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Employee Retention Strategies in a Competitive Job Market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in October. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking establishments, professional and business services, manufacturing and health care. When the unemployment rate is low, employers often find themselves competing to retain and attract talent.

How can employers improve their overall retention rate? One strategy is to conduct stay interviews. Stay interviews assist organizations in understanding why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. These causal conversations provide insight in areas that may assist the employer in developing effective attraction and retention strategies.

It is wise to prepare several open-ended questions that allow employees to provide information, including feelings, attitudes and understanding on positives and negatives within an organization. It is important that the interviewer listen and gather ideas from the employee. Below are examples of questions an employer may ask.

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?
  • What motivates (or demotivates) you?
  • What might tempt you to leave?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?

When the interview is finished, the interviewer should summarize what he/she heard, ask clarifying questions and express appreciation to the employee for sharing his/her thoughts. It is important to end the stay interview on a positive note.

Retention is a growing challenge for companies. Many employees change jobs due to factors completely within the employers’ control. The information provided by stay interviews can reduce turnover and improve employee engagement.

Need help implementing a retention strategy in your organization? Contact us today.