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retain employees

Turning Resignation into Retention

Americans tend to work longer hours and more days than any other culture in the world. Still, employee retention is a constant struggle. Today’s workforce isn’t interested in just getting a paycheck. They want to experience something more, and they are willing to make the sacrifice to get it. Simply having a job is no longer enough, your employees want to know that they are valued, appreciated, and making a difference in the world. Nobody wants to go to a job only to feel worse about themselves when they get there. 

Approximately 3 million U.S. workers leave their job each month. Yes, every single month 3 million people are leaving their company to find something different, something better, something more. If a job isn’t giving them the validation, appreciation, and motivation that they are looking for – they will leave and find somewhere that does. Sometimes turnover is unavoidable, (in fact, 80% of turnover is due to poor hiring) but some turnover can be avoided by changing your company culture to one focused on employee retention and support. 

retain employees

When an employee feels like their company cares about them, it is a game-changer. A positive work environment leads to decreased stress levels, an increase in confidence, and an increase in employee retention for the company. An impressive 55% of workers said that if they feel their employer cares about their well-being, they would want to stay at that company for 10 years or more. Simply put, take care of your people and they will take care of you.

So where do you start and how to you turn those resignation letters into retention numbers? We have a few ideas to get you started:

1. Start with Recognition 

This is the first step in employee retention. A little recognition can make a big difference, especially when it’s immediate and sincere. Employees need to know their efforts are recognized and valued. In fact, according to an analysis by Gallup, more than 80 percent of employees included in the analysis say recognition motivates work performance. In that same study, Gallup found employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit. This doesn’t require any addition budget, planning, or time. It only requires you to look for the good that your employees are doing and acknowledge it when you see it. It sounds so simple, but doesn’t happen as often as it should. This is a great place to start changing the company culture and turning more resignations into retentions.

  • Simple Ways to Increase Recognition:
    • Send out a companywide or teamwide email to congratulate an employee for a job well done.
    • Always be willing to take the blame and deliver credit to someone else. 
    • Look for the good throughout the day and point it out when you find it. 
    • Compile a list of wins across the company to highlight at your next company meeting.
    • Spend a few minutes at the top of each meeting recognizing the good before diving into company problems or plans. 

2. Building Trust


Appreciating your employees and recognizing their contributes builds trust and increases employee retention. Trust increases employee retention. It is imperative to have employees that trust in their leadership and in the company as a whole. In his book Trust Factor, Harvard Researcher Paul J. Zak states that compared with employees at low-trust companies, those at high-trust companies report 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement and 40% less burnout.

  • Simple Ways to Build Trust:
    • Grab a coffee with your employees to discuss their unique goals so they know you’re invested in their personal and professional success. 
    • Keep as much transparency as possible with your team at all times to keep them in the loop about what is going on at work. 
    • Keep your office door open. 
    • Don’t play favorites and avoid badmouthing others at all costs. 

3. Increase Engagement 

Employees need to feel valued, recognized and know that their role has real meaning. nobody wants to feel like they are working a dead-end job that is useless and without any meaning. Increased engagement and meaningful contribution can be directly tied to a deep connection and sense of purpose at work. When you have engaged employees who feel like they’re making a real impact on the business, they also feel more valued and your employee retention increases. Employees who see the results of their hard work and are reminded just how important their work is, ultimately work harder to reap further rewards. In turn, this drastically effects employee retention. Studies show when employees feel supported by their employer, they’re 17 percent more likely to still be there in a year. There’s no reason to leave when they feel like they are engaged in making a difference.

  • Simple Ways to Increase Engagement
    • Design jobs that are fulfilling and provide ongoing support.
    • Offer growth opportunities to increase their skills. 
    • Put one or two less experienced employees on a big project or involve them in strategic decisions whenever possible. 

4. Show Appreciation and Put Your People First 

In a study conducted by Harvard Business School, researchers found that workers are distressed when managers don’t say thank you or express appreciation for their work. Recognition for achievements doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s the simple gestures for doing well that reinforces employees’ accomplishments and motivates them to do more. This is a very simple step that can significantly increase employee retention. It’s important to note that this is separate from simply recognizing their efforts. Showing your appreciation is more about doing something for your employees, putting action behind your words of recognition.

employee appreciation
  • Simple ways to show appreciation: 
    • Encourage employees to take an extra-long lunch break
    • Offer work-from-home days
    • Encourage and support personal or professional development
    • Offer a free financial session or yoga class with a professional. 
    • Make home services like meal delivery, house cleaning or pet sitting available for employees. 

Your employees are the bedrock of your company’s success. Better employees mean better business. While your customers need to believe in your products or services, your employees need to believe in YOU and in each other. If you are looking for ways to turn resignation into retention, this is a great place to start. Cut down on costly turnover and increase employee retention and create a team you can build an empire with.

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