With employment rates increasing, and therefore a lower number of candidates for open roles, retaining employees and slowing turnover is more important than ever. Here are nine creative retention ideas for employees to help you keep your top talent:
1. Open communication
How much do you really share with your employees? Do you encourage them to share things with each other?
I’m not saying you have to share the specific details of your most embarrassing moments, but you should let employees know that they can share with you what’s going on with them and you won’t judge them or hold personal information against them.
2. Get rid of so-called ‘perks’
So-called perks like foosball tables, nap pods, and even chefs sound great. But in a lot of cases, they’re really just a way for businesses to keep their employees at work for longer. Which isn’t cool.
Employees deserve personal lives and time with their loved ones. Work shouldn’t take away from that.
Stop providing perks so that you can pay less for more work. Start paying employees for all of their contributions instead.
3. Pay more
It surprises me how many businesses I know of that believe they can get away with paying below market rate because they have so-called perks.
On the surface these things can seem like a selling point, but when you look at the rising cost of living, many employees—and candidates—don’t want these shiny things anymore. They want to be paid what they’re worth at a company whose mission they can get behind.
4. Allow them to explore their interests
Allowing employees to explore their interests on company time—particularly when they’re relevant to their job—can be a great way to encourage them to stay.
Studying can be expensive. Investing in your employees’ development shows you care about them and believe they have a long-term future working with you. Not only does this approach offer creative retention ideas for employees, but it also brings other benefits such as upskilling as well.
5. Let them move departments
Sometimes, boredom strikes. Employees may decide they want a new direction.
Instead of letting them go, you could offer them the opportunity to move departments. Maybe they’d like to do something more technical and would make a great junior developer, or they want to try a more customer-facing role and would be super at sales.
You should never underestimate the soft skills employees possess, or their company knowledge. They can be real assets to helping you achieve your business goals.
6. Be transparent
I feel like many companies talk about transparency, but then hide a lot of their figures from employees. That’s not transparency.
Transparency is sharing everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. This shows employees that everyone within the business is human, and that not every day is filled with rainbows.
It can motivate employees to up their game, make them feel more included, and encourage more communication between everyone because the higher ups are communicating what, in some businesses, is a closely guarded secret.
7. Let them post on social media
Many businesses have social media policies that start and end with “don’t post about work on social media.” This is a really boring mindset, implies you don’t trust your employees, and shows you don’t understand social media.
Employee social media accounts can be incredibly powerful tools to market your business. Much more powerful than branded accounts.
For instance, 78% of salespeople who use social media outsell their peers.
Training people on how to use social media for sales or employee advocacy could be just the new skill they need to encourage them to stay.
You’ll never be able to monitor everything employees say on social media, which means that allowing them to share their thoughts about work says to the outside world that you trust your employees.
This reflects well, attracts a higher caliber of candidate, and builds on the open atmosphere you’ve already established. This is one of the creative retention ideas for employees that is often overlooked.
8. Be flexible and accessible
Quite often, businesses claim to be flexible and accessible until someone comes along with a health condition, or personal situation, that doesn’t fit with their current way of operating. This can lead to the employee, if they get hired, having issues. Or it could mean you get a negative review from a candidate on a site like Glassdoor.
You don’t have to have all the answers–if you’re not differently abled, you won’t know what it’s like until someone talks about it with you, and every person’s situation is different—but being open to adapting how you do things is key.
Saying one thing but doing another won’t fly any longer. Candidates and employees will see through it and, over time, you’ll find it harder to fill roles and your churn rate will get worse.
9. Treat employees with respect
Your employees are not automatons, robots, or AI. They all need to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom.
Forcing them to eat at their desks, or limiting their bathroom breaks, shows a lack of respect for their very existence. It also says that you don’t value their health.
There’s never a reason someone should have to eat at their desk. Meetings can wait an hour for someone to eat a decent meal.
Beauty Pie takes this so seriously that they have a “no meetings o’clock” scheduled into everyone’s calendars so that they get a break during the day.
Employees deserve respect. And they deserve time to themselves. If they do their job to a high standard, that’s all that matters.
Of course, if you feel something is amiss, talk to them. But do it from a place of compassion, not accusation. You’ll get a better response and come out with a better solution.
Retaining employees is about more than just offering them shiny objects and a fancy office. Those perks are becoming increasingly transparent to a savvy workforce of people who don’t want to be superglued to a desk, laptop, or phone.
Instead, leverage some of these creative retention ideas for employees. Your team members want flexibility, respect, and fair pay. The more you prioritize these things, the more likely you’ll be to attract the top candidates in your industry and retain them.
If you’re looking to implement several of these creative retention ideas for employees with one tool, Workrowd can help. Our platform makes it easy to streamline communications; market, manage, and measure employee interest groups, programs, and events; cultivate real relationships, and more. Drop by our site or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.