3 Strategies for Retaining Your Top Talent

Retaining top talent has never been easy, but with millions of employees around the world leaving jobs because it’s a worker’s market, plus the lasting impact of COVID-19, keeping your staff intact can feel impossible at times.

The reason for this mass exodus from the workplace boils down to a few factors pushing people to leave their jobs – salary unhappiness, no advancement in their career, and poor work-life balance. Day after day, they lose the purpose and motivation to do their job. 

It takes a lot of time and money to find and place the right employees onto your team. It’ll cost you even more to replace them. Here are three tips to keep your employees satisfied and increase staff retention.

1. Creative Compensation

Bonus structures are in. Give your team tangible goals and tangible rewards. When you motivate your team to bring metrics up or increase efficiency with a bonus on the line, you offer them some sort of control and influence over their pay. It’s no secret that people love control – this control gives them the freedom to joyfully increase their own work efficiency (which benefits you too!).

You can also consider recession-proofing your payroll to provide a cushion of salary security for your employees. And of course, retention bonuses. It’s the most obvious answer because it works. People stay where they are paid well.

2. Non-Cash Retention Tools

Not everyone can afford to be so liberal with bonuses. You may go through seasons of being able to afford generous bonuses and other seasons of stricter budgeting. The good news is that comfort and care retain employees too, and it doesn’t have to cost you.

Consider what valuable resources you do have, beyond compensation. Your greatest resource is time. Employees value flexibility with their time – it’s one of the best ways to show you know they are human. Offer generous PTO, flexible work arrangements, and opportunities for remote work.

As someone in a position of power in your organization, you also have valuable connections to offer. Your connections could provide employees with unique opportunities to grow. You have access to career and skill growth opportunities, leadership opportunities, and even awards that all can be used to show an employee that you support their personal and professional development. People stay where they are growing.

3. Thorough Appreciation

Lastly, people stay where they are wanted. The most personal approach to retention is to maximize the value of your personal interactions with your staff. Boost their confidence by bragging about them on a social media highlight. Give verbal and written “thank yous” frequently. Be specific. “Thank you for your positive attitude and flexibility through this busy work week,” or “Thank you for reaching that deadline even though it was such a quick turnaround.” Get creative. Create a system of shoutouts for your staff to uplift each other. The point is to make it a habit within your culture. Don’t allow your employees to question whether or not their hard work is noticed. 

These three tips translate when it comes to caring for your volunteers, too, although the execution costs much less. Gifts like gift cards on birthdays, holidays, or “just because” are tangible ways you can show appreciation. Although volunteers don’t work for money, small tokens of appreciation go a long way. Utilize flexibility and appreciation, as well, to retain volunteers. 

You may not know just how much replacing an employee costs. Creative compensation costs are a small investment compared to the many costs of a rehire, including severance, a new search, travel for new interviews, and loss in giving or donations because of hurt confidence in your staff. If you recently hired this person, consider the wasted costs of on-boarding, relocation, and salary knowing that money went to someone who did not stay and invest in your mission. You can find out exactly how much a bad hire will cost you with Vanderbloemen’s Bad Hire Calculator.