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Employee Retention Strategies from a Company with 95% Retention

June 2, 2017

employee retention strategies

It’s no secret that employee retention is important for the success of a company. The cost of sourcing, interviewing, hiring, training and guiding a new employee add up to a significant portion of their salary, but some companies take very few steps to ensure that their investment in a new employee pays off.

Maybe there’s a set number of hours, days or deliverables that an employee needs to reach in order to “off-set” the cost of hiring them, but you don’t want this bare minimum. You want good employees to stick around for as long as they can, as their absence means delayed work and a disruption for your other employees. Additionally, having employees who are invested in their jobs and enjoy their work is a large draw for talented candidates, who will want to join your happy team.

Besides the benefits of high retention, many companies seek to avoid the damage caused by retention problems. High turnover is highly expensive, highly disruptive for employees and highly unattractive for new employees. When a new hire sees experienced co-workers quitting left and right, you can bet that they won’t be far behind.

We think that the best way to choose your strategy is basing it on strategies that have been proven to work, so we chose to look at a company with a 95% retention rate.

Joel Grossman is COO at Location Labs and, in an exclusive interview, he shared some of the insights, practices and philosophies that have helped his company to reach this high rate of retention. 

Retention Starts Long Before an Employee Decides to Leave

“Rather than focusing on attrition, start paying attention to how your employees are interacting with management and with each other while they’re there.”

To build a lasting trend of retention, you need to examine the way in which employees, managers and management are interacting.

50% of people have left a job because of their relationship with their boss, and retaining that manager who “is how he is,” may result in continued retention problems in their department. Managers need to understand their role in retention at your company, and their role in supporting employees.

Manager should also conduct retention interviews with their reporting employees on an annual or even semi-annual basis. Managers should conduct these interviews like they’re trying to re-hire employees and should ask employees if there are any practices or people who are making them consider changing jobs. These interviews should not put pressure on employees and, if the manager interviewing them is part of the problem, the employee should be able to address this problem without fear of backlash.

High Retention Comes from High Productivity

“For me, retention is not a specific area you focus on. It’s sort of an offshoot of productivity. Folks who are happy stay and do the most effective work.”

“In knowledge work, it’s really important that people feel empowered and productive.”

Feeling unproductive or disengaged in work is one of the leading causes of disengagement and turnover. When an employee feels miss-managed into being un-productive or unproductive due to an outdated technology, finding a better job is sure to be on the top of their list.

When an employee feels like a valued member of a productive team, however, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and more likely to operate at their peak performance. By empowering them to reach new heights of productivity with supportive co-workers and managers, you help them to build professional self-esteem and build a long-term connection with your company.

High retention Comes from a Healthy Company Culture

“A healthy environment has disagreements, but they’re vigorous and healthy,” says Grossman. “Communication is open and ideas are debated.”

A lively, healthy company culture is essential for establishing long term retention at any company.

No matter how great your “About us” page makes your company culture sound, current employees and new hires will be affected by your company’s work environment, and so will their retention. When employees feel lesser than their superiors, when they’re afraid to speak their mind or when they feel uncomfortable with prevailing attitudes at the company, it’s a sign of a company culture in need of some TLC.

A healthy company culture is one that helps everyone relax while they’re at work and one that makes employees feel like they’re part of something greater. When an employee feels connected to their co-workers, managers and the management of your company, they will feel more at home at work and are likely to work harder and be retained longer.

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Founder and CEO of SkillGigs
A consummate innovator, Kashif is the brains behind SkillGigs. Kashif caught the entrepreneurial bug at age 10 while visiting his father’s manufacturing facility. He developed a love for programming after writing his first lines of code at age 11 and founded his first company, an IT consulting firm at age 25 which he bootstrapped to profitability within its first year. After exiting that venture, he started three additional companies, IQTech Pros, the world’s largest full service IT integration network with over 30,000 members, NursesPro, a travel nurse staffing company servicing some of the largest hospital systems in the US and TAMH a holding and investment company which he took public in the UK. Beyond growth hacking his way to success, Kashif enjoys traveling the world and is an acclaimed songwriter.
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