Employee retention strategies are a dime a dozen these days. From foosball tables to lunches with the CEO, it seems there are as many fads in the HR industry as there are in diets and fashion.
However, as with all good things, there are certain steadfast principles that remain true classics, because they happen to work.
We’ve rounded up a few of these evergreen stalwarts, as practised by some of the world’s most successful businesses.
Let's get started:
1. Foster a values-driven culture
Whole Foods Market Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Texas, and is known for exclusively selling products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.
They also happen to be the gold standard for employee retention in the grocery business, which is saying a lot - the industry is notorious for long hours, and normally had a dire lack of growth opportunities.
This is not the case at Whole Foods, however...
CEO John Mackey is known to use elements of Japanese management philosophies in his values-based leadership model and places a big emphasis on creating a sense of purpose for Whole Foods employees.
This blog post of his has gone viral numerous times. In it, he explains that it's imperative to establish a set of core company values that employees can galvanise around. The Whole Foods values, for instance, are summed up as 'supporting team member excellence and happiness' and 'serving and supporting our local and global communities'.
2. Focus on character when you hire
When it comes to employee retention, focusing on hiring the right people from the outset is often half the battle won.
Companies like Netflix have this down to a science. Patty McCord, the company’s Chief Talent Officer, believes that the simplest way to get yourself a team of A players is to focus on character as much as skills during the interview process.
As such, the Netflix hiring team takes great care to suss out skilled, mature workers who truly value the success of their team and the organisation, and will put this above their own. It takes some doing, but it is definitely worth it - when people work with excellent, supportive colleagues who are on their skills level, they are more productive, motivated and engaged.
3. Train your employees for the long run
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, commonly known as Hyatt, is a multinational hospitality company that manages and franchises luxury hotels, resorts, and vacation properties.
In an industry that is known for soul-destroying employee churn, Hyatt has also managed to have an average 12-year duration of service for its housekeeping staff, and the ability to keep up to 25% of its overall workforce around for 10+ years.
A top-notch training programme and hiring from within when it comes to leadership. As such, when you work for Hyatt, you know there is room for growth.
On top of this, Hyatt also goes out of their way to promote diversity and inclusion within their workforce. So much so that they've been named a great place to work for LGBT equality by the Human Rights Campaign and received mention from the AARP based on their initiative to hire more workers of advanced age.
4. Treat your employees as well as your clients
The Charles Schwab Corporation is an American bank and stock brokerage firm based in San Francisco, California. They're in the business of taking care of people's money, and they do the same for their employees as they do for their clients.
For instance, their company-sponsored retirement account matches whatever their employees choose to invest, and it can be boosted from the company employee recognition program.
Additionally, employees are enabled to help one another by offering financial consultations and support as well as financial workshops. Not to mention exceptional savings on personal trading and portfolio management! This is on top of a stock purchase plan, and comprehensive medical and dental insurance, by the way. Nice, right?
5. Harness the power of surveys and data
Multinational computer technology company Dell consciously shapes its culture and leadership in ways that engage their employees and give them reasons to stick around.
They do so by rigorously analysing every aspect of their culture, talent and leadership strategies on an ongoing basis. Jenn Saavedra, senior VP of Talent and Culture, says that they use surveys and analysis to determine what matters most to their employees, and take action to have a positive impact in those zones.
There you have it - five employee retention strategies that have proven extremely effective in practice.
As you can tell, it's about a whole lot more than just employee salary, stock options or tuition reimbursement. These company culture-boosting strategies consider the employee as a whole person and address their needs as such. Maybe it's time you do the same at your place of business?
Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months for insider perspectives on everything from employee engagement and work-life balance, to recognition and reward.
If you’re serious about making some tangible moves to keep your top talent around, we’d like to invite you to take a look at our comprehensive eBook, it's a 10 step guide to help you build an employee recognition program from scratch. Simply click the button below to get your copy 👇.