Create a Plan for Employee Retention

With the new year upon us, business owners are planning and setting new goals. One aspect of planning needs to be attracting and retaining employees. Over and over, we hear from employers that they are having a difficult time hiring employees. And once they find the “right” employees, many employees do not remain with them for very long. 

Any time you hire a good employee, then invest the time and expense to train them, you naturally want to keep them on the team for as long as possible. As such, recruiting and onboarding are just the beginning of the employee lifecycle; employee retention is just as important, and just as challenging for HR teams.  

Start planning now to attract and retain the right employees. This blog looks at ways to keep employees on your payroll. 

Planning for Employee Retention 

Make Sure You Hire the Right People 

The best way to avoid turnover is to ensure that you are hiring people who are a good fit for your business. While this is not an exact science, there are a few basic steps you can take: 

  • Make sure you start with a basic profile of what the ideal candidate looks like. 
  • Be clear about what the position entails, providing applicants with detailed job descriptions. 
  • Seek employees who are mindful and attentive to your cultural particulars, asking good questions about your company’s values and vision. 
  • Seek to identify alignment between corporate purpose and the personal and professional purpose of the person selected. 

Be Effective in Your Onboarding 

A good onboarding process equips employees with the tools they need to succeed; as such, it can go a long way toward decreasing turnover, as it shows employees that you value them and want to see them thrive. 

What does effective onboarding look like? 

  • It begins early in the process; remember, onboarding should happen before the employee’s first day on the job. 
  • Provide a personalized introduction to the company, whether that is a meet-and-greet or a company-wide email. 
  • Make sure new employees are all set up from day one, including their computer, email account, workspace, etc. 
  • Schedule time for the business owner or highest-level executive at the location to meet with the new employee to discuss company culture and begin building a personal relationship. 

Have a Continuous Onboarding Mentality 

Develop a mindset of continuous onboarding, providing even well-tenured employees with further resources to help them succeed. 

  • Create first-year templates, providing employees with an outline of some of the major milestones they should hit during their initial 12 months on the team. 
  • Communicate expectations clearly and concisely. 
  • Ask employees about their personal and professional development goals and customize ongoing training opportunities accordingly. 

Recognize Employees 

Develop the right habits to recognize employees, letting them know that you see and value their hard work. Some examples: 

  • Make sure you acknowledge jobs-well-done with concrete examples, not just generic accolades. 
  • Provide public praise for employees who go above and beyond. 
  • Keep a log of the recognition you bestow, which can help you identify top-tier talents. 

Reassess Benefits 

A robust benefits package can be invaluable for employee retention. To ensure benefits plans address your employees’ evolving needs, use regular surveys to solicit feedback. Also make sure you keep an eye on the types of compensation packages your competitors are offering. 

Develop a Plan to Retain Top Talents 

There is much you can do to position employees for success, to help them feel valued, and to boost retention.  

Bill McAvinney is the owner of McAvinney and Associates (, an employee benefits company est. 1990 affiliated with Whitewater consulting. 

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