8 Small Policy Changes That Can Significantly Strengthen Retention - Global Trade Magazine
  November 12th, 2021 | Written by

8 Small Policy Changes That Can Significantly Strengthen Retention

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  • In 2019, 20% of workers who left a job did so because of career development-related reasons.
  • Workers quitting because of pay and benefits-related reasons have increased by more than 26% since 2010.
  • According to one survey, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a major factor.

Worker shortages are plaguing the warehousing and logistics industry. While many companies are looking for new ways to attract workers to remediate the situation, retention is just as, if not more, important.

Without strong retention, recruitment will do little good. Replacing a salaried employee also costs six to nine months’ salary on average, so retention is far more affordable. Thankfully, even small policy changes can strengthen employee retention. Here are eight examples.

1. Tighten the Recruitment Process

Retention starts with hiring. Employers can prevent many turnover cases by hiring workers who are more likely to stay in the first place. The first step to achieve that is to ensure that job postings are accurate and transparent.

One study found that nearly half of all workers have left a job because it didn’t meet their expectations. Instead of relying on vague language and buzzwords, job descriptions should offer specific details about the position. That way, any applicants understand the roles they’re taking on, preventing disillusionment down the line.

Job seekers will also appreciate honesty. Being transparent in the recruitment process may give new hires a better starting impression of the workplace.

2. Create Upward Mobility Opportunities

One of the most crucial policy changes for better retention is to enable upward mobility. In 2019, 20% of workers who left a job did so because of career development-related reasons. In fact, career development has been the number one reason employees leave for 10 straight years.

This issue has a relatively straightforward fix, too. When a new position opens up, instead of looking for outside hires, companies should promote from within. Businesses should also look to create plenty of opportunities for advancement to give workers a career growth goal.

Career development opportunities can be more than raises and promotions, too. Courses to teach employees new skills or fund their education will help increase retention, too.

3. Accept Anonymous Feedback

Another simple yet effective policy change to make is to have a system for anonymous feedback. Workers may have suggestions for improving the workplace but may fear retribution if management can trace their comments back to them. Anonymous feedback forms let employees speak up confidently.

It’s important to respond to this feedback, too. Making changes that workers want can help ensure the workplace fosters a positive environment. Employees will also feel empowered if they see how their actions impact the workplace, and empowered workers are 33% more likely to stay for three years.

It can help to encourage workers to use these systems, too. That encouragement will promote an air of trust and transparency and empower them further.

4. Support Worker Health

Lifestyle-related benefits are easy to overlook but can be an effective policy change to retain employees. Healthy workers are likely to feel happier and more satisfied, and employers can help them be healthy. By offering perks that support healthy worker lifestyles, businesses can show their employees that they care about their well-being.

Providing nutritious food options in company cafeterias is an easy change to make. Foods high in nutrients like vitamin C can boost workers’ immune systems, helping them feel stronger and healthier. Providing exercise programs or occasional on-site massage therapy can help too.

5. Communicate With Employees Often

Along similar lines, it’s important to maintain communication with employees. Studies show that nearly half of Americans feel lonelier than usual, so feeling seen and valued in the workplace can make a significant difference. Talking with workers will help them feel valued and bring any issues they have to light.

Remember that this communication goes both ways. In addition to listening to employees, management should inform them of any upcoming opportunities and changes often. If workers don’t understand what’s going on at the company, they’ll feel underutilized and unimportant, leading to turnover. In contrast, feeling involved can convince them to stay.

6. Maintain Competitive Compensation

Most employers already understand that higher pay and more competitive benefits will help convince workers to stay. This issue goes beyond bumping up a starting salary once or offering new perks, though. Businesses should have a policy to review industry compensation rates periodically to see how theirs compares.

Workers quitting because of pay and benefits-related reasons have increased by more than 26% since 2010. This trend also coincides with the growing movement of more businesses offering new perks and adjusting pay rates. What constitutes competitive compensation is changing and changes regularly, so a one-time fix is insufficient.

Periodically reviewing industry trends can reveal whether an employer offers sufficient compensation or if they need to adjust. This prevents underpaying compared to competitors as well as unnecessarily raising rates.

7. Recognize and Reward Commendable Behavior

According to one survey, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a major factor. Thankfully, employers can address that with relatively straightforward policy changes.

Workplaces should have a policy of recognizing and rewarding positive behavior in their workers. Regular awards given to the highest-performing employees or praising workers’ actions and achievements in company newsletters can help workers feel valued. These rewards, though seemingly small, can go a long way in employee retention.

Workers don’t often expect much in return for good service. Typically, recognition of a job well done is sufficient. While monetary incentives don’t hurt, taking the time to praise commendable behavior can make a significant difference.

8. Encourage Employees to Take Advantage of Perks

Another seemingly small but significant change for employee retention is letting workers know it’s okay to use their benefits. Poor experiences with other employers may leave workers feeling like they shouldn’t use their time off or other perks. Encouraging them to do so can assuage those concerns, making them feel more welcome.

When workers take advantage of their benefits, they’ll likely feel more relaxed and fulfilled. When management doesn’t just allow but encourages it, they’ll feel appreciated, too. If employees feel like their employers care for their work-life balance, they’ll be less likely to leave.

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

Workplace changes don’t need to be disruptive to have a substantial impact on employee retention. It’s often an amalgamation of multiple “little” things that convince workers to leave a job. In the same way, making several little changes can convince workers to stay with their current employer.

These eight changes represent some of the most effective yet straightforward improvements to strengthen retention. By implementing these fixes, businesses can reduce turnover and related costs and foster a more motivated, positive workforce.