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Employers are in a continuous competition for the best employees, and making sure they remain in their jobs saves organizations time and money. Today’s employees are demanding more flexibility, clear professional development tracks, and alignment with a company’s values. A strong commitment to equity and belonging is crucial, not just in the recruitment phase, but throughout an employee’s tenure at an organization. Below are eight best practices for retaining employees.

Examine pay equity.

Individuals should be paid the same amount for the same work with reasonable adjustments based on tenure, experience, and performance. Be sure to examine pay rates between demographic groups, specifically gender identity, race, and disability. Women are still paid just $0.83 for every $1 a White man makes. Black and Latino men make just $0.87 and $0.91, respectively, for every $1 a White man makes. And people with disabilities make $0.66 for every $1 a person without a disability makes. Paying different wages for the same work is a surefire way to break trust with employees, causing them to look for employment elsewhere.

Make onboarding comprehensive.

A good work experience begins with strong onboarding. In fact, strong onboarding can increase new hire retention by 82% and new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years. If your end goal is to retain top talent, be sure to adequately onboard all new hires.

Create inclusive physical and virtual spaces.

Inclusion is a huge driver of retention. And in our modern workplace, you need to ensure both physical and virtual spaces are inclusive and accessible. This might mean leaving adequate space throughout the office for a person using a wheelchair to navigate comfortably or enabling closed captioning during Zoom meetings. Be sure that every employee is equipped to do their best work. 

Update your policies.

Is your employee handbook riddled with “he or she,” rather than “they”? Are benefits lacking for same-sex domestic partnerships? Are leave policies designed for the traditional nuclear family? Take some time to evaluate your current policies and rewrite them so they are inclusive of all people.

Outline opportunities for career progression and professional development.

Employees want to know that there are opportunities for growth within the organization. Make sure that everyone has equitable access to professional development opportunities such as coursework, stretch projects, and mentorship/sponsorship. 

Conduct stay interviews.

Meet with current employees to discover why they stay with the organization and what might cause them to leave. Stay interviews also aim to reveal what could make happy employees’ experiences even better. These interviews are a great opportunity to make tweaks to an employee’s experience so that they stick around for many years to come.

Utilize exit interviews.

Folks leave organizations for a number of reasons. If the reason is of the employee’s volition, be sure to conduct an exit interview. You’ll want to understand why the employee chose to leave and what could have been done to make them stay.

Implement 360 reviews.

A 360-degree performance review is an assessment that considers evaluations from supervisors, peers, and the employee themself. The benefit of these reviews is that they are comprehensive, balanced, and accurately identify development needs. 

The eight steps above will ensure your organization is treating employees equitably and soliciting feedback from employees on how to make their experiences even better. Equitable policies and a positive workplace culture are strong determinants of retention. To learn more about inclusive hiring, recruitment, and retention, visit our hiring or HR topic tags in TDM Library.

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