<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=353110511707231&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

How to Prioritize Your Workforce and Improve Employee Retention

October 4, 2021

In a time when it can be hard to secure all the talent your organization needs for optimal performance, putting in the time and effort to retain valuable resources takes on even greater importance. So many companies in a variety of industries such as hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and more are facing unprecedented shortfalls when it comes to meeting staffing demands.

When dealing with an understaffed environment, it’s easy to go into crisis mode and maximize efforts toward completing the current work while trying to fill the empty seats. However, imagine what will happen when other key employees leave because they feel neglected, overworked, and underappreciated.

Some important factors to keep in mind to maximize employee retention in a new era of work are more obvious than others. I’ve outlined a number of key factors below that deserve your attention along with a few simple steps to assist with retaining your valued employees.

Maximizing Employee Retention in a New Era of Work

Define the different fit factors

Make sure there is a focus from all levels on helping the employees understand the following:

  • Job Fit – Ensure that the employee understands they have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics to perform the job successfully.

  • Culture Fit – Provide a clear understanding of how the employee and the organization have similar priorities in terms of how they view the job, the work they do, and how the work gets completed.

  • Mission Fit – Ensure the employee can see that the mission of the organization aligns to their own values and contributes to the larger society.

  • Manager/Team Fit – Reinforce that relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and others in the workplace are positive and can significantly enhance their work experience.

Related: What is Motivational Fit and is it Really Important in Hiring?

Prioritize the employee experience

While the fit factors listed above are important, there are several others to consider to retain employees in today’s challenging environment. Our experience from discussions with our clients suggests:

Communicate regularly with your employees

In addition to the above steps there are still more opportunities to engage in actions that will help you retain top talent:

  • Use assessment tools to understand who your employees are in terms of preferences and fit within the role, team, and organizational culture.

  • Ask employees what they are looking to get from a job and what is important to them (e.g., a consistent schedule, remote work, weekends free, benefits). While it takes time for these conversations, they may be the most important intervention that keeps them engaged and with the company for the long term. You may be surprised to find that money is not the driving factor (or even in the top three factors) for what is important to some of your employees.

  • With those employees who are in line for a promotion or a new job opportunity, discuss possibilities and career paths. Make it clear the company is thinking about their futures. It’s easier to engage employees when they have something to strive toward.

  • When employees do leave, conduct exit interviews and review the information collected from the process for specific reasons and themes. Use that information to improve the employee experience.

  • Hold team and company-wide meetings to keep all employees informed on what is going on within the organization. Share both current challenges and recent successes. Oftentimes, leaving this type of information up to speculation results in employees unnecessarily worrying about their future, and thus, looking for other opportunities. Share the news – all the news – as it will add to the sense of inclusion.

Read more: What Does an Effective Remote Manager Look Like in the Future of Work?

It is unlikely any organization can dive into all of the suggestions included in this blog simultaneously. A good starting point could be to look at the list, think about the unique challenges you are facing, and choose a few points that you believe are most relevant for your situation. Retention relies on solid information at all levels of the organization. Straightforward communication becomes one of the best ways to minimize unwanted losses of key employees.

New call-to-action

Trevor J. Shylock Trevor J. Shylock is a Senior Consultant at PSI based out of Princeton, New Jersey. He has more than 15 years of collective experience in consulting, strategic problem solving, assessment validation, structured interviewing, coaching, training and development, sales, survey design, leadership and organizational development, and statistical analysis. Trevor is an active member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and received the Competent Communicator Award from Toastmasters International.