Five innovative employee retention strategies

A boss shaking hands with her employee
A boss shaking hands with her employee

So, this superstar team of employees is soaring above expectations. It’s neat to have people like that backing your mission, right? But here’s the thing — you want to make sure they stick around and don’t start eyeing other opportunities. If you’re looking for ways to ensure your employees view you as an attractive employer, Whitman Associates, Inc. recommends focusing on these employee retention ideas. Explore our top methodologies to improve retention and employee satisfaction.

1. Invest in their work-life balance

This is more than just some trend thrown around to sound good — it’s an innovative employee retention strategy for keeping your employees content. Part of providing the balance your employees desire is supporting them in all areas of their lives. Respect their home life, mental health and responsibilities outside of work.

Because many employers have experience with a remote office environment, the boundaries between work and home are muddier than ever. Ensure your employees feel like you understand their needs outside of the job, including childcare, mental health days, boundaries outside of work hours and perhaps financial support to improve Wi-Fi connections or other home office requirements. With the definition of “workspace” changing faster than ever, it’s vital to update innovative employee retention strategies to match the new struggles employees face today.

Employees who feel that employers respect their work-life balance are more loyal, perform better and stay longer than employees who feel unsupported. Therefore, employee retention ideas that work to improve work-life balance are more successful.

2. Provide attractive career paths

You want to improve retention, and employees want to grow their careers. Instead of letting them stagnate in a particular role, make sure to provide measurable and varied career paths that help all your employees reach their full potential. This is one of a few innovative employee retention strategies that may require a shift in the structure of your promotion process. 

Develop a realistic framework that helps employees thrive in every situation. Whether they’re working from home, transitioning to part-time work or looking to fast-track their career, you must create opportunities for everyone to grow at their own pace. Ensure employees can easily access this structured framework for career advancement, allowing them to visualize their opportunities and understand the expectations for every milestone.

3. Adopt flexibility

Lady working on computer

Workplace flexibility that was quickly adopted into the mainstream during COVID-19 is now one of the most essential innovative employee retention strategies. As a return to in-person work is increasing, you might still want to consider schedule flexibility as one of your employee retention ideas. Variable shifts and optional weekend work to cover days off during the week can help employees be more focused on the job because they’re not worried about conflicting schedules and responsibilities in their personal lives. Plus, remote work opens the door to having remote employees in different states and countries than your home office, needing the flexibility to work outside of regular hours due to time zone differences.

Split shifts and flexible scheduling are innovative employee retention strategies that could be the difference between being able to work part-time, full-time or not at all! Some parents may appreciate being able to work around their kids’ schedules, and employees in a different time zone will probably be happier not having to work through the night just so their schedules align with local employees. Giving your employees more options is what improves retention and ensures employee happiness.

4. Offer meaningful growth opportunities

If you take a poll asking people why they’ve left a job, you’ll hear many of them cite murkiness surrounding the path for career progression. That should tell you that innovative employee retention strategies should address career advancement. From on-the-job training for higher positions and mentorships to leadership development seminars, your employees should be able to find everything they need to succeed within the company.

Employee retention ideas such as upskilling or reskilling workshops, training, and other opportunities demonstrate the company is eager to invest in its future. And, once an employee has grown beyond their position, reward them with a promotion and a raise. Going outside the company to fill leadership positions reduces morale and makes employees feel like they’ll never get anywhere within your company. Instead, promote from within whenever possible and watch as this innovative employee retention strategy increases morale and confidence in your current employees.

5. Respect your employees’ viewpoints

Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts positively and respectfully. When monitoring your company’s social media presence, stay neutral around targeted or controversial issues and keep your personal opinions separate from the workplace dialogue so you don’t inadvertently ostracize or offend any of your employees. Creating an inclusive workplace culture where employees feel heard is an essential and innovative employee retention strategy.

When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion, there are various employee retention ideas you can implement. Consider initiatives like employee resource groups or mentorship programs. Simple gestures like recognizing a broader range of holidays in your company calendar can create a more inclusive atmosphere. Your goal is to develop a sense of belonging. Your employees should feel connected to the company they work for. A culture of inclusion not only improves morale but also reduces turnover rates. Prioritizing respect for your employees’ viewpoints should be at the top of your innovative employee retention strategies list.

What’s your game plan?

When boosting your employee retention game, it’s critical to investigate where your company stands first. It can be a bit of a maze navigating new programs and processes, so taking things one step at a time is imaginative play. Let’s say you’ve got some employee retention ideas like flexible hours and support networks already, but there’s a gap in laying out a clear path for career growth. That’s where you should focus first.

Do you need guidance on which innovative employee retention strategies would click with your team? Why not shoot them a survey and hear straight from the horse’s mouth? By tuning into what your employees want, you’ll be better equipped to keep them pumped, focused and on their A-game. It’s all about chatting with them, understanding their needs and delivering solutions. 

WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.