Better Employee Retention: 8 Key Ways to Retain Top Talent

Discover eight key ways to retain top talent and build a culture of happy, engaged, and fulfilled team members. Focus on understanding employees’ core needs and vision for growth to reduce turnover.

In a world of “quiet quitting”, “the great resignation”, and the power dynamic shift from employer to employee, organisations can no longer afford to look past the importance of employee retention.

In 2023, anyone can become an influencer, entrepreneur, or affiliate marketer to get out from under their company’s wing and go out on their own instead.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand that many employees are at your company by choice. That means if they feel dissatisfied, disengaged, or unvalued, you can bet their days with your organisation are numbered.

On the flip side, nurturing an employee by caring about their core needs and vision for growth will help you see better employee retention, but it can also help you shape your company’s future leaders.

What’s more, employees who get the purpose they want from work report better energy, satisfaction, health, and engagement than their less-satisfied peers.

If you’re ready to retain top talent and build a company culture where employees feel valued, seen, and supported, read on to learn eight key ways you can do just that.

Give them the tools they need to succeed

Set your employees up for success by giving them everything they need to thrive at work. This may include providing access to efficient tools, removing information silos, and pairing them up with aligned teams.

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You can also set employees up for success by giving them career development opportunities via specialised training and certifications. Take this tip up a notch by offering personal development opportunities, too.

For instance, if you’re in the IT industry, consider purchasing tickets for data science conferences to expose employees to the latest trends and best practices in their field while also giving them a chance to network and learn from experts in their industry.

Or, if you lead a sales team that specialises in selling insurance plans, consider sending them to insurance education workshops or offering focused sales training, such as how to understand lead scoring points or how to set up segmented campaigns.

If you’re in the accounting industry, consider signing your CPAs up for cloud accounting software training where they can compare tools, such as SoftLedger, FreshBooks, and

Xero to make sure they’re utilising the best solution at your company.

Regarding personal development, consider topics such as boosting mental fitness, creating work-life balance, and understanding emotional intelligence.

Offer benefits they actually want

Tailor your benefits packages to match what your employees value and want most.

While benefits such as sick time, vacation time, and health insurance plans should be standard, don’t forget to include speciality perks and benefits, such as financial aid for college, daycare stipends, and meal plans.

Your best bet?

Survey your employees to discover what they truly want. Send out a company-wide poll, suggestion card, or questionnaire to get into the nuts and bolts of what your team values most.

You can also host meetings and brainstorming sessions to better understand their “why”. This can also help you discover what kind of company culture they align with so you can provide the experience they crave.

Other speciality benefits and perks you might consider discussing with your team include:

  • Bonuses and tiered compensation plans;
  • Gym membership reimbursement;
  • Discounts to stores they shop at;
  • Tech and office reimbursement;
  • Adoption assistance;
  • Generous paid parental or caretaker leave;
  • Onsite snacks, drinks, and stocked kitchen;
  • Onsite wellness centres;
  • Ergonomic desk and chair setup, and;
  • Convertible or standing desk options.

Have a dedicated HR team

If you’re on a strict budget, it can be tempting to try to handle HR tasks on your own, but if you run a mid-size company or enterprise, you have to consider the immense effort it takes to balance employee onboarding, training, admin, payroll, and benefits without proper support.

And the truth is, when it comes to employee turnover, you can’t afford to slip in this area.

Employees rely on human resources personnel during all stages of the employee life cycle — from attraction to onboarding to development and beyond.

You must also consider the legalities and compliance measures during each stage of the employee lifecycle. If you’re not an experienced HR rep, you may struggle to do things the right way, which could come with a slew of legal consequences.

That’s why we recommend either hiring experienced HR reps who know how to work with cloud-based HR software or outsourcing to an HR firm like BambooHR or Paychex.

Bottom line? Never underestimate the power of an experienced HR team.

Give them flexibility and autonomy

2020 reframed the way employees view everything about work.

From workplace setup to scheduling to time off, the traditional office setting shifted toward hybrid and remote, giving team members more flexibility over their environments and time than ever before.

The problem?

When some companies tried to revert to their traditional frameworks post-pandemic, some employees fought back.

Enter: The great resignation and quiet quitting. A movement where employees leave the workplace to design their own lifestyles via freelance work, entrepreneurship, and more aligned organizations.

Now that ‌power has shifted into ‌employees’ hands, employers must give their team members flexibility and autonomy to retain top talent.

Freedoms like a flexible employee schedule, the ability to work remotely or hybrid, or the chance to choose their own projects can make team members feel independent and valued.

And speaking of feeling valued …

Make sure they feel valued, heard, and included

To boost employee retention, it’s essential that all team members at your organisation feel valued, heard, and included.

So, go out of your way to praise an employee after they landed a big client.

Say thank you to management at the end of the week for taking care of your teams.

And don’t forget to encourage employees to build each other up, too.

Here are some additional ways you can help employees feel important and seen:

  • Ask them to contribute during meetings and brainstorming sessions;
  • Validate their opinions, contributions, and ideas;
  • Give each person a chance to talk during meetings;
  • Have team members take turns leading group discussions;
  • Highlight each individual’s special skills;
  • Ask for specific feedback and implement it as best as you can;
  • Communicate professionally, respectfully, and kindly;
  • Ask them what you can do to help them feel more valued, heard, and included at work, and;
  • Hire a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist or task force.

Understand what meaningful work means to them (and do your best to give it to them)

While raises and perks matter, there’s nothing like the importance of finding meaning and purpose at work.

In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, “employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will.”

McKinsey also reports that good things happen when employees get a chance to reflect on their own sense of purpose — and how it aligns with the company’s purpose. Survey respondents noted that they’re three times more likely than others to feel fulfilled at work if they have the opportunity to engage in reflection.

For employees to feel comfortable divulging this information, meet with your leadership team to discuss how important their involvement is. Encourage managers to share their purpose with their teams to help motivate employees to be vulnerable, too.

It’s also crucial to make sure that employees feel safe sharing their personal values and purpose. Train your manager to cultivate compassionate leadership and stress how much the psychological safety they provide affects the employee’s ability to share and fulfil their purpose at work.

Once you’re clear on what your employees find meaningful, do your best to give them work that aligns with their purpose.

For instance, if you’re in retail banking, you might have a home equity banker share how much they enjoy helping small businesses grow. In this case, you might consider offering them the chance to train under a business banker so they can transition from managing home equity clients to managing small business clients.

Or, if you’re in the ecommerce industry, you might have a marketing director share how much they enjoy building and nurturing long-term partnerships. In this case, you could consider offering them the chance to build relationships with suppliers or manufacturers to further expand your business.

Offer plenty of manager support and mentorship opportunities

While the level of support your managers offer may vary, do your best to encourage leadership to build in time to mentor and support their teams.

Again, this may look different depending on your unique company and the individual departments you have, but you want to make sure you’re not making excuses as to why you can’t give employees support.

While most leaders are busy, one of their most crucial responsibilities should be to build up their employees and set them up on a track toward growth.

That may look like hosting monthly check-ins, asking for weekly feedback, or even designing a mentorship program together. Again, send out a questionnaire, poll, or comment card, or bring the team together to discuss their desires and expectations around mentorship.

If your leadership team just doesn’t have the bandwidth, consider asking seasoned employees to sign up as mentors. This can also be an effective way to nurture morale and team bonding as employees look to one another to grow.

Create an exciting and aligned career growth plan together

Image: StockSnap

Create an exciting and aligned career growth plan together

Offering growth opportunities is vital if you want your employees to stay at your company long-term.

But here’s the key: You want to present opportunities your team members actually care about. That’s why we recommend meeting with them one-on-one to create a career growth plan that excites them and aligns with their core values and purpose.

Here are some questions you can ask to help you both create an aligned growth plan:

  • Where do you see your future at our company heading?
  • What future do you hope to see and why?
  • What do you feel could be holding you back from achieving your long-term vision at our company?
  • What are your top career values?
  • Tell me more about your purpose and why it’s meaningful to you
  • What milestones and personalised support could help you reach your end goal?
  • How can the leadership team and I help you succeed?
  • What roles, tasks, and projects would you love to have in the future and why?
  • What kind of career growth timeline would you like to create?
  • What additional tools, training, and certificates would you like (or do you need) access to?
  • How often would you like to meet to review and refine this plan?

In Summary

Nurturing employees by caring about their core needs and vision for growth can help you reduce turnover and even help you shape your company’s future leaders.

If you’re ready to retain top talent and build a culture of happy, engaged, and fulfilled team members, we hope today’s article has inspired you to put yourself in your employees’ shoes and design an organisation with them in mind.

Remember, to boost employee retention, be sure to:

  • Give employees the tools they need to succeed;
  • Offer benefits employees actually want;
  • Have a dedicated HR team;
  • Give employees flexibility and autonomy;
  • Make sure employees feel valued, heard, and included;
  • Understand what meaningful work means to your employees (and do your best to give it to them);
  • Offer plenty of manager support and mentorship opportunities, and;
  • Create an exciting and aligned career growth plan together.

That’s it for now!

Are you ready for better employee retention? Don’t forget to bookmark this article so you can come back to it later.

To your (and your employees’) success!

About the Author

Ioana Wilkinson is a Business, Digital Marketing, and SaaS content writer for B2B brands. Born in Transylvania and raised in Texas, Ioana has been living the digital nomad life since 2016. From Barcelona to Puerto Vallarta to her new abode in windy, Oklahoma City, you’ll never know where Ioana will head off to next.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q