Review: Want to keep your employees happy? Give these 5 things

That said, not all companies offer better wages or benefits. And many managers are so obsessed with hiring that they neglect the people who are still with them. This may inspire their current employees to start noticing those greener pastures elsewhere as well.

This is one of the reasons dropout rates in March hit an all-time high of 4.5 million.

In recent focus groups I hosted, successful managers and mid-level professionals from various industries shed light on why it’s so difficult for companies to retain workers. Even those who are happy with their careers to date said they would leave for higher pay and better work-from-home options. But they also clarified that willingness to stay with the current employer is also a question of whether their direct managers can account for five other factors beyond the paycheck that keep people happy, productive and in business. team.

The pandemic has forced many people to work remotely, whether they like it or not. Many found that they liked him very much.

Today, an increasing number of people are demanding the ability to choose when, where and how to work. But, sometimes, remote work can be offered so rigidly that it seems constraining. For example, one employee I spoke with said that at his company people have two days of work from home and they have to stay with them no matter what. They couldn’t come to the office for half a day either. This made the employee feel like remote work was just another crippling set of rules.

In contrast, one major airline slashed its revenue when it was the first to offer a website for flight attendants to trade schedules. Workers clearly felt empowered by having more control over their own working lives. Companies must give people choices that match their unique work and life needs.


People are looking for predictability. Surprises make it harder for employees to plan their lives and have peace of mind. When constant changes are inflicted on them, without the ability to anticipate them or participate in decisions about them, people become anxious and passive and dream of escape.

Senior managers sometimes wait until a full plan is developed before announcing workplace changes to employees, either because they don’t want to be criticized or because they’re not sure they’ll end up doing it. do everything they say. But constant open communication helps people feel valued and helps them plan for change rather than being shocked by it.

Even good surprises are surprises. For example, workers who receive unexpected one-off bonuses sometimes feel they don’t know what to rely on to calculate their future compensation; they prefer to have a predictable total package.


Dead-end jobs quickly lose their appeal. And it can make a new job seem like the only way to make a fresh start and take the next step.

People thrive when their value is recognized by gaining more responsibility, recognition, and stature, such as a more prominent title. Giving them the opportunity to add to their skills improves their value and self-esteem. Managers need to support people’s desire for the next career steps by helping them find training and advancement opportunities without inadvertently pushing them out the door.


Friendships at work alone aren’t enough to retain workers, but their absence propels faster exits. People need to feel like they fit in. Establishing employee resource groups of people in the same situation (for example, working parents or black women in tech) shows that the company cares and can provide a safe space to share experiences and advice. The value of solidarity can manifest itself in retention.

But companies should be wary of disgruntled people finding like-minded peers. This can lead to letters of protest, organizing campaigns or amplified complaints. It is important for them to listen to grievances early and address them head on.


Jobs that convey meaning and meaning are more likely to exert an emotional hold on people. Whether or not the company thinks it represents social responsibility, people want to see this chance to make a difference in their immediate work experience. They need to feel there is a connection between their company’s statement that reduces emissions and a real reduction in the plastic waste they see every day. Giving employees the ability to choose a cause and join a corporate volunteer program also helps increase loyalty.

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Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to improve employment conditions is to get an offer from a new company. It shouldn’t be. Managers who want to retain their employees must act as if they have just hired them. They need to treat them as new faces and welcome them back into the business, and retain them while learning from their experience. Of course, managers need the same treatment from layers above them, because they themselves might feel neglected and ready to run off to the next pasture.

The best pool of labor might be the one companies already have. They should treat their employees as a valuable resource and give them what they want from work. Rewarding them will reward the company.

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