Three Ways to Increase Employee Retention

December 9, 2021

Last month we looked at a few ways that companies are innovating in order to attract new talent. This month, we’re going to be talking about how companies are managing to retain talent. Employee turnover is costly for employers in both time and money, which is why it’s so important to hire well and to retain the talent you have. Below are a couple of methods we believe that if implemented, will help you retain your most valuable resource: your people.

Build relationships.
Did you know that one of the top keys to employee happiness is whether or not they have a best friend at work?1 And we’ve all heard the phrase, people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. The people who stay at the same company for years are the people who have a strong connection to the social fabric of the organization and have close relationships with their coworkers. While you can’t force everyone to be best friends, you can create a culture that allows your team to foster relationships with their peers.

Conduct “stay interviews.”
One smart way to make sure your team is happy is to conduct “stay interviews2.” While these interviews aren’t a new concept, they are becoming more important for leaders who want to not only retain top talent, but see their employees thrive. Designed to be casual conversations, these interviews create space for your team members to be vulnerable about their role and future in the organization. Below are a few of examples of questions that would be helpful in a stay interview:

  • What excites you about your job?
  • Are there skills or competencies you would like to learn or develop?
  • If given the chance, what would you change about your job?
  • Is there a blindspot in the organization that you think should be addressed?

Recognize and celebrate your team.
Southwest Airlines is well known for how leaders recognize and celebrate their teams. Luckily, I got to see firsthand how powerful this can be. By celebrating your team, you’re showing them you see their hard work and appreciate them. Recognizing when things go well not only builds morale, but it also helps encourage more of that behavior. What’s celebrated is repeated.

At Southwest, one of our favorite ways to recognize team members was through Kick Tails. A person earns a Kick Tail by being recognized by one of their peers for a job well done; each Kick Tail then enters an Employee into a monthly prize drawing. The Kick Tail program is well known and loved across the Southwest Team. It’s a great way to celebrate others and to build camaraderie.

How is your organization creatively addressing the need for recognition? I’d love to hear from you!

Together, we truly can build Unstoppable Cultures!


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