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The talent landscape is extremely competitive, and your employees have many choices about where they want to work. Voluntary employee turnover is at a record high, with 3.6 million quits, and only 1.8 million layoffs and discharges. Employee retention is a core focus at many companies. There are certainly many high-level strategies you can implement to impact retention, but managers are crucial in carrying them out. Empower your managers to retain the people on their teams.

Set managers and their employees up for success with employee onboarding

Great employee onboarding can improve new hire retention by 82 percent. Properly onboarded employees are better acclimated and assimilated to their new roles and teams. That makes them feel more connected to your company and more confident in their roles as they ramp to fully productive employees.

The problem is, most managers don’t understand what it takes to create a red carpet experience for new employees. A company-wide employee onboarding program can guide your managers to provide a strong early employee experience, so people on their team are more likely to stay. This should include things like:

  • Setting up the employee’s desk and provisioning accounts before their first day
  • Facilitating introductions to the new employee’s team, cross-functional teams, and company leadership
  • Reviewing role responsibilities, setting goals, and aligning on progress

Further empower your managers by incorporating their feedback into your onboarding program, even if only for department-specific onboarding. Managers are in the trenches, hearing feedback from their new employees and experiencing how effective your program is firsthand. Give your managers a say in how you craft your early employee experience.

Build a culture of recognition

Employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. What’s more, only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive at work.

Recognizing employees for a job well done will help your managers retain talent—but the onus shouldn’t fall completely on them. While employees say the most memorable recognition comes from their manager, many also like to receive recognition from company leaders, customers, and peers. 

Make employee recognition part of your company culture. Managers should set the tone with early employee recognition during the onboarding process, continuing throughout the employee lifecycle. All employees should be encouraged, even prompted, to provide recognition to their peers in the moment and during team meetings. Significant achievements should be run up the ladder to company leaders so they, too, can offer employee recognition.

Set up a formal learning and development program

Career development is frequently cited as a top reason for employee turnover. When companies don’t provide employees with opportunities for growth, employees will leave to seek it out elsewhere.

Employee development is important for retaining talent, strengthened your workforce, and maximizing employee lifetime value. This can be structured in any number of ways. Some companies provide a stipend for employees to use as they’d like. For instance, on educational courses and certifications, conferences, coaching services, or online learning subscriptions. Other companies offer things like mentoring, job shadowing, stretch assignments, and special projects to expand their employees’ work experience.

Try pairing a learning and development program with early goal setting, frequent feedback, and succession planning, so employees are clear on what they’re working toward. When managers can help employees envision their future at your company, employees are more likely to stay.

Provide them visibility into team compensation 

Compensation is another common reason for employee turnover. Employees may leave because they’ve received a higher offer elsewhere, or because they’ve learned about unfair compensation practices and no longer trust their employer.

Giving your managers visibility into their employee’s compensation can help them make strategic decisions to retain their teams. Accessing their employees’ current compensation allows them to advocate for pay increases for top performers and otherwise underpaid employees. 

Further, a look into compensation history can shed light on how each employee arrived at their current pay level. This can help them justify a larger pay increase for an employee who has been overlooked in the past. Or, it can help them have a hard conversation with an employee who is already overpaid for their role. Your managers are instrumental in ensuring fair distribution of compensation across their teams, and should be given the insights necessary to make informed decisions.

Your company’s managers are a crucial component of employee retention, and they want to be involved in order to hold on to the teams they’ve worked so hard to build. Empower them by providing access to the tools they need to hold on to their employees.