How to Improve Employee Retention Rates

27 March 2019

How do effective orientations help?

Research shows that up to 90% of new staff members decide to stay or leave an organisation within their first few months. Retaining new employees is a challenge for many businesses. Employee turnover, however, hurts a business—whether you’re a local construction company or a Fortune 500 firm, like Apple Computer or Ford Motor Company.

High employee retention benefits you significantly no matter what size company you are or what industry you’re in. High employee retention:

  • Reduces turnover hassle
  • Boosts employee morale
  • Cuts acquisition and training time
  • Creates dedicated company experts
  • Increases overall productivity
  • Improves customer service and experience
  • Cut costs and increases profits

Put simply, retaining employees for long periods makes a difference. Sometimes, it makes or breaks a business. Below we look at a critical reason why employees leave companies and give you some proven strategies that can help you boost retention.

Poor Orientations Hurt Employee Retention Rates

Poor orientations hurt employee retention. Orientations fail thanks to two factors: vague work expectations and poor employee integration. Addressing these factors in orientations is your first order of business. You want to make employees feel welcome, confident, and comfortable their first day on the job. But conducting effective orientations can be a challenge.

Each employee enters the workplace with different needs and expectations. You must meet these needs and expectations to make a positive impact on new workers. That can be hard. The secret to making a positive impact is having a flexible yet formal onboarding program that addresses the different needs and expectations of workers.

Creating and implementing a flexible yet formal onboarding program, however, goes beyond just boosting employee retention rates. It also:

  1. Increases corporate productivity
  2. Speeds up employee assimilations
  3. Builds confidence in the organisation
  4. Empowers new employees to do quality work
  5. Makes them feel the company ‘cares’ about them
  6. Instills trust in the new employee
  7. Aligns the employee’s work and the organization’s needs

While creating this type of onboarding program takes discipline, using technology helps. It allows you to create and implement a well-designed formal onboarding program that sells your company to new employees.

Using Technology to Boost Onboarding

Setting up a technology-driven onboarding process is critical to executing good employee orientations. It’s also critical to boosting employee retention rates. Companies with a formal onboarding program retain 90% of new workers.  

Technology can help you make new workers feel competent and comfortable during an orientation. For example, using digital resources, such as a cloud-based onboarding software, helps you intake new employees and train them in a company’s priorities, like health and safety, quickly and efficiently

Below are seven ways technology enhances onboarding. Doing so can help you make the right impact during orientations. Technology

  1. Improves comprehension through micro-learning  
  2. Builds engagement by simplifying onboarding
  3. Personalizes the onboarding journey
  4. Capitalizes on mobile-enabled learning
  5. Infuses technologies like AI into the teaching process
  6. Creates easy-to-access training resources
  7. Improves accuracy in employee record keeping.

These seven tactics help squeeze the most out of your orientation process. More importantly, they help you boost employee retention. That, in turn, increases company productivity and profitability.

Strategies to Boost Employee Retention Rates

Boosting employee retention rates, however, doesn’t stop with orientations. You also need to take measures that retain good performers. To do that, you need to find things that employees like in companies and implement them. These things are different for different generations. What works for baby boomers may not work for millennials.

The key is to determine what your workers want, then take steps to implement those things. Below are some examples of some changes you might make:

  • Improve your hiring practices — Boost employee retention rates starts by hiring the right people. So be wary of job hoppers. Hiring one or two is fine if you want to take a chance on someone. But don’t make it a habit.  
  • Increase pay/bonuses — Re-examine your pay and bonus structure. It may be dragging down retention rates. Raising pay rates beats hiring new people. It’s also much more cost-effective and cost-efficient.
  • Career advancement/development — Numerous studies link career development and retention rates. It makes employees feel like their careers are advancing and they’re getting somewhere in life. Set up a career development program if you lack one.
  • Flexible scheduling — Money doesn’t always motivate job changes. Millennials prefer schedule flexibility over money. It allows them to do other things in their lives outside of work that they want to do.
  • Relaxed workplace culture — Having a cutthroat workplace impacts employee retention rates. Today’s workers aren’t thrilled about high-pressure situations. They want a collaborative workplace that encourages self-expression.
  • Insurance options — Additional medical coverage is a big plus, especially adding dental insurance. This strategy appeals to many of today’s workers. Providing good medical coverage encourages workers to stay.

Implementing any or all of these examples can make employees feel like they want to stay with your company long-term, boosting your employee retention rate. That, in turn, can increase productivity and profitability, and make a difference to the health and welfare of your company.

Bottom Line on Employee Retention

It doesn’t take long for new workers to decide if they want to stay with your company long-term or leave it after a few months. Often, they decide on the first day. That makes employee orientations a critical tool in the onboarding process.

Creating a formal technology-driven onboarding program helps you induce positive impressions in new employees. Organizations with a strong onboarding program improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Those numbers are hard to ignore.

Taking a proactive approach to keeping employees once they’re on board can make them want to stay. So, find out first what things will keep your employees around longer. Then implement programs to infuse them in your company. Being proactive like this can’t help but boost employee retention rates and help you survive and thrive well into the future.

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Jenny Snook

Jenny Snook is content executive at GoContractor with the job of researching the latest health and safety trends in the heavy industry. Her past-experience includes the research of large museum collections such as the Louth County Museum, many from the industrial age.

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