Decreasing Employee Attrition: How to Retain Good Employees

Employee turnover has continued its steady rise in recent years, landing at 18% for 2021. For businesses, high turnover rates mean more costs sunk in recruitment and onboarding, lost talent, and degradation of workplace culture.

Luckily, you can take steps to avoid having employees depart from your workplace at such rapid rates. According to Work Institute, over 75% of employees that left could have been retained by providing services and benefits related to enhancing the employee experience. These services may include employee engagement initiatives or more readily available opportunities for career progression within the organization. As of June 2022, there are two million fewer workers in the United States compared to February 2020, despite an unprecedented 3.8 million jobs created in 2021. As a result, the job market is more competitive than ever. For employers- this is why it’s essential for business success to find good employees and a way to keep them working with your company.

Decreasing Employee Attrition Step by Step

In today’s climate, retaining employees is more critical than ever. Of course, it’s more than just great pay and benefits, but that helps. To keep your employees, you must provide competitive compensation, a great workplace culture, avenues for growth, engaging work, and allowing your employees agency. In addition, these factors must work in unison to provide an attractive place for your employees to spend their lives and careers. So, where are you supposed to begin?

Find the Right Hire

Filling your organization with quality employees is where increasing employee retention begins. However, before you start working on decreasing your turnover, you must first find employees worth retaining. There are several steps you can take to find the right employees.

Solidify Your Needs

What type of position are you looking to fill? Solidifying your needs and manifesting them in an accurate job description can go a long way in finding the right hire and attracting candidates with the most applicable skills and experience.

The solidification of your needs as a business will also help you find the right employee to fit those needs. For example, what skills are needed for the position that you aren’t willing to budge on? The job search always requires a certain amount of flexibility, but it’s equally important to identify the attributes of a potential employee that you are not willing to compromise.

Do Your Research

Just as you expect any of your candidates to be well-researched in your company and industry, it’s essential that you, as the employer, stay up-to-date on current trends within the job market and your industry as a whole. Remain knowledgeable about market rates for employee salaries, hiring practices, and candidate availability so you can act quickly and appropriately to accommodate any changes in the job market. In addition, remaining agile within the market is a great way to get a head start on other businesses in your industry when expanding your workforce.

Hold Effective Interviews

The final step in making the right hire is holding an effective interview. To do this, it’s a good idea to get creative. Unfortunately, interviewers can get into the habit of making their interview the same social checklist for every candidate, resulting in an ineffective interview that leaves them unsure still if the person they’re about to hire is the correct fit. To avoid this common pitfall, you must take steps to diversify your interviewing technique and remain agile to individualize every interview for the candidate you’re interviewing. Some methods for increasing your interviewing effectiveness:

  • Get up. It’s a long-known fact that standing increases engagement. Unfortunately, most interviews are still conducted in a stuffy office or through video. While the latter sometimes cannot be avoided, in-person interviews can benefit from leaving the office. This naturally increases engagement in both the interviewer and interviewee; you will also be able to see job candidates in a more realistic setting- whether walking through the office or meeting at a location not on the business site. Plus, getting out of the office in an interview helps you see more of the candidate and how they interact with the world.
  • Get creative with questions. Asking candidates about their resumes is a great way to see them contextualize their achievements and experiences, but you should find more innovative lines of questioning. For example, instead of asking the tried and true, ask them to describe their favorite attribute. These largely serve the purpose, but asking candidates questions they haven’t answered for decades is a more effective way of getting familiar with their personality.

Promote a stress-free environment.  It’s true that an interview is the last test to see if a candidate is fit to work for your company or not- this is a naturally stressful situation for any individual interested in working with you. There’s no need to add to that stress by being uptight or unclear about the interview and its arrangements. Help your candidates de-stress by providing information before the interview regarding dress code, their interviewer, and the interview process itself.

Offer Competitive and Appropriate Benefits

Improving employee retention continues with building a competitive and alluring benefits package appropriate for the position and experience level you’re hiring. Offering good benefits consists of more than just competitive pay- it includes dental insurance, vision insurance, paid time off, sick leave, and other components that come together to make a comprehensive package. By offering compensation at or above the market for the experience you’re looking for, you immediately become an attractive destination for the top candidates in your industry. It’s more than that, though- offering competitive compensation shows your employees that you value their health and the skills they bring to your company. Once you’ve built a competitive benefits package, you must prepare for the future and build a pay structure that is prepared for growth. Read more about this in our whitepaper on the subject.

Remain Flexible Following the Pandemic

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The pandemic was and still is a time that has repeatedly tested the ability of enterprises to pivot and remain agile. This agility was not only to remain competitive with changing demand for products and services- but businesses also needed to remain nimble with their workforce. In fact, they still do: according to, nearly half of employees that began remote work during the pandemic stated they would not return to jobs that prevented them from working from home following COVID-19.

Retaining the agility forced upon businesses is essential for retaining a workforce that now values work flexibility more than they ever have before. If you value working in person and want to convince your employees to come back to the office, you may want to consider different ways of getting them back to the office. For example, consider implementing a quota for in-person days instead of requiring them to be in the office 100% of the time, or designate days that you’d like the whole office to work in person.

Additionally, businesses that support remote work boast a 25% lower turnover rate than their peers. While increased work flexibility allows employees to work from various locations and improves their work/life balance, an organization’s investment in a remote-friendly workplace is likely more than meets the eye. Investment in remote work shows a business’s trust in their employees and their ability to do excellent work while away from their office. Flexible work arrangements show your employees that you have faith in their work ethic and productivity.

Promote From Within

Promoting from within creates a culture of upward mobility and provides something to work toward for employees that want to grow with your company. In short, it’s a significant boost for employee morale- your highest performing employees will likely be looking for the next step in their career, and if they don’t find it within your company, they will almost certainly look for it elsewhere.

In addition to improving your company culture, the employees you promote from within likely already have an intimate understanding of your business, its processes, and its values. Promoting your employees rather than searching elsewhere is less risky for this reason. It should be the goal for any business looking to provide ways for their employees to stay motivated and develop professionally.

Invest in Culture

It’s been estimated that culture-related employee attrition has cost firms $223 billion over the last five years. Promoting employee agency is one effective way to invest in your workplace culture. A firm’s culture should represent the employee it consists of, and employers should endeavor to supply their employees with the tools and resources necessary to shape that culture in their image. Promote the inclusion of diversity and inclusion programs, encourage employees to form committees based on their interests, and celebrate the accomplishments of these groups to encourage their continued success.

Take Care of Your Employees’ Mental Health

Mental health awareness is rising in the United States, and much of that increase is due to the pandemic. In a time where physical health is a top priority, it’s imperative that employers don’t leave mental health by the wayside. Consider these methods of preserving the mental health of your employees

Human resources departments are essential to business success. Employees benefit from having somewhere to turn to when they’re in need, and they’re in demand now more than ever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of COVID-19.

If you or your business are feeling unprepared to deal with complex employment-related issues or other administrative tasks, consider outsourcing your human resources services. Organizations like Canal HR are an excellent option for employers that want to spend their time and resources improving and working in their business, rather than tasks that run parallel to that business.

Invest in Employee Development

Akin to promoting from within, investing in your employees’ development goes a long way in promoting a workplace culture of growth and achievement. In fact, CNBC has found that over 90% of employees reportedly would stay longer at an organization that assists them in their learning and development. In addition, investing in their development effectively shows employees that you value them as people and want them to be the best version of themselves.

In addition to showing your employees that you’re invested in developing them and their skillset, investing in employee development naturally provides you with a more skilled workforce and allows for more avenues in which your business can succeed. For example, consider inviting guest speakers, paying for courses, or offering to pay for your employees to return to school.

Decrease Employee Attrition with Canal HR

Decreasing employee attrition and encouraging your workers to continue and grow with your company requires a multifaceted approach that not every business can handle on its own. Canal HR is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) committed to helping businesses engage with their employees, strengthen their workforce, and tackle any human resources issues that may arise. Canal HR has nearly three decades of experience serving the southeastern region of the United States and offers services in the following areas:

Contact us today to learn if Canal HR is right for you.

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