We are seeing the talent war continue as it relates to skilled, experienced professionals in most industries when it comes to finding certain skill sets. Once companies secure the new talent they seek, it is important they have an effective onboarding process given remote arrangements are the norm on some level for most companies. This tends to set the new person up for better success and satisfaction at their new employer. Also, we experience that leaders who keep their pulse on the culture have a much better chance at retaining their top performers longer-term.

While many are focused on recruiting new talent and winning that competition, they should not take their eye off the ball when it comes to ensuring their culture is shored up to retain the top talent they have.

Retention Strategies That Help Attract and Retain Key Employees

While there are many factors that play into hiring and keeping your key employees, below are some of the top reasons team members seek out and stay with an employer.

Flexible Work Environment and Work Life Balance

Offering the opportunity to work remotely one or several days a week has become more of the rule than the exception. Telecommuting is popular in today’s post-COVID work culture, and advances in technology have made the trend possible. Today’s workforce appreciates autonomy, flexibility and freedom from traffic hassles, and companies that have efficient processes and adequate resources are scoring the top performers. Team members don’t want to work overtime just to keep up. Reward employees with extra time off when tight deadlines require additional hours. The sooner you implement a remote and flexible work policy, the better off you will be when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent.

Competitive Pay and Health Care Package

A comprehensive compensation and benefits package is more important than you might think. To stay competitive, consider the full value of the offer you provide. It can be worth several thousand dollars to a discerning recruit, as well as key to potentially retaining an A player who is being recruited away.

Mentorship and Feedback

Mentorship is a top request of job candidates, as is receiving regular feedback on performance. Setting your employees up with a mentor or coach can make a big difference in their long-term success and well-being. In addition, most employees want to know how they are performing on a regular basis, rather than waiting for an annual performance review. By providing frequent feedback, you will give your team members the opportunity to learn and grow in real time, setting them on a path for continuous improvement and allowing them to make positive contributions to the organization. Implementing a mentoring program and putting a feedback tool in place will go a long way in securing and retaining top talent for your organization.

Professional Development and Career Pathing

Whether it’s a formal or informal program, make sure you offer your team members opportunities for personal and professional development. Provide continuing education, offer speakers on relatable topics, host lunch and learns, and make ongoing training available. Give your employees opportunities for advancement, and outline career pathing so they know how to get there. Offer the chance to work on exciting and challenging new projects and the experience of being part of a team. A good supervisor or manager is key to making these opportunities happen.

Networking Opportunities and Business Resource Groups

Many organizations support employee connections through networking groups, clubs or business resource groups. Groups such as women initiatives, book clubs, outdoor clubs, or young professionals feature guest speakers and activities where team members can gather and build meaningful relationships. When starting such groups at your organization, start with your team members to see where their interests lie.

Employee Surveys

Regular employee surveys are useful tools to garner team member satisfaction as well as monitor key elements that employees value in the workplace. To be effective, surveys should be performed by a third party, and all team members should be assured their answers will be kept anonymous. However, be advised that you should implement regular employee surveys only if management truly intends to listen to the results and make a positive change where they are able; otherwise, surveys can backfire. Used effectively, this tool can enhance retention significantly with leadership’s quick response to employee concerns.

Wellness Programs

Now more than ever companies are finding that prioritizing wellness – both physical and mental – is a top concern for their team members. By offering gym membership discounts/reimbursements, rewards for healthy habits, healthy food options, nutritionists, wellness coaches and other support, you are telling your employees that you care about them and their health. Many companies go one step further and offer mental health support and counseling to their team members. Make sure you have a program in place to support the health and wellness of your team members.

Company Culture

For current and future team members alike, a belief in the company’s mission, vision, products and services can be a make or break. Most employees want to know they have job security and stability, and they want to know how their role fits into the big picture. Cultivate a positive workplace culture where communication is encouraged and team members feel they can make a difference and are valuable contributors. Take the time to recognize team members for a job well done. Tokens of appreciation such as additional PTO or gift cards can make a big difference. Many times a simple acknowledgement, shoutout or team celebration is all it takes to boost morale.

Alternative Job Perks

Non-traditional job perks can also be a draw for team members. Awards, catered meals, company events, academic reimbursements are popular tools today as companies strive to retain top talent. Influence both recruits and employees with perks like laundry services, the ability to purchase extra PTO (paid time off), and opportunities to participate in organized community outreach. Company-wide community service days with local charities are a win-win-win for the company, employees and community.

Efficient Hiring Process

Top job candidates with in-demand skills are at the top of other companies’ recruiting lists as well. As obvious as this seems, make the hiring process as quick and efficient as possible to secure top performers before someone else does.

Retention Strategies

Companies that choose to look at retention strategies and ways to ensure their company culture is positive will have the greatest chance of keeping their best employees. They will be the winners, as the cost of turnover is not cheap. Maintaining a policy of no salary increases or bonuses can potentially put you at risk. When times were lean, team members may have been thankful to just keep their jobs; however, those who may feel overworked and underpaid now will look at new opportunities, especially if they fall into their laps.

Your bottom line can be improved by offering tools and programs that successfully reduce stress on teams, boost employee morale, and increase retention. Obviously, it’s the totality of the circumstances – not just one thing – that keeps workers in the fold. Companies that practice some or all of these strategies are reaping benefits, from both a recruiting and retention perspective. Companies have found it brings loyalty and high performance, as most of these employees feel their employer is showing sensitivity and working with them to ensure balance in their lives. Consider adopting work-life strategies into your company’s culture to help attract and retain your best talent.

Employee retention is a key business goal, and it’s critical to an employer’s success. By focusing on retention, companies will likely experience increased productivity and ensure consistency in their business.

Do you have an onboarding process in place for new hires?

An effective onboarding process is important to have in place to help new hires adjust to their new position and get off to a good start. A good plan should help new hires:

  • Acclimate to the workplace (both personal workspace and location of common areas like break rooms, etc.).
  • Get acquainted with who does what in the organization.
  • Understand the company and what it does.
  • Identify the company’s core mission and values.
  • Learn the systems and duties required for the job.

Along with the initial plan, which should be made available day one, there should also be parameters set to follow up on a 30/60/90-day basis or to have mentors in place to help identify if someone may be struggling.

Good employees are happy employees. Enjoying a new workplace and “fitting in” can be critical to a new hire. Create a buddy system and have someone help them acclimate socially, introduce them to others, or invite them to join a group for lunch or social activity. By having a solid onboarding plan in place, you are not only setting up a new hire for a great start, but you are making it easier on yourself and the team by managing expectations for everyone.

Best Practices for New Employee Onboarding

Remember what it felt like to get that “you’ve been hired” email or phone call? There was excitement. There was uncertainty. There was likely even a bit of hesitation or nervousness about what to expect. So, while you can surely relate to being the new employee, why not make every effort to ensure a pleasant and rewarding onboarding experience as an employer. Consider these best practices for new employee onboarding.

Offer a “Wow-Factor” Welcome

From the initial contact letting the employee know he or she is hired to the instructional communication about arrival on the first day, make the welcome communication process memorable. Consider crafting a fun welcome package to place at the team member’s desk or workstation on the first day or schedule a welcome lunch with the immediate team.

Structure the Schedule

Especially for the first full week, organize the new team member’s schedule so there’s little room for uncertainty or fear of what to do next. While you want to leave some room throughout the day to get accustomed to the new environment, processes, and procedures, it will help a new employee if they have a tightly structured orientation schedule to use in getting started. Don’t expect every new hire to hit the ground running.

Operate with an Open Door

Every new hire will have many questions at first. As a manager or supervisor, keep an open-door policy during a new employee’s first few days on the job, so that he or she can stop by and ask questions. While your goal will be to prepare new team members in advance through your employee handbook and job-specific manual or notebook, relational learning can often be the fastest way to train someone in a new role. Also, allow new employees to offer feedback on their training experience. It’s an excellent way to improve your onboarding process along the way.

Gather the Whole Gang

Nothing will make a new employee feel more welcome than a solid team spirit. Whether two, 10, or 20 team members, schedule some time for your whole team to be together during a new hire’s first week. It will be important for the new hire to interact with fellow coworkers to learn the roles each person plays with respect to their position. You can plan a fun, team-building activity or a simple team meeting in which each person introduces themselves and answers the new hire’s questions. Either way, the bonding time a new employee can gain with colleagues will help them get off to a great start.

The demand for talent and candidate’s mobility is at an all-time high. We do not anticipate a slowdown in demand for talent as companies are trying to navigate in-office, hybrid or remote working team needs moving forward. Those organizations and candidates are partnering with experienced firms like ours- giving them a leg up in this vastly competitive talent war environment.

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