Work-Life Balance by Offering Wellness Opportunities

Offer your employees wellness opportunities to help retention rates. Ensuring that your employees are fit mentally, physically, and financially is just good practice. Wellness opportunities will encourage employees to remain with your company because they see that you care about their wellbeing. This practice will lead to happy, healthy, and loyal employees.

-Justin Chan, Growth Manager JuneShine

9. Supply Continuous Learning Opportunities

We’ve built a culture of continuous learning that provides opportunities for employees to learn while they work. We encourage our employees to excel based on their unique capabilities, grow new skill sets, and go after new opportunities. Continuous learning is most effective when employees are curious and eager to discover new ways to improve productivity. That’s why we purposefully recruit those who embrace improvement, both personally and professionally. Helping our employees strengthen their expertise is a large part of what helps us retain them.

-Eric Kaye, Founder, and Chief Evangelist Kayezen Vector

10. Give Employees the Resources and Tools Needed to be Successful

I try to make sure that everyone that comes to work here has what they need to complete their job successfully every day. My job is to help solve the problems when people don’t have what they need to provide optimal care. It’s making sure that we distribute the resources so that everybody can do [optimally] at their job.

-Craig Thompson, CEO MSK

11. Offer Generous Benefits and Provide Incentives

Employee retention is an essential aspect of any business. To retain employees, it is essential to offer training and development opportunities for employees. These opportunities provide an incentive for employees to continue working at the company while providing them with the opportunity to grow. It also keeps your workforce up to date with all new technologies. 

-David Di Lorenzo, President Valentino Beauty Pure

12. Allow Flexible Work Schedules and Unique Experiences 

A great way to retain employees and foster greater motivation and excitement is to offer unique perks and experiences! These can range from team outings to flexible schedules to wellness programs (or, like in our case, plenty of company products.) The most valuable perks in today’s pandemic-adjacent world are flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities, and parental leave. However, you still want to provide remote employees with opportunities to interact and engage with other team members outside of office hours. For example, we like to host monthly team tastings and education sessions with our Head Brewer and plan regular intimate cocktail hours at our taproom locations.

-Liz Tomic, Head of Effective Brand Building, Marketing, and Innovation Strategies Flying Embers

13. Create a Passionate Company Culture and Values Individuals 

Company loyalty starts with excellent company culture and a passion for the product or service you are providing. Those aspects can go hand-in-hand as well, as those passionate about the same things tend to also get along with each other, especially in the workplace. Employees want to stay in places where they feel like they are making a difference and are passionate about the projects they are working on, so fostering that kind of atmosphere will lead to a higher chance of success. 

-Annabel Love, Co-founder & COO Nori Press

14. Recognize Employees’ Gifts and Traits 

Pay attention to each of your employees’ natural gifts and give them tasks and responsibilities which cater to these individual traits. For instance, if you have an employee who can inspire and motivate their teammates, you could think about assigning this person more leadership duties. People thrive when they’re doing what comes naturally to them, and you’ll retain employees who feel like they’re in an environment where they can thrive.

-Ben Teicher, President/CEO Healthy Directions

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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