3 Subtle Signs You Need to Revisit Your Employee Retention Strategy

2 min read
Dec 12, 2014

Employee Retention StrategyThe average American will hold 11.3 jobs during their working years, which means it is more important than ever to reevaluate employee retention strategies. Your employees won’t stay at your company for years just because you offer free lunch or great health benefits. Retention doesn’t just happen, it is something you constantly need to evaluate and tweak.

The cost of losing a mid-level employee is as much as 150% of his or her annual salary. Think about it: you have the costs of hiring a new person, on-boarding that person, and losing productivity and engagement for that period of time. Not to mention all the knowledge and expertise you lose when a seasoned employee leaves.

If you worry about your employees sticking around, you need to make changes fast. There is no time to wait and see if employees actually start leaving, because once they do, it will be even harder to recover.

Here are three subtle signs that your employee retention strategy may be lacking:

1. Employees don’t care about the details: Employees who are the most passionate and engaged ask about the details. When an exciting project comes up, they will ask many questions, like “What little things do we need to accomplish to make this work?” or “Can I take on more responsibility to help complete this project?” They challenge themselves to think strategically and make the effort to go above and beyond. Employees who aren’t interested in your company for the long run aren’t going to push themselves and instead do the bare minimum to get by.

2. Lack of feedback from managers: Retention strategies aren’t only about making sure employees are happy and engaged. It’s also about ensuring active participation from managers. Employees want to learn new skills, hear feedback on their current work, and ask questions to experienced colleagues. If managers aren’t taking the time to develop their employees, they won’t feel valued and appreciated, and will crave new opportunities where they can grow. 

3. Office camaraderie isn’t flourishing: Employees don’t need to be BFFs with their colleagues, but a healthy organizational culture is one where employees collaborate well and enjoy spending 40 hours a week together. Poor cultural fit is one of the most common reasons people leave. To set your strategy up for success, you need to reevaluate your interview process, making sure candidates talk with different colleagues and are asked well thought-out questions. Improving retention starts at the beginning with making sure you bring on the right person.

Turnover is costly to your business and can also damage morale with remaining employees. You need to be aware and attuned to the signs of your employees to course-correct before they leave. If you can recognize the warning signs, you can fix your employee retention strategy before they’re out the door.


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