Today business leaders spend a lot of time thinking seriously about how they’re going to navigate the looming talent shortage. While managers and leaders have their own theories around what’s triggering these challenges, from an employee’s perspective, two main reasons come out regularly – not feeling valued and not getting a sense of belonging.
Additionally, we’re navigating the engagement and retention challenges that come with an increasingly remote and hybrid workforce. While there’s not much we can do about these macroeconomic and demographic trends, there are strategies that can be deployed to create a work environment where people are less likely to leave.
1. Human connection i.e. finding commonality and having a shared experience is one of the most effective yet undervalued retention strategies at our disposal. Think about all the ways companies throw money at the retention problem in the form of spot bonuses, compensation adjustments, and extravagant perks. None of these costly “strategies” actually increase engagement or long-term loyalty. What people crave is a genuine connection with their peers and their manager. Start with spontaneous conversations with employees rather than free snacks and foosball tables. In a digital workplace, make sure we acknowledge moments big and small—celebrate marriages, birthdays, and other personal milestones and achievements
2. Wow the New Hires by ensuring that connection starts even before day one. And in this regard, the status quo clearly isn’t working. Up to 20% of new hires leave within 45 days. Learn as much as possible about new hires, and show them that they’re being heard. When employees are onboarded properly, it can reduce first-year turnover by 50%. This rate of retention pays dividends; an employee who’s experienced a stellar onboarding experience becomes a brand ambassador who helps attract better applicants, leading to lower recruitment costs and lower employee turnover
3. Celebrate Wins. Shared joy — especially the joy of team wins — reinforces bonds. The stress of hitting targets can drain the joy out of work. Celebrating wins together keeps the focus where it needs to be for a team to excel and bond through progress. Couple that with shared goals and beliefs to help the team unite and grow
Overall, start by building a culture of solidarity. Then, let employees co-create the workplace experience. Finally, coach your managers on how to genuinely care for others. When teams understand their why, motivation and performance increase. Always connect the dots between the work and the greater purpose or goal, and help every individual understand how their own work contributes to the collective success. Teams that deliberately invest in these connections are unique. They not only endure but grow through challenges. These are the teams that people yearn to be part of. Build those teams, and their members won’t want to leave.