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5 Employee Retention Strategies for 2021


2020 and 2021 have brought a new set of challenges to employers – and their workers. Unless your business delivered essential services, it is likely that most of your employees worked from home. While many businesses have “weathered the storm” and will return to doing business as usual, others are facing larger challenges. The power has shifted from employer to the workforce, with hundreds of thousands of unfilled positions and employers vying to attract and retain employees. The last thing you need is to lose your most valuable personnel. Keeping your talent onboard and loyal requires a carefully crafted strategy for employee retention.

Millennials and Gen X: Your Primary Workforce

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the USA labor force, according to the Pew Research Center. Gen Xers are a close second. These two generations have some significant differences when compared to their predecessors. Understanding the differences can be helpful in planning how to retain the best talent.

1. Wages and Group Benefits

It is a given that offering competitive wages, bonuses, and group benefits are the foundation of any employee retention strategy. Offer competitive group benefits to your employees, including:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Group disability insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Retirement plans that match employee contributions
  • Bonus plans

While these and other standard benefits are critical, today’s employees care deeply about company culture. They do not flourish under old-school corporate practices, but rather they seek employment at businesses that hold their values on a range of issues. To attract the best talent, consider taking certain actions, such as establishing a team of volunteers to participate in various efforts in the local community, including clean-ups, mentoring, or other local initiatives.

2. Perks

The types of perks that can make a significant difference in employee loyalty include:

  • In-house training sessions and workshops
  • New hire mentoring
  • Free coffee, healthy snacks, and lunches
  • Assistance with college debt
  • Tuition reimbursement for advanced training
  • Paid leave for parents
  • Flexible work schedules
  • PTO for volunteer work
  • Pet-friendly offices spaces
  • Option to work from home
  • Personal engagement with employees by senior management

3. Technology 

Your company must be equipped with the latest technology to appeal to the current workforce who are exceptionally tech-savvy. You should consider offering your employees smartphones, laptops, and other devices as part of their contract, with consistent upgrades. 

4. Employee Enhancement 

Automated HR systems make a difference to your employees, allowing them to manage their own benefits through a personal portal without endless paperwork. This frees up HR significantly, allowing them to focus on employee enhancement. HR personnel can spend the time they gain surveying employees to keep ahead of any developing issues and discuss employee enhancement with training or education. Hold one-on-one meetings with the stars at your organization, ask for their input, implement the changes that make sense, and always acknowledge their feedback.

5. The New Corporate Culture: Friendly, Accessible, and Relationship-Based

While group benefits will always matter in employee retention, your company culture is of crucial importance to the best candidates. Many potential candidates will check social media, and sites like Glassdoor that allow employees to post positive and negative reviews may create a bigger impact than you know. Ensure your social media is monitored by a professional and that your good works are promoted on these platforms. Finding and keeping the best of the best may sound daunting, but once you put the right systems in place, it is not difficult to manage. Review your employee retention plan every year to keep it fresh and keep your employees informed and engaged, and you can’t lose.

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