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3 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

October 20, 2021
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3 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

If there’s anything these last few years have taught the world, it’s to expect the unexpected.  Between the unprecedented global pandemic, the ever-increasing threat of climate change, and the more recent “Great Resignation,” many of the things we take for granted have changed significantly. As a result, we’ve seen new problems and challenges come to light, especially in the world of business.

Though all of these events pose their own challenges, the most pressing is almost definitely the labor shortage we are currently experiencing. As a result of the Great Resignation, millions of employees have left their jobs in the last few months, leaving a significant number of companies without staff and support. 

Labor shortages of this magnitude are sporadic, and this particular example is even rarer. Not only are singular employees leaving their jobs, but entire company staff have quit in unison, showing us that there must be something more than simply not wanting the job anymore. 

We’ve already examined some of the reasoning behind the Great Resignation, and we were able to boil it down to two significant points. Firstly, employees are simply tired of exploitation and poor treatment, something that is much more common than many people realize. 

Secondly, times are changing, but many employers aren’t. With a comically low federal minimum wage and an astonishing wealth gap across the country, the working class is fed up and working to make a change. While we see plenty of changes proposed by the majority of the world, wealthy business owners, CEO’s and a few other demographics often refuse to acknowledge or completely ignore the proposed changes, leading us to where we are now. 

So what does this all mean?

In the short term, this means that until situations change, many companies might continue to struggle with employee retention. In the long term, this movement will likely reframe how we think about work, wages, and the job market in general. Put plainly, regardless of where you stand on the issues in question, something has to change, and soon! 

We can’t speak for every business out there, but we did want to shed light on a few of the smartest employee retention strategies we could find! This article will explore three of the best strategies for keeping employees around to help both employees and employers alike understand the current situation.

What Does Retention Mean?

You probably know what retention means in the literal sense, but its definition goes a little deeper when it comes to employees and the job market. Employee retention isn’t just about keeping employees around; it’s about creating a job where employees feel valued, feel comfortable, and actually enjoy their work. This is so important to the success of a modern business that we would argue employee satisfaction is much more crucial than maximizing profit. 

Besides, when you start to consider the cost of turnover, training new workers, and how all of that plays into business, you’ll see that employee retention will save you money in the long run. It’s a win-win situation! To help lower turnover rates, and boost employee morale, here are three strategies worth trying!

Competitive (and Livable) Annual Salary

As we briefly touched on above, the minimum wage in the U.S. is badly outdated. Though the federal minimum wage is stuck at $7.25, some states have mandated higher wages through state law, with Washington D.C. at the top of the list at $15 per hour. Other states, however, like Georgia and Wyoming, remain below the federal minimum wage at $5.15 per hour.

The thing is, even the minimum wage isn’t enough for the majority of Americans to survive on, which has led to the concept of a “livable wage.” A livable wage is simply an income level that “allows individuals or families to afford adequate shelter, food, and other necessities.” 

From census data and economic reports across the country, $15 per hour could provide a livable wage for one single person in only about half of the U.S. states. Anybody trying to provide for more than themselves would still struggle or be unable to survive on a $15 hourly wage. This is one reason why a dual-income household is so prevalent in parts of the United States. 

Clearly, the minimum wage issue isn’t going away anytime soon, but as individual business owners, wages can be a bit more flexible. Consider researching the livable wage in your city, state, or town and adjusting salaries to match that accordingly. We’re not saying it will be a simple change, but providing compensation that can genuinely help your employees live a better life is a great way to boost employee retention rates! 

Experiment with Flexibility

Beyond just a livable salary, an increasing number of employees are searching for a better work-life balance in their employment opportunities. This hasn’t meant much for employers in years past, as “work-life balance” was more of a buzzword than an actual benefit. However, with the rise of remote work, the workforce is seeing new opportunities. 

Working from home has opened many people’s eyes to how a flexible schedule can actually function and still be effective. What was once written off as an impossibility, or a waste of time, has suddenly grown much closer to reality. 

When offices and other workplaces began to cut back on remote work, many employees began leaving their jobs to seek out the flexibility they wanted. The biggest issue employers have with remote work is often the argument that employees are less efficient, less focused, and less productive when they’re not in the office. 

Most of the time, however, that simply isn’t true. Though studies are still being conducted, American productivity actually increased during the “work from home” boom in the pandemic. Workers discovered that in a more comfortable setting, with less micromanagement, and greater flexibility to work and take breaks when needed, they were just as productive, if not more so, than working in the office! 

Naturally, not every job can work remotely, but if your occupation can allow for telework, it may be a significant factor in attracting and retaining employees.

Job Satisfaction

Every worker wants to have enough money to live, and spending more time with family is very important to the modern employee, but how can a job itself boost retention rates? The answer likely lies in job satisfaction and career development. 

Generally speaking, an employee who enjoys their job and is successful in their daily tasks will be much more likely to stay at that job! While some of that relies on the employee putting in the effort, there are a few things that can help boost job satisfaction. 

For starters, you might want to examine your onboarding process, as the first few weeks of a new job can be telling for an employee. If you have a solid training program, for instance, you can instill confidence and an understanding of company culture in your new workers! 

You might also consider providing professional development opportunities to your staff whenever possible. From networking events to skill training and seminars, helping your employees grow as people will significantly reduce your employee turnover rate.

Work In Progress

The business world is difficult to navigate, and as the job market goes through its natural changes, the best we can do is learn and adapt to it! That’s why companies like LACOSTA are always here to help, with outstanding janitorial and managed labor services that can help your company through any time. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about a LACOSTA partnership, or check out our blog for more tips and information!

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