As a recruiter, I understand the importance of hiring the right people. But as a business leader, I know that retention is just as important…if not more important!

We all know that replacing an employee is expensive, but did you know it cost businesses $617 billion in 2018? That’s almost double what it cost in 2010, just eight years prior.

Between the skills gap, record unemployment and generational shifts, recruiting the right people is no walk in the park.  

As a result, it’s crucial that HR and business leaders work together to boost retention. It doesn’t have to be expensive either – some of the best strategies for boosting retention don’t cost a dime. 

Without further ado, here are three things you can do today to boost retention. 

1) Offer Flexible Working Options 

Remote work was a hot topic before COVID-19, but the pandemic really opened the floodgates. Nowadays, professionals can reliably count on remote work options at countless companies. But many teams also sleep on flex time as an option for flexible work arrangements. 

Regardless of how you feel about the situation, the proof is in the pudding: study after study shows that employees love flexible working options. It’s not possible for every role and every organization, but if you can swing it, I highly encourage you to consider offering your teams more flexibility in terms of scheduling. 

It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal, either. For example, you could allow flex time while requiring employees are available for meetings and requests around core hours of 10-4.  

These are just examples, but it shows how you can offer team members more flexibility while still making sure you can schedule meetings, connect with clients, and work together. 

2Deal with Poor Leaders Immediately 

We’ve all heard the saying “people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” There’s usually more to the story, but we all know a bad manager can ruin the employee experience. 

I’ll be blunt with you: if you have concerns about a manager or see high turnover on their team, you need to either start developing their leadership abilities or fire them immediately. While both can be expensive, it is absolutely more cost-effective than replacing an entire team.  

The longer you let the problem go on, the more faith your team members lose in your company to place, develop and retain effective leaders. If you have great team members, you owe it to them to provide them with the best leadership you can offer. 

3) Offer Employees a Sense of Purpose 

This is a big one that a lot of companies miss. I talk a lot about purpose, but it’s for a reason – people want more than a paycheck from their careers.

Although we tend to think of millennials as the purpose generation, the truth is that everyone wants to make a difference through their job. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. 

Business leaders and HR need to make sure their organization has a clear sense of purpose beyond profits. Additionally, they need to make sure that purpose guides the operation of the business and is communicated to all employees.  

If you can make your employees feel connected to your purpose, they are so much more likely to stick with you for the long term. 

Retaining Talent Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive 

Like many challenges in business, you can’t solve retention issues by throwing money at the problem. While some aspects of retention do cost money (paying a competitive salary, good benefits, etc.), the truth is that a lot of the equation starts with just treating your people well. 

What are you doing today to encourage employees to stick with the company? 

If you’re interested in learning more about how HR can slash turnover, check out our case study on how my own company cut annual turnover from 40% to 3%. Click the banner to download the case study now: