Cow leaving for greener pastures
Cow leaving for greener pastures

How to Improve Employee Retention and Motivation

Talent Solutions

You’ve done it—you’ve landed the perfect candidate for a position you’ve been trying to fill for months. They check every box on your list and go beyond the qualifications in the job posting. Once you get them onboard, they’re a workplace dynamo. Everything’s going great—until it isn’t.

A few months or maybe a year in, they seem less engaged in the company culture and less passionate about its mission. One day, they inform you they’ve gotten a new job offer and hand in their two-week notice.

Now that perfect employee who was so excited to work with you has gone off for pastures that, apparently, are greener than yours.

If you’ve had this problem, you’re not the only one—according to research by TriNet, 63% of companies say talent retention is harder than talent acquisition.

Some of the top reasons employees leave their companies are:

  • Seeking higher wages or salary
  • Seeking better benefits packages
  • Seeking career advancement
  • Leaving an ill-fitting work environment
  • Personal life changes

You know that building a recruitment strategy that brings amazing candidates to your open positions is essential to keeping your competitive edge. But hiring an amazing worker or bringing an incredible new executive into your organization is just the beginning.

You need a great talent retention strategy to ensure your amazing new hires want to stay with your company—because in a tight labor market, if they don’t feel enriched, fulfilled, or supported in the workplace, they’ll find somewhere they do.

Why is employee retention important?

If you can’t hold onto your great employees and executives long enough, your workplace will eventually run into serious problems like:

  • Higher employment and recruitment costs
  • Delays to projects or services
  • Higher HR administrative burdens
  • Lowered employee morale and engagement
  • Reduced productivity
  • Inconsistent customer relationships
  • Skill retention issues
  • Reduced competitive advantage

Overall, your company’s performance, competitiveness, and reputation are all closely tied to how effective your talent retention strategy is.

If you’ve noticed high turnover at your company, it’s probably time to ask yourself how to improve employee retention and motivation. Let’s answer that question together:

Talent Retention: Three Ways to Improve Retention for Top Employees

If your company is struggling to hold onto hard-won talent, there are many different ways to improve retention. Let’s take a look at three strategies in particular that could help your workplace improve its reputation and its competitive edge: employee recognition and rewards, career development opportunities, and flexible work arrangements.

No one strategy alone is likely to be a silver bullet for your employee retention dilemmas. Consciously applying multiple tactics that fit your unique industry conditions as part of larger retention improvement strategies is the key to building your own great work environment full of passionate and engaged long-time employees.

Employee Recognition and Rewards Programs

A job well done is not always its own reward. If high-performing employees don’t feel as though their contributions are acknowledged or appreciated, they’re less likely to feel their hard work was worth it.

When you establish a structured recognition and rewards system in your workplace, you don’t just show your best employees that you appreciate their hard work—you encourage all of your employees to work harder and raise the bar for your workplace.

As part of your talent retention strategy, a recognition and rewards program can include monetary incentives such as bonuses or non-monetary rewards such as extra vacation days or professional development opportunities.

Career Development Opportunities

High-performing employees are rarely content to stay in one place—they’re looking for the next big step in their career journey, and if they can’t find it at your company, they’ll look for it elsewhere. When you prioritize the growth of your employees, you show them that your workplace is one that can take them far if they stick around.

Providing career development opportunities can include mentorship programs, training sessions, or even tuition reimbursement to support your employees’ professional advancement.

Flexible Work Arrangements

In the post-COVID era, many high-performing employees are wary of the risk of burnout and look for workplaces that can strike the right balance between their responsibilities to their job and their responsibilities to their families. Introducing flexible schedules and work arrangements to help your valued workers strike the appropriate balance could be a powerful part of your retention improvement strategy.

Flexible work arrangements can take the form of remote or hybrid work, compressed workweeks, or job-sharing. These arrangements can help your employees feel confident that you care about them as a whole person, not just numbers on a ledger sheet.

Leadership Retention: Three Executive Retention Strategies for Great Leaders

Employees are not the only part of your workplace where you can see problems with retention. Without the right executive retention strategies in place, your workplace culture could create a revolving door of executive leadership as well.

Leadership attrition can be a serious problem for your company because leaders model behavior and set standards for the rest of your employees. While executives have unique needs than other employees, executive retention strategies follow the same principle as employee retention strategies: making your leaders feel valued, supported, and encouraged to grow.

Executive Coaching and Leadership Development

Whatever your industry, leaders are always keen on further enhancing their skill and leadership capabilities. Developing tailored leadership development plans or executive coaching programs for your executives shows that your company understands their individual aspirations as a leader and is willing to help them achieve them.

Equity and Long-Term Incentives

Executives are more likely to leave companies where their interests and the long-term success of the organization don’t align. Offering equity stakes or other long-term incentive plans can ensure that they have a vested interest in staying on board.

Similarly, tying performance-based bonuses and other compensation to the success of key strategic objectives can foster a sense of ownership and commitment in your executives that encourages leadership retention.

Succession Planning and Career Pathing

One talent retention strategy for executives is to recruit them from within your company. Implementing a succession planning process to identify and groom internal talent for executive roles forges executives who are already highly invested in their role in your company’s long-term success.

Whether your executive comes from internal or external talent, providing clear career pathing and development plans helps them see a clear trajectory for growth within your company.

Find and Keep Great Employees With JBN & Associates

For over two decades, JBN & Associates has helped countless companies in construction, agribusiness, manufacturing, and consumer packaged goods solve their unique employee recruiting and talent retention puzzles. We don’t just fill positions—we work closely with each of our clients to develop hiring strategies and provide expert guidance to help find the right candidates and keep them.

Contact us today to start your talent search.


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