Why your employee retention efforts are failing and how a better EX can turn it around 

By Simpplr Marketing
Employee retention - calendar date circled with "I quit" jotted down
Employee retention is down. Blame it on the pandemic, the state of the world, or The Great Resignation – no matter how you slice it – people are tired of working in the way that they’ve been accustomed to. It’s simply not enough for them.  But with the right applications, your company doesn’t have to be named among The Great Resignation. Here’s how enhancing your employee experience can turn things around!

Before we explore those options, here are some stats which reveal the true state of things as it relates to employee retention. 

  • Apollo Technical shares that according to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the overall employee turnover rate is 57.3 %. And there are two more relevant stats from the same source to consider . . .
  • It costs an employer an average of 33% of an employee’s yearly salary for their exit.
  • There is a 16% decrease in retention rates for employees who aren’t comfortable giving feedback to management.

Additionally, Workforce Institute’s 2021 Retention Report  found that around two-thirds of employee departures could have been prevented. 

And in response to this employee exit, companies are switching up how they approach the workplace and work spaces, growing and enriching their employee experience

But before you can enhance your EX, you need to know why employees leave in the first place.

Why employees leave

One the most common reasons people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel challenged, and this includes feeling appreciated for the work they are contributing to the company. It’s a main influencer in the trend of Quiet Quitting.”

Employee retention - hand holding out a sign that says I Quit!

Quiet Quitting is all over social media right now. And it’s not what you might think. It doesn’t actually refer to quitting, but to doing less work. In particular, it’s about doing only the work they were hired to do, during the times they are hired to do it––nothing more and nothing less. 

In short, this new trend is a cry for help from employees to their employers. They don’t feel appreciated for the work they’re doing. Instead, they feel used and overworked, with 39% of workers saying they work too many hours, which eventually leads to employee burnout.

And then there’s The Great Resignation, aka the Big Quit. 

This is the economic trend where workers are voluntarily resigning from their jobs and walking out. PEW Research studied this and found that in 2021 the majority of workers who quit did so because of low pay, no opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected.

So, all-in-all there’s a great dissatisfaction among employees with their employers and feeling under-appreciated on many levels – from pay to work expectations. And one unhappy employee will dampen the spirits of those around them, and that discontent can, and will, spread like wildfire.

So, employees are leaving in droves. And where are they headed? To companies offering a better employee experience.

What companies are doing to combat employee retention woes

According to Gartner, “91% of HR Leaders are concerned about employee turnover in the immediate future.” And as we’ve pointed out above, they should be. Employees are no longer waiting around––they know they can go elsewhere and find another job that offers a better work environment.

And companies are recognizing the need to change. So much so, there’s even a Master Class on employee engagement. Many are actively trying to combat retention woes by executing a purposeful employee experience strategy

HR Challenges - Your intranet: The secret to employee retention?

Here’s how leading businesses are changing to meet employees where they are:

  1. Balancing work and life. This has become non-negotiable. Workers are stressed because they have no time to really live their lives due to work demands. To combat this, companies are giving employees more options in the form of flexible, hybrid and remote work options that respect the home/work boundary. This is also a huge selling point for prospective top talent.
  2. Opportunities for growth. When there’s no opportunity for growth, people get bored or complacent. This isn’t the kind of worker you want, or need. Offering growth opportunities prevents employees from looking elsewhere. If they feel they can grow more with another company, they’ll take that chance. Plus, growth incentives keep your workers engaged and makes them feel that their work is appreciated.
  3. Make online training streamlined, easy and modern. A new employee is likely to be a little nervous and overwhelmed when coming onboard. Making onboarding as streamlined as possible will help ease their nerves, so they can settle in to become productive at their job. 

And continuing that education after they’ve been with the company is equally important. Things evolve and change, and your training should too. It needs to be user friendly, or you’ll be fostering frustration instead of satisfaction. 

A modern intranet that works with and for the employee, eliminating noise so they can find exactly what they need without searching for hours, is critical here.

  1. Invest in your company culture and be consistent. What are the shared values, goals, and attitudes––what can employees expect? Company values must be demonstrated. A fatal flaw occurs at many well-intentioned companies when they overpromise and underdeliver on initiatives that may have attracted new hires to a company in the first place. 

Be sure to offer a top-down approach to achievable goals that are demonstrated and heavily invested in company-wide, or don’t mention them at all. Employees will feel tricked if you do, and they’ll not only leave but likely blast you online about it too.

Employee retention - six employees fist bumping

Other important factors that impact employee retention are healthcare and sick days and allowing for mental health days. We also see employees yearning for the creation of culture committees on many wish lists. 

This is a cross-functional team of employees formed to ensure that different voices within the company are heard when decisions that impact workers are made.

Overall, the employee experience needs to foster health, happiness, community, and togetherness, as well as offer good pay, flexibility, and open communication. 

Ultimately, your employee experience will make or break your efforts––and your business.

Ways your EX will make or break your efforts––and your business

There’s the adage of treating others the way you would want to be treated. And that has never been truer than in today’s workforce.

As pointed out, the employee experience needs to be one in which the worker feels they are valued, not only for their work, but as a human being with ideas. And this comes down to fostering a company culture of care, consideration, diversity, inclusivity, and open communication. 

If a company culture is perceived as toxic, that is going to break your business. Likewise, if it captures all of the good things mentioned above, you may end up with a work team destined to last a lifetime, with retention becoming a nonissue. It happens!

The first step is understanding what your existing employees need to create a positive company culture. And that boils down to employee engagement and communication.

Employee retention - employee sitting at a desk zooming with four other employees

Ineffective communication is the top reason why people leave their jobs. It makes sense.

“Communications” is a catch-all term for many business buckets. There are all the files, training and ongoing education a company and its employees need. Not to mention just letting your team know that you’re proud of them! 

Most communications are online via email, files, dashboards or even text – leaving your workers having to switch between multiple apps and seeing time needless wasted while doing so.

Developing systems that help workers find things quickly and communicate in a timely manner helps them feel heard and appreciated. And if they can do all of this from one spot? Chef’s kiss. 

Technology plays a role in shaping company culture and in defining your employee’s experience. Having a modern intranet enhances your digital employee experience by creating opportunities for engagement and creating a single source of truth that is simple to navigate. 

It is critical to have tools that enhance your employee experience. Reach out for a demo to explore the new age of EX and finally get a grip on reigning in those retention rates!

Simpplr Demo 10 mIn

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