5 ways to improve employee morale and retention

Each time you onboard a new employee, there’s significant cost and time involved. So when you hire someone great, you want to do everything possible to keep them happy in their role.

The following five tips are helpful ways to improve employee morale and retention at your organization.

  1. Use effective communication

Nobody likes feeling left out of hearing important news, and that includes your employees. Be transparent with your organization’s vision and allow staff the opportunity to provide support in reaching those goals. This helps employees feel more comfortable and instills trust in the organization.

In addition, encourage an open-door policy where staff can bring their concerns, ideas and feedback to your management team. Taking the time to truly listen to this feedback shows you care that staff feel engaged at work.

  1. Encourage personal and professional development

According to the 2017 ADP Canada Sentiment Survey, 39 per cent of working Canadians say they would take a pay cut from another employer that offered better professional development opportunities.

Starting on an employee’s first day, provide them with the appropriate tools, resources and training. Assist them in developing a knowledge base of critical information and best practices that they’ll require for success.

To remain motivated, employees need to feel a sense of growth. Whenever budget allows, encourage staff to register for courses, classes and activities to improve their skillset.

Employee development should be holistic and include advancing professional and soft skills, such as emotional intelligence and empathy. Strengthening both types of skillsets prepares staff for future leadership roles and helps them enjoy a more fulfilling life outside of work. The ABC Skills Hub is a great tool that employees can use to take free online courses to improve soft skills such as motivation, accountability and time management.

  1. Show your appreciation

Providing genuine appreciation for good work can do wonders for an employee’s confidence. Doing so leads to better performance, increased productivity and higher engagement levels.

Be sure to offer employee recognition as soon as possible after a job is well done. Sending an email to all staff spotlighting an employee’s recent success is one easy, low-cost way to display your appreciation.

Besides recognizing individual employees’ achievements, try surprising all employees with something small to celebrate their valuable contributions. Ideas include supplying lunch every once in a while, or cutting a workday an hour short.

  1. Promote a team spirit environment

When employees feel comfortable at work, they’ll have more fun – leading to higher performance. Celebrate birthdays and personal achievements, including work anniversaries and graduations and organize activities outside of work.

Showing you care for your team as human beings – not just employees – encourages a happy workplace.

  1. Invest in skills training

Investing in the skills of your employees not only has benefits for workers, but it’s also good for business. Even modest investments in workplace literacy and essential skills training can translate into substantial gains in workers’ skills and job performance, as well as increases in employment, earnings, job retention, productivity, and costs savings from reduced errors and waste.

Consider hosting a company-wide workshop, such as UP Skills for Work, that helps learners develop key employability and life skills. These skills help workers to be adaptable and motivated throughout their whole employment and as they move into new roles or careers.

The key takeaway

Boosting employee morale does even more than improving retention rates – it also helps create a healthy organizational culture. This creates significant benefits for both your employees and your bottom line.

To learn more about free workplace training programs, visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca.