Employee retention should be top-of-mind for every company. Losing an employee doesn’t just result in a sad goodbye, it can also lead to a loss in morale, productivity, and valuable industry knowledge. Unfortunately for companies, problems with retention are common. In one survey of 2,000 workers, 43 percent admitted that they’re actively looking for a new job.
So, what is it that these workers are looking for? Or, better yet, how can you be the company that everyone wants to work for? It all comes down to making the decision to invest in employee happiness. While there are multiple ways you can do this, here are 7 great examples of investments your workers will love, to get you started.
7 Investments to keep employees happy
1. Professional development programs
When your company makes the decision to hire an employee, it’s usually based on the confidence that they will one day rise within your company. These workers are highly ambitious, meaning they want to feel like they’re actively growing and expanding upon their areas of expertise. Investing in their professional development — whether by subsidizing the cost of continuing education or by reimbursing travel costs to attend industry conferences—is a great way to make sure these workers remain happy and motivated.
2. Cross-functional training
As workers gain experience within your company, they might also discover opportunities in other departments that they find appealing. Rather than limiting these individuals to one linear path, companies should expose them to the ins and outs of other roles. By doing this, workers might also find that the role in which they’re already employed is the best fit for them, making them more content with their current trajectory.
3. Process automation
Every job comes with its list of responsibilities that can require long hours of monotonous work. Manual data entry, managing email traffic, and filing digital documents into designated folders are crucial to maintaining optimal workflow, but don’t necessarily top the list on the world’s most entertaining job responsibilities. Fortunately, companies can now look to process automation software to automate many of the mundane tasks that typically impede productivity and worker engagement.
4. A comfortable work atmosphere
Workers perform best when they’re comfortable and feel like their needs are being taken care of. Your workplace atmosphere should allow for a relaxed, yet productive environment, open and honest communication, and the encouragement of cooperation. Your office should also be a space where employees feel welcomed and comfortable. This will go a long way to get your employees to show up on time and attend meetings in-person.
5. Flexible working arrangements
While physical attendance is usually ideal in most circumstances, it’s not always feasible or in the best interest of a worker’s wellbeing to come into the office. Whether it’s due to travelling for a client meeting or simply staying home to recover from an illness, granting your workers the ability to call in or work remotely may be the best option for everyone involved—and your workers will love you for it!
6. A generous vacation policy
No matter how great your office is, everyone needs a little rest and relaxation sometimes. In most countries, federal law actually requires that workers are granted a certain amount of paid vacation. Countries within the European Union, for example, require that workers take at least 20 working days of paid vacation. In the U.S. however, that number is zero. Instead, the average American gets just 10 days of paid vacation, and that number is entirely dependent on individual company policies. Being a company that provides workers with a more generous vacation policy than average is a great way to set your business apart and foster loyalty in workers.
7. A solid 401(k) match
With the removal of pensions from most companies’ list of benefits, more workers are looking to deepen investments in their 401(k) to fund their retirement. According to the Plan Sponsor Council of America, the average employer contribution to a 401(k) is now 5.1 percent of an employee’s pay. Helping your workers save for their retirement by offering them a solid 401(k) match won’t just give them one less financial concern, but will also show them that your company is the best choice for them in the long run.