Lowering Attrition: Effective Employee Retention Strategies to Implement Today

April 19, 2022 Sarah Dameron

business owners learning new employee retention strategies

If you’re an accounting executive, you’re probably often on the lookout for effective employee retention strategies to lower attrition. Because keeping employees on staff is often a matter of keeping them happy. The truth is, losing an employee can be surprisingly expensive for any company – the Center for American Progress estimates that employee attrition costs anywhere from 16 percent to 213 percent of the lost employee’s salary—a great reason to focus on retention.

Preventing your employees from leaving is even more essential today as the world faces a growing shortage of talent and the ones that do stay are asking for more than just the office perks of days past. According to Gallup, almost 50 percent of current employees are actively looking for a new job. Read on to find out which strategies of employee retention you can implement now to help significantly reduce attrition rates in your team.

Talent Shortage Is an Industry-Wide Problem: How to Address It

Remaining happy employees working in office

If you hoped the economy would return to an employer-dominated market, you’re probably disappointed about now. Concerns over a lack of talent are currently top of mind for companies around the world. And according to McKinsey, 44 percent of organizations are expecting a skills gap in the next five years. But what is really causing today’s paramount talent scarcity?

  • Older generations are leaving the workforce

  • Younger generations aren’t prepared

  • Changing needs and expectations

What Can Employers Do to Ensure Employee Retention?

  • Upskill current employees. The World Economic Forum estimates that it costs roughly $4,425 to hire a new full-time employee and the Association for Talent Development has found that upskilling an existing employee cost around $1,300. In essence, it’s much simpler and less expensive to provide your current employees the resources they need to do their job better than it is to hire new talent to fill the gap.

  • Give your employees what they want. The pandemic forced the world’s workforce to go remote overnight and they don’t want to go back. Employee needs and expectations of their employers have drastically changed – flexibility, higher wages, etc. And with salaries dropping 3 percent in 2020, it's more important than ever to provide extra benefits to employees.

  • Rethink your recruiting tactics. What worked in the past will not benefit you well today. Lauren Smith, VP at Gartner, touches on this subject: “Hiring quality talent today requires recruiting leaders to shift their strategies from replacing the workforce to shaping the workforce by defining needs based on skills, sourcing talent more broadly and creating responsive employment value propositions.”

Effective Strategies for Employee Retention: How to Reduce Attrition

young employees at startup brainstorming new employee retention strategies

Optimize the Onboarding and Training Process

Take a deep look at your onboarding process. How does it stack up? Consider research from Brandon Gall Group that showed an 82 percent increase in employee retention among organizations that had “great” employee onboarding. Setting up an effective onboarding system is more than just signing the necessary paperwork, taking an office tour and arranging your workstation. It’s an ongoing process that begins before the new team members starts their first day and ends when they leave the company.

Next, reevaluate your training procedures and ensure that all resources are relevant and up to date. Create an atmosphere of learning for all members of your team. Introduce new tools and technologies that can aid in not only professional growth but also help to keep the attrition rate low.

Improve Work Conditions

You should view creating and fostering workplace culture as an investment that will keep on giving. This investment will ultimately help you meet your retention goals and impact your bottom line by providing long-term gain. As it turns out, most workers prefer flexibility in their workday, whether that’s working virtually or setting their own schedule. In fact, a Boston College Center for Work & Family study found that 76 percent of managers and 80 percent of employees believe flexible work arrangements have positive effects on retention.

Recognize and Reward Success to Achieve Employee Retention

Recognizing and rewarding success is one of the simplest ways to retain employees. Wanting our hard work to be acknowledged is about as basic and universal as it gets when it comes to what we expect from our employers. This recognition can take the form of a formalized rewards system, like yearly, quarterly, or monthly awards for hitting certain production or performance benchmarks, but they should go beyond that as well. Monetary bonuses aren’t the only way to recognize hard work, and smaller tokens of appreciation can be an excellent way to personalize the kudos that keep teams motivated. If you’ve spent the time to get to know and understand the people who work from you, then you already know which things will motivate the high achievers to keep striving and what will encourage the employees who have room to improve and grow.

Provide Career-Growth Opportunities

Your employees need to know that they will have room for advancement at your organization. Providing opportunities for employees to better themselves, such as through tuition reimbursement programs, continual education courses or personal networking events, show your workers they matter and that you value them. An article from the Association Talent Development said it best, “career development also can help with retention because employees can develop a sense of loyalty for employers who are willing to invest in them. Likewise, when it is time to hire new employees, career development programs can be attractive to job-seekers.”

Build Out Your Team & Lower Attrition by Outsourcing

employees shaking hands in an office

Hire the right people, and keep them. While this is essential to your company’s success, it is often one of the most challenging hurdles leader face. Constructing a recruiting strategy is quintessential and is one of, if not the, number one area you want to get down pat. By spending more money finding and engaging the right candidates, you are saving yourself the headache that inevitably comes with cutting your losses.

One way many businesses have improved their success rate with new hires is by outsourcing their accounting and finance positions. Outsourcing solves many of the pain points that come along with hiring in-house or working with a staffing agency. And here at Personiv, we’ve been working with clients – small to large – reduce employee attrition and improve worker retention for over 35 years and we can help you too.

Get in touch with one of our virtual accounting experts to find out how you can minimize attrition with the above-mentioned employee retention strategies.

Curious how to prevent your team members from leaving? Check out our latest playbook, Battling Burnout: Retaining Top Talent in the Accounting Department, to explore how to turn it around for your employees.

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