As the economy continues its march to slow one of the strongest job markets in recent history, the need for employers to retain the employees they have hired and developed over the last two years is more important than ever.

The latest economic data says a mild recession may be coming and while this can trigger layoffs, a good employee retention strategy can help businesses protect the investment they have made in recruiting and training. An employee retention strategy can also improve productivity and boost morale.

Some of the most important factors for retaining employees include:

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

This is an easy one. Employees want to feel like they’re being compensated fairly for their work. This includes a competitive salary, benefits and paid time off.

Opportunities for Professional Development

Employees want to grow and develop in their careers. This means providing them with opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

Some employers plot a strategy for how they are going to promote hard-working successful employees as part of the HR process. I highly recommend this.

A Positive Work Environment

All workers want to be part of a team and feel their work is valued. This means creating a supportive work environment where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and taking risks. Companies that promote open communication are creating such an environment.

A Sense of Purpose

Every employee wants to feel as if their work makes a difference. This means giving them opportunities to contribute to the company’s mission and goals. It might also include aligning with a non-profit organization and having your staff help less fortunate people.

Providing volunteer assistance to those less fortunate than ourselves brings people together and helps employees see how fortunate they are. It also promotes teamwork.

Show Appreciation

Employees want to feel appreciated. This means regularly acknowledging their accomplishments, both publicly and privately. At Executive Alliance, we recognize each other’s accomplishments continuously on a Teams chat and on social media, but management also has quarterly performance meetings, recognition awards, quarterly get togethers after work, contests and incentives, hybrid work models, opportunities for promotions and a continuous search for the latest technologies to help them improve efficiencies.

Provide Feedback

Employees want to know how they’re doing and how they can improve. This means providing regular feedback, both positive and constructive.

The more information employees have about their own performance and future with their employer, the more likely they will stay in place.

Be Flexible

Employees want a say in their work/life balance. This means being flexible with work hours, vacation time, and other arrangements that benefit employees without affecting productivity.

Hard and fast policies that restrict the flexibility of your workplace can create an unpleasant environment governed by rules, not the people that make the company work.