Biggest Employee Retention Problems and Innovative Strategies to Solve Them

Biggest Employee Rentention Problems and Innovative Stratigies to Solve ThemA company’s best assets are its employees, which is why employee retention strategies should be in place in any organization. Employee retention is more than just creating a nice compensation package and offering free coffee in the office pantry; it’s about finding gaps in your strategies for your employees through feedback and valuable retention insight reports. Once you’ve identified these gaps, management and human resources (HR leads) should find solutions to boost employee retention.

You might be wondering, why should companies aim to lower turnover rates or retain employees?

Here are the 3 Main Reasons Why Companies Aim for Higher Employee Retention Rates



High turnover rates equal increased costs. Not only are you using financial resources for recruitment, onboarding, and training; you’re also using up valuable time that key employees could use for their other core functions and more strategic activities.

Avoid productivity issues

Employee resignation, no matter how agile a company is, can still affect business process continuity. Especially for positions that require highly technical know-how, it may take weeks or even months for your newly hired employee to get you back to your previous productivity level.

Better experience for all stakeholders

Going to work and seeing highly engaged co-workers and supportive managers striving towards a common goal can be uplifting and make work more meaningful. Better employee retention provides an organizational morale boost and a good professional experience for all stakeholders, meaning the business, its employees, and most importantly, the customers. Happy and highly engaged employees are those who perform and provide better service that keeps customers happy as well.

3 Biggest Employee Retention Problems

Problem #1: Unappreciated and undervalued employees

There are workers in great organizations that leave mainly because they feel a lack of appreciation. The feeling of being underappreciated or your hard work not being valued can compound and lead to employees looking for appreciation elsewhere.

Solution #1: Maintain a feedback loop and encourage recognition.

If you haven’t started yet, then this is your sign to make your employees feel appreciated through a genuine recognition program. Recognition can come from their managers, team members, and partners from cross-functional teams. In addition, you should encourage teams to provide timely feedback not only when there are work issues but also when an employee has done great work on a task or a project. The reward for a job well done doesn’t always have to be monetary; sometimes simple recognition and small tokens can work, too. Make sure that there’s a regular feedback loop between managers and their team members for both recognition and discussions regarding improvement. You can also hold quarterly recognition events to engage with employees even more. The rewarded ones will feel appreciated and proud of their work, while their coworkers will feel even more motivated to do well.

Even when working with a remote or distributed workforce, a recognition program should still be in place. HR and team leads can plan virtual events for employee recognition as well as an online platform where co-workers can regularly give commendations or special badges to each other.

Problem #2: No opportunities for career advancement or growth.

Just as employees do not appreciate feeling undervalued, they also do not want to feel stuck. Sure, at this very moment, a worker may feel content with what they’re doing. But if you ask them where they want to be 3-5 years down the road, their current work might just not cut it. If employees don’t see a future with you (i.e., career advancement), then they may start searching for their future with another company. In some ways, you’re training these employees for their future at a different company.

Solution #2: Create a mentorship or training program that will enable you to promote from within.

From the perspective of the company, they might not see their future leaders in the current workforce they have. This is where succession planning may come into play. Companies should have a mentorship program where current leaders act as mentors to mentees who can become the leaders of the future. Mentorship can help with the sharing of important organizational know-how. Mentors allow their mentees to step up the corporate ladder with them to help see the company from a different perspective.

Having good mentorship and providing training will help equip your employee to do their current job well while preparing for the next step in their career. These programs also give management the confidence to promote from within instead of looking for individuals elsewhere.

Problem #3: Lack of communication and guidance.

Think of how many good ideas were parked or completely trashed due to a lack of open communication or because the employee didn’t feel welcome to share their ideas with their line manager. That’s a loss for that team and your company.

Solution #3: Make open communication a requirement. Train your managers to become leaders and not bosses.

Silos among teams and between managers and employees are not helpful to the company at all, so leaders should start a culture of open communication. Regular alignment and over communication should also be part of the company’s communication requirements. Email project management, regular team huddles, and perhaps a platform for the submission of good ideas are good initiatives to maintain open communication lines. It’s important to show that leaders are listening to employees and that what they have to say is valued.

Additionally, when the whole company welcomes good ideas from all levels, employees will feel empowered to provide insights and creative solutions. Behavior modeling from the top down can help build this type of culture. The human resources team should also provide leadership training to current and incoming managers to make sure that they’re molding leaders who do the work, listen, inspire, and guide teams to achieve greatness.

Keeping employees working for your company and keeping them happy will have a trickle-down effect on the whole organization. You will save both time and money while maintaining a positive culture. At the same time, your employees are fulfilled, productive, and see a professional future at your company. And ultimately, customers are satisfied with the type of knowledgeable and happy service that they receive from your employees.

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