4 Ways to Increase Retention and Employee Engagement

Employee Retention and Engagement

It’s a feat for businesses to retain employees for five years or more in today’s market, and the cost of losing them is high. The Center for American Progress claims that for workers earning $75,000 or less per year, the typical cost of turnover is 20 percent of the salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014 that the median number of years workers had been with their current employer was 4.6 years, while in 2015, CNBC reported the median for millennials was two years.

So what can businesses do to retain their talent? Fostering a work environment that engages employees is vital to increasing loyalty. Besides providing exemplary benefits, annual pay raises and monetary rewards, such as stock options, here are four ways for employers to boost employee engagement:

Give Technology Perks

A company phone enables employees to stay connected to supervisors, work from anywhere and save money on data usage. Providing staff with a device like the Apple iPhone 5c also allows them to download productivity apps that help them stay organized and get work done more efficiently.

For work that involves off-site events, having a reliable mobile device is crucial for keeping business running smoothly. It also shows employees that they’re trusted with corporate communications and that they’re accountable for their work while traveling on business trips.

Ask for Feedback

When employees feel like they have a role in how company standards are established or how business practices are dictated, they’re more likely to embrace them and feel like an integral part of the business. Asking for feedback makes employees feel involved and provides business owners with reasons they may be experiencing turnover, which helps them eliminate negative management issues.

An anonymous survey tool, such as Waggl, creates a virtual dialogue with employees to lead to constant improvement in the workplace. A community board, such as Yammer, enables employees to easily connect and get real-time feedback from peers and supervisors. We also provide employee satisfaction surveys.

Offer Flexibility

A 2016 survey by Global Workplace Analytics found that 90 percent of American workers would like to telecommute at least part-time, with two to three days a week being the sweet spot. Depending on the company’s technology capabilities, business owners should consider implementing a work-from-home policy with clear expectations to keep both employees and managers happy.

Whether it’s offering a few days a month or a regular day each week to work from home, having the opportunity to get the job done without having to commute improves employees’ quality of life. Offering flexibility in daily schedules rather than mandating specific in-office hours also shows workers that management cares about their work-life balance.

Foster Mentorship

Employees who only have an annual 30-minute review may not feel like they’re growing in their career paths. Managers should be open to more frequent check-ins and mentoring to make sure employees are content and moving toward higher achievements. Gallup claims that 27 percent of workers strongly agree feedback helps them work better, but only 17 percent agree there is open communication throughout every level of their company.

Besides scheduling regular check-ins, an open-door policy makes employees feel like managers are approachable. This allows those in higher positions to more quickly identify potential issues and mitigate them to prevent employees from leaving if they feel like they haven’t been listened to.