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Employee retention: That’s how to retain satisfied employees in the business
Before employees can really contribute anything to the company, a lot of time, money and effort goes into the process – it is obvious that companies want to retain their employees as long as possible. The magic word is “employee retention”, and the big question behind it is: How can employees be retained so that they are satisfied in their workplace for a long time? Let’s take a closer look!
- Increase attractiveness of employer
- Implement practical, concrete measures for staff retention
- Retain excellent executives at various levels in the long term
- Regular surveys and reports with Humanoo
All this is possible with employee retention measures
Retaining good executives is cheaper than finding and training new ones. In recent years in particular, the shortage of skilled workers has worsened again, and the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought even more focus on employee retention measures. More and more people want fulfilling work that gives them enough freedom, and trainees also take a very close look at what a new job has to offer them. Both large and small companies have long been thinking about how they can avoid fluctuation and instead inspire their employees and keep them in the long term.
Typical employee retention measures that everyone knows are the “always full fruit basket and free drinks such as water and coffee”. However, this is no longer enough to really create loyalty amongst employees – and is also far too short-sighted in terms of the objective. Effective employee retention measures can do a whole lot more than just keep the team happy during the short breather between two meetings. For example, you can:
- Maintain the existing potential in the company so that skilled workers are happy to stay, internal competence continues to grow and there are enough skilled workers to train newcomers
- Increase the willingness to perform and motivation resulting in greater success and higher performance with the same number of employees and there are fewer sick days
- Increase employer attractiveness so that it becomes easier and easier to find more suitable employees over time – and without additional costs.
Quite obviously, you won’t be able to achieve that with just the fruit basket. What are meaningful types of employee retention ?
The 4-level model of employee retention
There are several expert models of staff retention. One of these is the “4 Levels of Employee Retention” model. It is based on the fact that employees are loyal to a company on at least one, but possibly also on more than one, of four levels. A look at the four levels offers initial ideas for employee retention:
- The rational level: If you want to retain rationally thinking employees, you have to offer them incentives that are clearly tangible and very specific. A company pension scheme, attractive working hours or a large number of vacation days are such incentives.
- The behavioral level: This level is about behavior and habits – and as is well known, people only change these when satisfaction decreases. It is therefore important to show employees good prospects in the company, for example through clear promotion opportunities.
- The normative level: employees feel a moral obligation to the company (or to their superiors or to the team). They stay for reasons of loyalty, because they consider team spirit or common goals to be very important.
- The emotional level: Measures at this level of employee retention align with emotional needs. For example, regular team events or a culture of open discussion can create good relationships between colleagues and superiors. Striving for meaning and fulfilment in one’s own work also belongs to this level.
Beyond these levels, there is another type of employee retention: forced. In this type of bond there are people who see no alternative to their job. It goes without saying that motivation and willingness to perform suffer as a result, and that this is often followed by resignation and illness – this is also not very satisfactory for employers. You are certainly not aiming for this form of employee retention. But how can the many possible measures that you can use to achieve better results be implemented?
Specific measures of employee loyalty in practice
Another model that deals with the tools of employee retention is the so-called 6-pillar model. Before we get too theoretical, let’s take a detailed look at how these 6 pillars of employee retention work in practice in everyday business.
Pillar 1: Work environment and work organization
The first pillar aims to ensure that employees enjoy coming to work and feel comfortable in their workplace. An attractive working environment and a reliable organization are good measures for staff retention in this area. Here are some practical examples:
- Parking spaces for employees and spaces for bicycles
- Comfortable break rooms
- A varied selection of food in the kitchen
- A modern, well-equipped office
- Regular employee surveys (can be implemented with Humanoo, for example)
- Opportunity to work from home and/or part-time
- Improved work-life balance through hybrid working
- In-house childcare
- Possibility of taking a sabbatical
Pillar 2: health, sport and leisure
In this topic, everything revolves around ensuring that there is a good balance between stress and relaxation, between work and leisure time, and that employees stay healthy as a result. It is about physical as well as mental and emotional health. Practical ideas for employee retention include:
- Corporate Health Management
- Ergonomically equipped workplaces with good lighting
- Joint health days
- Team events that promote team spirit
- Nutritional advice
- Measures to deal with stress at work
- Employer-funded pension
Pillar 3: Personal development
People want to develop – and measures for employee retention give them the opportunity to do so. Anyone who feels they are making progress in the company and have a future, will stay. These measures will help:
- Professional career development opportunities, e.g. through regular promotions
- Paid training and further education
- Regular appreciative feedback from managers
- Opportunity to take on more responsibility or tasks
Pillar 4: Employer Marketing
The so-called employer branding and employee loyalty have nothing to do with each other? Not even close! In fact, employee loyalty begins long before the employee sets foot in the company – namely with employer marketing. Not only does this make it easier for you to find new employees, but it also means that existing employees are proud of their jobs and are happy to stay. Possible measures in the field of employer branding are:
- Clear, tangible values in the company
- An appreciative corporate culture
- Use of rating portals
- Appearances at career events
- Train employees as ambassadors of the company
- Grant a look behind the scenes of the company
- Build up a strong corporate image (for example, in social media)
Pillar 5: Corporate culture and communication
A lively, appreciative corporate culture means that employees are happy to identify with the company. They see themselves as part of a larger whole, find meaning in their work and are therefore more committed to their tasks and to working with colleagues. You can achieve employee loyalty in this area with the following measures:
- Clear principles and values that are known in the company
- Constructive cooperation in the team and with managers
- Constructive conflict management
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Pillar 6: Perks and other benefits
This form of employee retention is easy to grasp. This is about – mostly financial – advantages that employees have thanks to their contribution to the company. You probably already know most of them, but here are some inspirations:
- Holiday and Christmas bonuses
- Additional days of annual leave
- Discounts for own products or services
- Gym Membership
- Free access to services such as Humanoo
- Subsistence Allowance
- Contribution to home Internet
- Tax-free benefits in kind
- Travel allowance
How do you achieve long-term employee loyalty?
You now have an overview of many possible measures for employee retention – but where do you start? Tip: The big goals can also be achieved step by step, and intermediate goals are easier to achieve. They should also be specific and verifiable.
For example, you could replace a goal like “Employees are happier” with: “Three months after launching the digital health app, employees say they are 15% happier in the monthly survey.” This also means that regular employee satisfaction surveys are essential – only they show whether the respective measure has really changed something or is just a waste of money.
You need support? Then try Humanoo! In addition to over 3,000 personalized coaching programs, you will also find motivating challenges, easy-to-use tools for surveys and regular reports so that you always have an overview of the effects of your employee retention measures. Find out here how Humanoo works!