How to Retain Your Best Employees During the Great Resignation

October 11, 2022 | Antique Nguyen

With threats of a recession on the horizon, many employers are wondering if the Great Resignation is coming to an end. However, survey results suggest that the trend will continue. That means employers should still take steps to reduce turnover and promote employee retention. Here are a few ways to accomplish that.


1. Be proactive and watch for warning signs.

Employee turnover can create significant problems for any organization, such as increasing costs, negatively affecting morale, and reducing productivity. To help prevent this problem, employers should be aware of some of the warning signs of high turnover and loss of staff.

  • Have management proactively solicit feedback from current employees regarding their job satisfaction and the factors involved.
  • Follow up on the feedback received.
  • Reach out to employees with declining job performance and work with them to address the causes.
  • Identify potential problems in company culture or management that may be driving away employees.
  • Conduct exit interviews with departing employees.
  • Make sure salaries and benefits are competitive for the industry, job description, and location.


2. Invest in your onboarding process.

Whether are onsite or remote, the right onboarding process will help new employees get the best possible start with your organization. Hiring new employees is a costly endeavor, so make sure your onboarding process helps you get your money’s worth.

“Without proper onboarding, employees are not set up for success and become frustrated, which can lead them to become discouraged and disengaged, making them prone to more errors and requiring more help,” writes Rafael Sweary, co-founder and president of WalkMe. “Ultimately, their productivity will decrease as they look for other opportunities. While up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding process. As such, the onboarding process has emerged as the new battleground for employee retention.”

Employers should understand the value of the onboarding experience and make it as effective as possible. This may include:

  • Establish your organization’s definition and goals for a successful onboarding.
  • Make sure employees are fully trained on company processes and technologies, and have the incentives and knowledge to use them correctly.
  • Invest in options such as digital adoption platforms to help guide the onboarding process.
  • Pair up new employees with existing employees, or create a mentorship program, to help new hires feel at home.


3. Offer appropriate financial wellness options.

Higher salaries may not be the only factor involved in the Great Resignation, but they are a significant driver as employees seek more competitive pay and benefits. Offering financial wellness solutions can foster loyalty, reduce turnover, and help employees weather financial difficulties.

Employers should understand their staff members’ priorities and economic concerns when deciding what options to offer. For example, older employees may be more interested in financial wellness options that will strengthen their retirement plans and help them use their benefits most effectively. Younger employees may welcome financial coaching, such as managing student loan debt, or benefits that allow them to invest in social causes.


4. Provide great customer service.

Many companies struggle to balance the happiness of their staff with the satisfaction of their customers. Starbucks recently received attention for a customer service approach that also encourages employee retention.

When customers have been inconvenienced, such as waiting in a long drive-through line, Starbucks employees are encouraged to proactively help, even to the point of giving away free coffee. Giving away free items, with a sincere apology, has become a small price for helping to keep stores running efficiently. This also reduces reducing the number of negative interactions that staff may experience with customers, an unfortunately common contributor to high turnover in customer-facing roles.

While giving away free items may not work for all companies, it is an example that other employers may follow. Companies should not only encourage their employees to provide excellent customer service, but also give them some leeway in deciding what that looks like. This creates happy customers as well as empowered, invested staff.

As the Great Resignation continues and companies struggle with inflation and other economic uncertainties, retaining employees should be treated as a top priority. Being proactive, creating a great onboarding process, and offering perks that match employees’ priorities can help create an engaged team that will stay for years to come.

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