Employee Retention How to Attract & Retain the Best Talent


We live in an era where company loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Between the post-pandemic Great Resignation and younger generations’ penchant for moving from job to job, retaining top talent is becoming increasingly difficult for companies across the globe. 

But despite these dizzying socio-economic fluctuations, there are constructive ways to not only attract high-performing employees but also to retain them for a more sustainable period of time.

How to Boost Your Employee Retention Rate

Currently, the number of people seeking reliable, culturally-attractive employment is high. By streamlining your onboarding, engagement and retention program, your business can draw in promising employees and retain them throughout their careers. Read these 8 tips to learn more. 

1. Encourage and Embrace Flexibility 

Today’s workers really prioritize flexibility. In fact, a recent report found that 63% of employees would feel empowered by having more flexibility at work. But what does that look like on a practical level? 

  • Permit a hybridized workforce
  • Encourage team-based projects 
  • Provide opportunities for learning new skills and roles 
  • Practice a democratic leadership style 

Top talent employees know that they are valuable assets, and deserve to be provided with options when it comes to their work approach. Often, when you allow people to do things their way, they will become far more productive—as well as comfortable and empowered in their role. 

2. Give Regular Constructive Criticism and Feedback 

Constructive criticism is an important part of any healthy work environment, and top talent professionals know it. Exchanging feedback on projects and ideas allows employees to perform at their best and find the drive to push for better ideas and innovations. 

Even though constructive criticism can be hard to hear sometimes, providing it in a professional, positive tone shows employees that you care about their output and believe they have what it takes to improve. If you want to retain top talent, giving and facilitating constructive feedback is essential. 

Another helpful way to boost employee retention is to ask them for feedback on your company. There may be patterns of behavior or certain policies that hurt retention that you are not aware of. 

Asking employees for their take on what can be improved around the office will give you powerful insight into the experiences of current workers and shed light on what can be changed in future. 

4. Refine Your Employee Engagement Program 

A staggering report from 2022 found that 51% of employees do not feel sufficiently engaged at work and 13% feel actively disengaged. If your company is looking to retain talent, this does not bode well. 

To convince high performing employees to stick with your organization, take a hard look at your engagement program. What is being done to actively engage employees and give them incentive to stay? Are the policies fair? Do people feel safe and supported at work? Are they given the right tools to do their job to the best of their ability?

Performing a thorough sweep of your employee engagement program can help you to identify weak points in the system and determine what changes can be implemented for happier, more satisfied, and more purpose-driven employees. Some of the ways other companies do this include: 

  • Encourage team-based activities 
  • Recognize accomplishments and reward them 
  • Establish clear project goals and values 
  • Take employee feedback seriously 
  • Start a mentorship program 
  • Promote personal development 

These kinds of activities are designed to foster relationships between both employees and their superiors. When people feel respected, appreciated, and included, engagement naturally develops. 

5. Streamline Your Onboarding Process 

A high percentage of employees in the Millennial age category will leave a position within one year of obtaining it. Granted, this trend is subject to many different variables, but one of them is a dysfunctional or insufficient onboarding process. 

Since Millennials now make up the majority of the global workforce (and will continue to for some time) investing in a thorough onboarding process is something that can support your business for years, or even decades to come. So what does that look like? 

  • Reaching out to new hires prior to their start date
  • Creating a cross-departmental onboarding team 
  • Setting expectations early (and reinforcing them)
  • Communicating the company culture clearly
  • Asking them for feedback and making it easy to ask questions

A strong onboarding process requires ample structure, consistency, and preparation. But the more effort you put into it, the easier it will be to retain employees during that first tenuous year. 

6. Provide Opportunities for Career Growth and Upskilling 

According to a recent report, as much as 49% of employees prioritize growth opportunities at work. And why shouldn’t they? Their future is important to them. It should be to you, too. 

Providing opportunities for employees to broaden their skillset and improve their capabilities should form a huge part of your company’s retention strategy.

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Some companies resist providing upskilling programs because they are afraid that employees will leave them once they become more hirable. But of the few that may fulfil that prophecy, many more are likely to appreciate the investment in their careers and enhance their loyalty to the company. 

Upskilling programs have become extremely popular in recent years as people across the globe seek innovative ways to self-improve and maintain a strong career trajectory. Some of the most popular upskilling program ideas throughout the 2020s include 

  • Social media marketing  
  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Graphic design 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Cyber security
  • General management 

By showing your employees that you are invested in the long-term trajectory of their careers, you give them a powerful incentive to stay where they are for the long haul and see where it takes them. 

7. Offer Fun Team-Building Activities 

While it may be true that some people find employee team-building exercises mortifying, the general consensus is that they do promote higher engagement and retention statistics overall. This may have something to do with the primordial need for community and collaboration within social groups. 

Team building exercises don’t have to be awkward or boring. There are plenty of ways to incentivize employees to spend time together in a constructive and enjoyable way. A few examples include:

  • Escape room challenge 
  • Group yoga or meditation sessions 
  • Team lunches or meals 
  • Wine tasting 
  • Scavenger hunt 
  • Trivia night 
  • Volunteer program at a local charity 

The team-building activities you choose to implement at your company should wholly depend on the employees that work for it. Asking for suggestions is another smart way to find out what will get the biggest, most positive response. 

Offering fun, decompressive group activities shows top talent that you care about their mental and physical health, and want to invest in the quality of their working experience. Studies show that Millennials do want more than just a good paycheck, they want social engagement, too. 

8. Provide Employee Benefits That Add Value

Studies show that employees are 70% more likely to remain loyal if they are satisfied with the benefits they’re offered. However, employee benefits no longer simply mean healthcare and pension. Today’s workforce looks for more time off, paid leave, mental health and wellness benefits and disability benefits. 

The better the benefits, the more likely it is that you’ll retain employees. In fact, as many as 80% of employees say that they now prioritize benefits over a rise. 

9. Promote a Diverse and Inclusive Company Culture 

Thanks to rising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusivity, these crucial aspects of company culture are becoming increasingly important to employees around the world. 

But diversity and inclusion are about more than just headcounts and policies. They’re about bringing more humanity and empathy into the workplace culture. Making people feel emotionally and physically safe, comfortable and protected against discrimination is key to retaining great employees. 

Conclusion

Attracting top talent is one thing. Retaining it is another story. 

The top-performing employees of today crave flexibility and growth opportunities above all else, which is great motivation for companies across the board to invest more time and resources into providing them with those things. 

Anything you can do to improve the overall quality of employees’ experiences at your company will improve retention rates. The world is chaotic and people are looking for safety. But if you can guarantee a positive, inclusive, growth-oriented working experience, retention levels will naturally balance. 

With these eight tips, we hope you can implement a stronger employee engagement and retention program that keeps everyone climbing the ladder of success. 

This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.

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About the Author: Kanban Zone

Kanban Zone
This is a post from the Kanban Zone community. These posts cover various topics related to the Kanban methodology, project and tasks management, Lean, Agile, as well as content relevant to other practitioners from the Kanban community.