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5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention and Motivation

One of the most challenging tasks for modern businesses is retaining their talent and ensuring those who remain are motivated. Not an easy task, but one that can most definitely be achieved with the right approach, consideration, and diligence. The first thing that’s crucial to note is that employee motivation and retention aren’t HR problems. They’re tasks that entire businesses must tackle and make strides to achieve.
For businesses, employee retention isn’t just about having the best chess pieces on the board. Replacing employees and retraining can be tricky and very expensive if it’s a regular occurrence. So, it’s in a business’s best interest to do its utmost to retain its employees and endeavour to boost employee motivation.  
Fortunately, there are many methods, and strategies companies can adopt to retain employees. And we don’t mean just throwing a big bag of cash at them. After all, studies have shown high percentages of employees quit due to discontent rather than pay or similar issues. So, let’s take a look at a few effective retention strategies.

Employee Motivation and Retention Starts with Leaders

Leadership roles and the people who inhabit them hugely influence the workplace. Leaders are often mentors and a source of professional and sometimes personal inspiration for other employees. But what if they’re not? What if leaders have no motivation and show signs of wanting to leave the company? This occurs in workplaces all the time and is one of the biggest detriments to employee motivation and retention. You can’t expect employees to be motivated if their source of inspiration is, well, uninspired.
For this reason, businesses must view employee engagement as a priority at every level, not just for non-senior employees or new hires. This starts with leaders being actively engaged and immersed in their team, as it will show them how influential they can be. This often goes over the heads of many leaders, who simply see responsibility and seniority rather than recognising the opportunity for mentorship and growth.
Being a leader is more than a title or a pay raise. It’s an exciting opportunity to help others and contribute significantly to large-scale successes. When you empower and inspire a leader by opening their eyes to these responsibilities, the motivation and energy it produces will trickle down to everyone they oversee.  

Get Feedback, Take Action

Nothing in this world is perfect, nor should we expect it to be, but we should always strive to improve. And when it comes to improving pretty much anything, feedback is a helpful guideline for change, identifying problem areas, and learning more. However, the vital takeaway from this section is that feedback is only valuable if action is taken. And for many leaders, feedback is a fundamental tool for their leadership style.
An effective method of gathering feedback is through anonymous surveys, say once every six months or so. To gauge employee motivation, it’s essential to focus on or include questions relating to happiness, job satisfaction, and quality of work life. Once you have your data, sharing the results with the whole company is important. This way, there’s complete transparency and accountability for leaders if there are issues to tackle. From here, you can create an action plan that suits everyone’s needs and addresses problems causing a severe impact.
Additionally, it’s helpful to let your employees know about the survey ahead of time. This gives them time to prepare valuable feedback and be aware of the anonymity aspect so that they won’t hold back out of fear of potential fallout.

Invest in Your Employees

A business is only as good as the people behind it, and people need training and guidance to become the best version of themselves. This makes employees one of the most crucial investments a company make as it demonstrates trust in their abilities and faith in their future. For the business, this creates an environment full of capable and skilful employees. For employees, this provides job satisfaction and fulfilment, which are vital for employee motivation and retention.
If employees aren’t receiving development opportunities, why would they stick around? Because it’s a safe bet that one of your competitors offers development schemes and career paths designed for growth. The modern business world rapidly evolves and moves a mile a minute.  
For modern employees to stay at the top of their game, they need to reflect the same style of progression. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves under qualified and lacking the experience to move up the ladder. This isn’t to say you need to give people a pay raise every five minutes, but progression within their current role should be a regular occurrence.

Establish a Culture People Want to Be a Part Of

While many brands love being the cool kids of an industry, it doesn’t mean much when your company culture is a bit rubbish. Culture is a buzzword you’ll hear a lot these days, but it’s for a good reason. We live in a considerate, accepting and supportive society — and a workplace should reflect this. Unfortunately, high quit rates are often attributed to old-fashioned management styles and a lack of support from leaders. Company cultures like this will always struggle to attract new talent and suffer from retention issues.
When employees enjoy the atmosphere and inclusive nature of their company, it’s a big reason to stick around. Even after a bad day, knowing you have supportive colleagues alongside you is an incredible feeling. And it’s definitely not something you’ll find in every workplace. Also, the importance of teamwork and team-building cannot be stressed enough. It not only improves the workplace environment and social aspects of the job but leads to increased employee motivation and improved results.
There are many ways to improve teamwork and relationships in the office, but one leading solution these days is the use of workplace wellness apps like GoJoe - offering team-based challenges, expert-led content, social features, and much more, designed to increase engagement and motivation while strengthening employee bonds. Plus, the focus on wellbeing and health instils positivity and spreads awareness. When employees feel good, are happy and enjoy the company of those they work with, the potential for success is limitless.

Make the Most of Goodbyes (Exit Interviews)

While it may sound strange to mention soon-to-be former employees when the topic of discussion is retention, exit interviews provide so much insight into why people leave your company. Employers often overlook exit interviews because they don’t see the point or the value in them. That needs to change because they are so SO valuable for retention. They can be a massive eye-opener and even upsetting for some leaders. This tends to be because most employers would likely assume they have a happy team that enjoys their workplace.
An exit interview provides you with something that’s usually impossible to gain, a completely open and honest conversation between employer and employee. Usually, it’s more of a one-sided conversation in that regard. Would you tell your boss everything that sucks about working for them?
During an exit interview, a leader can get an unfiltered view of their company’s landscape from an employee’s point of view, not what they view on a spreadsheet. From here, there’s an opportunity to identify problems and ways the company fails to motivate or engage employees. Information like this can completely revolutionise a company’s culture and, therefore, how successful they are at attracting and retaining talent. Although it’s not as common as it could be, some companies use exit interviews as an opportunity to hold ‘stay meetings.’ This direct retention strategy outlines the person’s issues with the company and aims to resolve them in an attempt to keep them. However, this would require flexibility and compromise on both sides, but knowing how expensive recruitment can be, it’s worth a shot!
Would you like to learn more about the GoJoe app and how it boosts employee motivation and improves employee retention? Book a demo or get in touch if you fancy a chat about how we could benefit your business.