What are some best practices for employers trying to retain employees in today’s job market? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
As a general rule, the best way to retain employees is to give them what they want. So what is that, exactly? A few years ago, the headlines might have led us to believe that outlandish play areas and free latte carts were the end-all and be-all of employee happiness. But, things have changed (gestures broadly at everything).
After almost two and a half years of modified and often fully remote work, as well as significant shifts in how products and services are offered, employees are placing a high value on flexibility.
They know things can be done differently than they were pre-COVID and they also know how valuable they are. This shows up as a desire—or outright demand—for flexibility from employers, which can be summarized in five main elements.
- Offering flexible scheduling and working hours
- Offering flexible remote and hybrid work options
- Proactively reviewing market wages to update compensation targets
- Tailoring benefits to specific employee situations to enable the highest quality of life (careful with pay equity here, though)
- Considering employee quality of life when making compensation decisions
The organizations that are delivering on these elements are seeing significant results. Over the last year, they were five times more likely to report elevated employee morale, six times more likely to report an improved ability to hire, and three times more likely to report increased workforce productivity.
Mineral’s 2022 State of HR Report also indicates that while attracting and retaining talent were two of the top three challenges for organizations with Weak HR, those with Strong HR generally weren’t struggling in those areas. Their priorities were instead employee morale, employee mental health, and training and development. Strong HR was characterized by the following:
- Thoughtful compensation
- Good work-life balance
- Potential for career growth
- Appropriate workload
Combining the flexibility that employees want with the characteristic of Strong HR is a recipe for retention success. Of course, many employers can’t do or offer all of these, and that’s okay. Since we’re talking about retention here, let’s cut to the chase: start by doing what you can to make your organization a more attractive place to work than your competitors’ organizations. Maybe you can’t do flexible schedules, but you can offer some unique benefits. Perhaps you can’t pay a cent more, but with a little creativity you can allow employees to modify their schedules or work from home. Maybe you can’t afford a lot of paid training, but you can invest time in creating career ladders and having conversations with employees about where they see themselves in a year or two. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and even small improvements can improve morale and reduce costly turnover.