5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention  

By Kayla Sheely

How do you keep talented employees engaged and satisfied at your company? That’s what employers should be asking themselves in reflecting on the Great Resignation of 2022. While the job quit rate seems to have slowed down, it is important for employers to evaluate this phenomenon and incorporate best practices for retaining employees into company culture. The Great Resignation, followed by the rise of “Quiet Quitting” shows the impact employers can have on their employee’s productivity, happiness, and overall wellbeing.  

Not only do high turnover rates impact the remaining employees’ morale, but it costs businesses money too. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “employers will need to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement.” It’s more cost-effective for employers to create a positive environment that employees want to work in, and it creates more productive, more satisfied, and happier employees. As one study reported by Forbes found, happy employees are “up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.”  

So, how do we keep talented employees happy and engaged? Here are five ways to create a work environment your employees will want to be invested in.  

1. Empower employees to take authority in their own roles.  

One of the unique aspects of working at Voice Systems Engineering is that our employees work within a Holacractic structure. Holacracy is a system that helps break down bureaucracy and constraints and allows employees to make the best decisions in their areas of work. A driving factor in Holacracy is that when an employee fills a role, they are empowered to work toward achieving their role’s purpose in whatever way makes the most sense to them (within the confines of pre-defined policies and domains). Empowering employees in their roles can help instill a sense of ownership and engagement that can’t be brought about through micromanagement.  

2. Encourage (and model) work life integration. 

With the rise of remote work due to the pandemic, it has become easier for work hours to bleed into other areas of employees’ lives. Having the work laptop out on the kitchen table makes it easier to check work emails while cooking dinner or after the kids are in bed. At VSE, we believe that whether our employees are in the office or at home, their work schedule should fit into their life. If an employee needs a mental health day or to take time off in the middle of the day for a doctor’s appointment, they can just build it into their schedule. It’s important for employers to encourage this behavior, as long as the work is getting done, and model it in their own schedule as well.  

3. Ensure employee voices are heard and listened to.  

One of the goals of Holacracy is to bring transparency to an organization – the company’s priorities are communicated to allow each role to best achieve their purpose. A main concept in Holacracy is the idea of a “tension.” Anyone can raise a tension in their role, which simply means that they sense a gap between the reality today and a potentially improved future. Monthly “Townhall” meetings give employees an opportunity to add an item to the agenda for discussion or ask any questions they have been thinking about. Various roles within the company also utilize surveys to better understand what the overall sentiment is and to improve in areas for opportunity.  

4. Recognize employees’ work. 

Nothing can breed resentment faster than feeling like your hard work is being overlooked or ignored. It’s important for leaders to notice areas their team members are excelling in and commend them. Another important part of VSE’s culture is peer recognition. It can help employees to feel more connected to each other and the company when they are being recognized by their peers. Our Values Star program and new platform Bucketlist help achieve this goal.   

5. Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

We all bring parts of ourselves from other aspects of our lives to our job, and that is not a bad thing! The more employees feel valued and feel safe enough to bring their whole selves to work, the more creativity, innovation, and diversity of thought will flourish. At VSE, we created a role called DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Champion to specifically help our company prioritize the creation of a space where everyone belongs, grows, and thrives. Creating a culture of belonging is fundamental to maintaining a comfortable workspace where our people feel empowered and valued. 

Keeping employees engaged at your company creates a better company culture and a more productive workforce.  

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