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3 Tips to Retain Your Top Employees

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: June 4, 2018
Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

Retaining your top employees isn't just about money. Making your staff members feel valued plays a critical role in their willingness to stay with the company.

There have been a series of dramatic shifts in work culture over the past 10 years. Traditional career paths are a thing of the past, with employees unlikely to stay in the same job for more than a few years.

Although the job satisfaction rate in the US is the highest it’s been since 2005, other factors that contribute to job satisfaction, including health and retirement benefits, haven’t changed. Pay plays a significant role, but it is not always the solution to retention problems. In fact, if a company is offering employees a large pay increase just to keep them, it can mean larger issues within the company. Problems within the work environment or a lack of training and development can lead to high turnover rates. 

Employers need to reflect on the overall experience, especially the reward programs they provide their employees, to ensure their staff feels valued. Employees who feel valued by their organizations are 40 percent more likely to classify themselves as loyal toward them. The following three steps can help employers retain their best employees.

1. Personalize your approach

The dynamic between employee and employer is shifting. Employees expect more from an organization than just a paycheck. Different demographic groups have varying needs and the individual needs and expectations of employees should be considered to create a truly personalized reward program. Our recent Global Employee Benefits Watch research found that 60 percent of employees want to improve their mental wellbeing, in addition to getting fit and healthy. On the flipside, only 23 percent of employees feel fully supported by their employer in this area. By analyzing benefit take-up within different employee demographics, or across locations, you can ensure that your benefits programs are more targeted and support the needs of your people.

2. Provide choice

People spend the majority of their time at work. As such, employees want to feel as though they are a valued member of the organization and part of a wider community. While having free snacks and games at work can make a short-term splash, it’s also important to consider benefits that make a real difference in an employee’s life, such as the flexibility to spend a wellness allowance on something that has a real impact on their overall wellbeing. The use of benefits technology allows employers to provide this choice in a flexible, employee-centric way. 

3. Don’t forget to communicate 

Employees are frequently unaware, or don't fully understand, the extent of the benefits offered to them, leading to ‘forgotten benefits.' Organizations themselves can even forget that some of the things they offer are often seen as a benefit by their employees - for example free fruit in the office and flexible working. When looked at holistically as part of the wider benefits package, these can enhance value and have an impact on employee retention. 

To combat these forgotten benefits, employers need to ensure they are providing employees with an easy-to-understand and transparent view of their benefits while also frequently communicating the benefits on offer, especially at key life stages. Employers must also combine a variety of communication methods including apps and enterprise social networks with a centralized way to access them and view their total reward. The Global Employee Benefits Watch found that the highest percentage of employees who are satisfied with how they access and manage their benefits are those who do so through online methods. The survey found that while many employees prefer to manage benefits via desktop (45 percent) and mobile (35 percent), 46 percent of employees also highly value face-to-face communication. Offering multiple methods to help communicate benefits can keep everyone happy. 

As we’ve identified, a job for life rarely exists and employers are naïve to think employees will stay simply because they are compensated fairly. Organizations must take action and use all measures available to retain high performers and ensure their employees get the most out of their benefits programs. Having a personalized benefits package for employees makes a tangible business impact by ensuring ROI on benefits spend, incentivizing employees to stay longer and enhancing an organization's overall culture. 

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