Employee Experience

3 Key Elements of an Employee Retention Strategy

by Bridgette Palm
4 min

We talk a lot about talent attraction at Strategy House, but retention is just as important. After all, replacing employees is an investment in company time and resources.

Talent attraction and hiring is a costly and lengthy process; skipping vital onboarding steps can leave employees feeling disengaged.  According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can reach as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment — meaning the first year of employment is crucial for retention.

Instead of risking losing new employees, invest in an employee retention plan that ensures a smooth transition for new hires and helps them to become acclimated to their new job and team. If your business could use some help with talent retention, these strategies will get you started.

1. Develop an Onboarding Plan

Starting a new job is overwhelming. There’s paperwork to be filled out, introductions to be made and new systems and skills to take on. If you don’t have an onboarding process to ensure that employees aren’t rushed through these crucial steps — or worse, they aren’t given all the necessary tools and training to succeed— you need one.

In its simplest form, an onboarding plan will make sure you build a connection with new employees and make that time welcoming and easy.

New hires need more than one or two days of training. The first couple of weeks (and even months) can feel can be stressful. Expecting people to retain a large amount of new information in a short period of time can be a recipe for disaster on both ends. It’s best to have an extended onboarding plan in order to improve retention.

For example, an onboarding plan that includes a First 90 Day campaign can help you create intentional touchpoints that span over a 90 day period to keep new employees engaged and encourages them to feel welcomed and informed as they begin their career.

A First 90 Day campaign can include a mix of emails and engagement with team ambassadors that ensure a positive first impression on your company’s culture while providing employees with expectations and the necessary information about their new position.

2. Reinforce Company Culture

New hire integration is crucial to an employee’s success. Coupling that with the reinforcement of your company culture that helped to attract them in the first place creates an even stronger foundation for employee retention. These are a few of our favorite strategies to welcome new employees and engage current ones:

  • Access to leadership. The next generation of employees craves purpose. They want to understand what they’re working towards and how their efforts contribute to your company’s overall mission. An employee will be more engaged if they feel they are working toward a common goal.
  • Quarterly vision updates. Implementing quarterly state-of-the-company meetings that address company goals, progress, and successes is an effective way to keep employees old and new connected to the overall company vision.
  • Transparent communication. An open line of communication with leadership shows employees that their opinions are valuable. Transparent communication also allows leadership to get insight into improvements which can in turn boost overall employee satisfaction.
  • One-on-one reviews. One-on-one quarterly reviews, or touch base meetings, can be a great way to check in on employees. This doesn’t need to be formal. Simply sitting down to have a private conversation about what’s working, what isn’t, and how to improve realigns the team while providing insight.
  • Employee spotlight programs. Creating an employee spotlight program can encourage employees to engage with each other in the office. Leverage your existing team to build culture materials and engage employees at the same time. This could be content featuring new employees, an internal newsletter, or even an employee of the month poster, displayed proudly around your facility.

Company culture is often a make or break element for employees. Finding ways to keep employees engaged and to make them feel valued can go a long way when it comes to retention.

3. Offer Career Coaching and Mentorship

Employees want to know they have room to grow and build upon their career. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if they felt their company invested in their careers. While Gallup stated professional growth and development opportunities are top priorities among millennial employees.

93% of employees would stay at a company longer if they felt their company invested in their careers.

LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report

Career coaching is no longer reserved for the c-suite. Creating a clear path for new hires that includes career track coaching is a great way to show employees you’re invested in their future. Engage in conversations about long-term goals and how you’ll help them get there through ongoing training, mentorship options, and educational opportunities.

Whether you choose external coaching, peer-to-peer mentorship, or group training, furthering your employee’s personal growth is crucial to their confidence and job satisfaction.

Continue to Invest in Your Employees

A strong retention strategy ensures employees feel invested in, are engaged in company culture, and have room to grow not only as employees, but as people.

Of course, not every manufacturer has the time and resources to create and execute these strategies. Get started with the Strategy House team to talk about how we can leverage your company culture to create a talent attraction and retention content strategy suited for your manufacturing business.

Bridgette Palm
Bridgette has developed a career around content. Her work as a writer and editor began nearly ten years ago, and since she has harnessed her experience working as a ghostwriter for business owners to develop marketing strategies that connect businesses to their ideal audiences through content. When not devoting her eye to content revision and development, she can be found reading, enjoying the diverse and delicious Milwaukee restaurant scene, or taking long road trips to explore America.