10 Benefits of Employee Retention for Your Organization
Talented employees can be difficult to replace at the best of times. And with the unpredictable flux caused by COVID-19, employee retention is even more critical. If your business is pivoting or leaning into new marketplace demands, you may not have the time and money to deal with employee turnover. Here’s a look at why workers leave and how retaining employees today can help keep your company going strong.
Why do employees leave their jobs?
Happiness at work isn’t driven by flashy perks but by having the support and benefits needed to thrive. According to a survey by Gallup, employees report five factors that can prompt them to change jobs:
- The ability to do what they do best
- Greater work-life balance and better personal well-being
- Greater stability and job security
- A significant increase in income
- The opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation
When companies can’t meet these needs, employees are likely to look for something new. Another report found that younger employees, in particular, aren’t engaged at work: nearly 60% of millennials are open to other opportunities. “It's possible that many millennials actually don't want to switch jobs, but their companies aren't giving them compelling reasons to stay,” wrote Gallup’s Amy Adkins.
Benefits of employee retention?
Retaining employees for the long term takes commitment and you may need to rethink your talent management strategy, from the hiring process to opportunities for learning and growth—particularly if your organization has recently shifted to remote work.
But the investment is worth it. The benefits of employee retention include some obvious follow-on effects:
- Reduced turnover. Any employee’s departure triggers a cascade of activities and disruptions, from exit interviews, job posts, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, to onboarding.
- Reduced costs. Recruitment takes resources from both you and your team, such as the expense of working with a recruiter or staffing agency or the input needed to define the position, shortlist applications, and interview candidates.
- Reduced training time. Getting a new hire up-to-speed can be time-consuming. It isn’t just a matter of onboarding and setup; it takes time to learn about the business, get to know the stakeholders, and contribute in an impactful way.
But lowering your organization’s retention rate doesn’t just help you avoid the hassle of finding someone new. Taking steps to reduce churn also creates benefits that are less tangible but just as important:
- Stronger morale. When employees feel challenged, appreciated, and supported, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic about the work they’re doing.
- Greater loyalty. Morale and retention are closely linked: when an organization proactively addresses the needs of its employees, they’re more likely to stay invested in its success for the long term.
- More cohesive company culture. Turnover causes disruption, changing dynamics and relationships as teams naturally shift to fill any gaps. Less turnover helps foster a more consistent and unified whole.
- Increased overall productivity. Less disruption also means steadier levels of productivity, but loyalty is also a factor: employees are more committed to your success when they know you’re just as invested in theirs.
- Higher quality work. When employees are engaged by their work, and they aren’t trying to bridge gaps caused by vacancies or step up to help orient a new hire, they can focus their efforts on the high-quality work the company relies on them to produce.
- Deeper corporate knowledge. There’s value in being able to see—and learn from—an organization’s previous successes and failures through the lens of its unique history and culture.
- Better customer/client experience. Keeping top talent on your team can have as much of an impact externally as internally: customer relationships often take shape over years and turnover can disturb those connections—or even put them at risk.
Some turnover is inevitable. However, you can take steps to create the conditions your employees are looking for. For example, consider how many workers prioritize work-life balance—and whether your company has already adopted remote work as the new normal in response to COVID-19. Can you go further to support alternative working arrangements or remote learning and development? When a company moves to better meet the needs of its top talent, it becomes more desirable for them to stay on board and contribute to the organization’s future success.