30 Strategies To Help Managers Retain Talent

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 16, 2021 | Published February 8, 2021

Updated March 16, 2021

Published February 8, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finding talented employees is just the first step to staffing a productive business. Keeping employees satisfied with their position, motivated and forward-moving in your company is just as important. The set of practices a manager adopts to reduce the causes of employee turnover are called talent retention strategies. In this article, we discuss 30 strategies that managers and supervisors can use to improve employee satisfaction and retention.

Why is talent retention important?

Talent retention is important for the efficient and productive operation of every business. Across industries, the cost of replacing an employee is about twice that employee's salary. The time it takes to find, hire and train a new employee can also have hidden expenses because of halted or reduced productivity and lower workplace morale. When supervisors and managers make talent retention a focus, these costs are not only avoidable, but employee satisfaction and productivity can also lead to a more successful business.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Work-Life Balance

Strategies of employee retention

Here are 30 strategies to help managers attract and keep talented employees before, during and after hiring:

1. Consider nontraditional candidates

When looking for talented people who will be motivated and long-term employees, consider broadening your prerequisites. Many nontraditional applicants such as veterans, noncollege graduates and young applicants without experience have the potential to be excellent employees if given the opportunity. Consider keeping an open mind during the hiring process and implement a variety of qualification metrics.

2. Offer a competitive salary

A competitive salary is important for both attracting new talent and keeping employees. Studies suggest that most employees who leave a company do so for a better salary. Keep up with industry standards and budget appropriately to maintain a comparable pay rate per each employee's position, experience level and performance.

3. Include benefits

For an applicant choosing between multiple prospects with similar salaries, a company's benefits package may be the deciding factor. Investing in immediate and long-term benefits like employee health insurance, parental leave and retirement plans can attract sought-after candidates and motivate them to stay with your company.

4. Onboard effectively

Onboarding is the period of time early in employment when you orient a new employee to their duties and the company structure and complete all their necessary paperwork. It is also a vital time for team building with existing employees and making a positive, welcoming first impression. Consider making time during onboarding to build social connections that can set the standard for team cohesion in the future.

5. Hire for a diversity of thought

Fostering a creative environment with new ideas is good for a company and individual employees. A team that thinks identically may get along more easily, but their creativity and innovation can stagnate. When hiring, consider candidates that have differing views and approaches to build a team with a diversity of thought.

6. Leave room for negotiation

During the hiring process and annual performance reviews, you may open a conversation to negotiations. Negotiations are an opportunity for a candidate or current employee to voice their needs and feel like they have agency in their employment. Be willing to hear their needs and make compromises.

7. Consider work styles

Employees are individuals and may have different approaches to productivity. As a manager, you can make reasonable accommodations to individual work styles to improve retention. For instance, you may allow an employee to wear noise-canceling headphones if they struggle with the distractions of an open office plan or approve flexible schedules as long as employees meet production goals.

8. Avoid sudden changes

Changes in direction are sometimes necessary for an agile company, but they can frustrate employees. This frustration typically comes from feeling left out of decisions and being surprised. You can help put staff at ease by increasing transparency in company decisions before they happen and offering employees a chance to give you meaningful feedback.

9. Lead effectively

An excellent leader inspires loyalty in team members. A leader provides an example of professional behavior for others to follow, makes transparent decisions, listens and responds to feedback and resolves problems and conflicts fairly. Consider finding leadership training opportunities for supervisors who want to improve their skills.

Related: 6 Management Styles To Lead Effectively: Overview and Examples

10. Foster company pride

Employees are more likely to commit to a company that they are proud of. Prioritizing quality products, humane working conditions both at home and overseas and taking part in responsible philanthropy are all ways a company can increase the pride employees feel.

11. Provide perks

Small touches can make a big difference in the quality of life employees experience while at work. Simple additions like a free coffee bar, occasionally catering lunch or giving employee discounts for company products and services can increase employee satisfaction with their jobs.

12. Encourage volunteer service

Personal fulfillment is an important part of work-life balance. Allowing employees the time to volunteer for the causes they value, their communities and families can help employees feel their values are supported and echoed by their employer. You may offer paid or unpaid time off for employee volunteer work or organize a group volunteer project for your team to do together.

13. Prioritize health

Healthy employees are key to a healthy business. They are generally more productive, miss less work and happier. If you have space, you can make an in-office exercise or yoga area to encourage health and manage stress. You may also negotiate reduced rates for employee gym memberships and offer healthy snacks in the office kitchen or break room.

14. Ease commutes

On average, people spend one to two hours a day commuting for work. Making this easier for employees may improve talent retention. You can organize carpools, allow for a buffer in the mornings to account for traffic, provide public transportation passes for employees or approve remote work.

15. Pets at the office

Depending on your industry, having an office pet or allowing employees to bring their own well-behaved, vaccinated cats and dogs to the office may be an option. Studies show that interacting with animals can improve mood and reduce stress. Accommodating pets in the workplace also reduces the cost of pet care for employees.

16. Friendly competition

Setting goals for friendly competition among employees may increase motivation. This strategy also reinforces that your business rewards excellent job performance. For example, hitting a sales goal may win an employee a gift card to a local restaurant or a recognition award.

17. Consider telecommuting

Depending on your industry, you may make accommodations for employees to telecommute or work remotely part-time or full-time if it benefits their work style or allows them a better balance of work and home life. Telecommuting also increases your pool of job candidates since it does not limit you to people living locally or those who will move to the area.

18. Implement rewards systems

You can improve retention by demonstrating to employees that their work is recognized and will be rewarded. Use tangible rewards to show appreciation and lift the morale of individual employees or entire teams. Even employees who are not receiving the reward may see it as a goal for their future performance and feel motivated to perform better.

19. Celebrate together

Holidays are important times for many people, and sharing these celebrations with your employees may increase their happiness at work. To celebrate with your staff, you can provide holiday decorations or allow employees to decorate their own spaces, organize one or more annual parties, create a tradition of anonymous gift-giving or begin a festive recognition of the month's employee birthdays.

20. Personalize workspaces

For an easy, cost-effective method to improve retention, you can encourage employees to personalize their workspaces with photos and personal items to boost their morale and comfort in the office.

21. Listen

Listening skills are paramount for managers and can make a significant difference in employee retention. You can make your employees aware that you welcome their feedback, ideas and concerns by offering them multiple ways to contact you and organizing regular one-on-one and group meetings. Show that you hear your team by taking actions based on their input and giving meaningful responses.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples

22. Develop talent internally

If you want employees to invest in your company long-term, demonstrate that you will do the same. Employees are more likely to stay with a company they feel like they can advance in. Provide opportunities for employees to receive mentoring and training opportunities and look internally first when hiring.

23. Give birthdays off

Offering employees a paid or unpaid day off for their birthday is a relatively small expense for the company. However, it can make a big difference in employee satisfaction, making them feel seen and remembered. This relatively small gesture is a demonstration of a company's commitment to work-life balance.

24. Reward excellence

When an employee or team accomplishes something special, finishes a big project or makes an innovation, it is vital for you as a supervisor to reward them. You can do this by offering bonuses, providing an appreciation dinner or a small gift. Rewarding extra effort and excellent performances may make employees more satisfied by their management and motivated to continue.

25. Promote mental health

Supervisors can help maintain and improve the mental health of their team by promoting work-life balance. Maintaining a reasonable workload that allows for time to rest can reduce employee burnout. Staying connected with employees and acting on the early signs of distress may also prevent future productivity challenges and loss of talent.

26. Foster team identity

Employees who feel included and a part of a team of friends are more likely to stay with the company. No matter what industry you are in, you can promote team identity among employees by organizing social events in and out of the workplace. You could also arrange teamwork seminars from outside consultants.

27. Acknowledge milestones

Celebrating work anniversaries, promotions and other accomplishments can make employees feel seen and appreciated. A company culture of acknowledging milestones also sets goals for long-term, motivated employees to strive to meet.

28. Reach out to partners

Employees with partners and families who support their careers are more likely to work for your company longer. Communicating gratitude for your employees' families for their support and praise for their loved ones can create a stronger bond.

29. Host a family and company picnic

Many businesses use the phrase, "our company is like a family." This fosters the idea of a close bond, loyalty and care for one another. Organizing an event that incorporates employees and their families can help you instill those values. It may also serve as a team-building event and show of appreciation for employees and the families that support them.

30. Implement a casual dress code

An easy, cost-effective method to make employees more comfortable at work and improve retention is to offer a relaxed dress code. With this decision, you may also lessen your employees' financial pressure to purchase a separate work wardrobe.

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