According to a benchmark created by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire was nearly $5,000, while training added an additional $1,000 to the cost of onboarding a new employee. But financial expenses are not the only obstacles created by high employee turnover, and the question of why is employee retention key to business success still remains. As a matter of fact, the same benchmarking report also found that it takes almost two months to hire and onboard a new employee to the point of full productivity as compared to a legacy employee.
The good news is that research by the Work Institute found that 77% of employee turnover could be offset by improved onboarding and training programs. More specifically, engaging professional training is what boosts content retention, which increases the impact of and returns on your training efforts. In this sense, microlearning – which involves delivering content in small, digestible bites, usually with videos – is the best way to train and onboard new employees in an almost-revolutionary approach to employee training.
What does retention mean and what are the challenges of employee and customer retention?
Retention has to do with a company’s capacity to preserve its existing customer, employees, and suppliers. Just as hiring new employees has a cost, finding new customers does too and it is more cost-effective to retain existing clients than to search for and acquire new ones. On the workforce side, employee engagement, satisfaction and motivation are what drive retention and turnover. But while it’s easy to understand that staff retention increases productivity and customer retention programs increase long-term revenue and profitability, it’s much harder to understand why retention is so difficult to achieve. Here are the key factors that influence employee retention:
While compensation obviously is mostly associated with wages and salary, that does not have to be the only way an employee can be compensated for his work. Benefits, bonuses, equity, options and connections are all possibilities as well.
Lack of career development opportunities
As the US and global workforce becomes increasingly Gen-Z dominated, professional development and growth become ever-important for employee satisfaction and retention. Workers now want to see their employers as places of opportunity, not only of responsibility.
Lack of recognition
It’s also important to recognise – and even reward – good and hard work. Employees who feel unappreciated or undervalued tend to look for job opportunities elsewhere.
Dissatisfaction with the working conditions and/or expectations
Sometimes, the working environment, infrastructure, or culture isn’t a fit. This is why hiring, training and onboarding are crucial to employee retention. Ensuring that the right people are joining your workforce goes a long way in decreasing the number of employees leaving their jobs.
Best Practices for Employee and Customer Retention
In many cases, especially regarding financial compensation, businesses have limited options when it comes to changing these scenarios. As new employees are hired, a period of adjustment will mean it takes time for them to get up to speed on the job. Furthermore, employee contract terminations create friction that causes a loss of expertise and knowledge to occur as a worker leaves the company. Managers are often working over capacity and in this way struggle to brainstorm employee retention ideas and to create effective and engaging training and onboarding programs, and rely only on the insufficient, traditional on-the-job training. So, here are some strategies for how to retain employees in your workforce:
Creative a positive work environment
Work-life balance and a positive work environment are essential to employee satisfaction and retention. Organizations that promote a culture of respect, open communication, and work-life balance are more likely to retain their employees. The flexibility of schedule, especially upon emergencies, really helps foster a sense of belonging and purpose.
Engaging learning experiences
Provide the tools and resources for learning about issues relevant to the employee’s and employer’s line of work, as well as feedback and mentoring to help workers grow and develop in their roles. The key to content retention and effective learning is making the process engaging.
Continuous training and development
Just as learning must be engaging, it must be continuous. Employees are more likely to stay with organizations that provide opportunities for career development and growth. Make your onboarding and personal development resources available to your employees at all times with on-demand, multi-platform tools.
How to improve employee retention? Microlearning.
Did you know that your staff is 75% more likely to watch videos than read a manual? For example, say you are onboarding a new employee. You might want to provide a comprehensive program made of a few training videos that they can watch multiple times, along with on-the-job, to cover the main concepts of your business, general rules and guidelines, and the employee’s responsibilities and expectations. This way, the employee can become confident and ready to work independently much sooner than if they were only learning in person day by day. Here are the three main reasons why microlearning is the best strategy for employee retention programs, as well as training and onboarding efforts:
Greater Content Retention
Small, digestible pieces of information are easier to remember. The microlearning approach is great for reinforcing information and skills, helping employees to retain knowledge and apply it in their work.
Flexibility and Customization
Digital, on-demand platforms allow employees to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. Bite’s Microlearning units can also be customized to meet the specific learning needs of employees, helping organizations deliver targeted training that is relevant and applicable to all of their workforce.
In research conducted by learning expert Jane Bozarth, 62% of organizations said that microlearning had reduced their training development costs, and 66% said that it had reduced their delivery costs.
Investing in a microlearning training and communications platform such as Bites for your workforce will help you reduce training and onboarding times and costs, solving all of your hiring and communication needs. With Bites, companies have reached 90% engagement rates, compared to 30% for other similar tools. Bites empower you to train and communicate with your employees in only a few clicks, and to use your content any number of times. Share your Bites on the channels your workforce already uses (such as WhatsApp or Microsoft Teams) and train your employees seamlessly and effectively.
Microlearning and effective staff retention programs have the potential to bring many benefits to businesses such as higher employee engagement, greater knowledge retention, and more productive workforces. Adopting a microlearning and engaging approach to training logistics and employee and customer retention programs can help businesses stay competitive. Choose the right platform that aligns with your business’s specific needs and goals to maximize the impact of onboarding, training and retention programs. Consider implementing Bites, the innovative microlearning platform, and start transforming your workforce’s onboarding, training, and communication efforts today with microlearning.