Beyond Benefits: Strategies to Increase Employee Retention

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Catherine Maheux-Rochette
July 27 2021

Did you know that, while they are satisfied with their positions, 58% of millennials say they want to change jobs in the next two years? This number, given that millennials will soon be the majority group in the workforce, is striking. However, it begs the following question: How do we adapt to this new generation of workers and increase employee retention?

Good social benefits are crucial to employee retention. In a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 44% of participants responded that traditional benefits would be the most important factor driving them to stay with an employer for at least five years. More specifically, this involves health insurance,  retirement plan, parental leave and vacation time.

Are Your Employees Happy?

In light of the above, one might be led to believe that employee retention is based solely on offering an excellent health benefits package. But this is only part of the equation. According to Pierre Côté, founder of the LHI-W (Leger Happiness Index at Work), “happiness at work is a key concept in attracting, retaining and motivating employees, especially millennials, in a highly competitive market.” So now, how do you determine if your employees are happy and focus on employee happiness? 

Watch and ask! Signs are unspoken elements that a manager can see. Facts, unlike signs, will come directly from the employee. For example, you might notice that a member of your team seems irritated – rather than motivated – by new challenges. In that case, it is in your best interest to question them to figure out what the issue is.

Team Integration and Employee Morale

Does the employee blend in with the rest of the team? Do they have lunch with their colleagues? Do they participate in team building activities? 37% of employees feel that they don’t have enough interaction with their colleagues, and 62% eat alone in front of their computer. 

Make sure that your employees’ workload does not hinder their integration into the team and a healthy work-life balance. 

In need of innovative ideas for your onboarding activities? Discover 5 original ideas to impress your new employees!

Employee Motivation

Does your employee suffer from challenges or do they welcome them with open arms? A professionally thriving and motivated employee aspires to develop their skills. They seize every opportunity to take on new challenges.

Did you know that 42% of employees feel that they don’t have enough autonomy at work? Autonomy is a key incentive in the workplace. Don’t forget to provide employee recognition, and encourage your workers to take the lead!

Behaviour Changes

Have you noticed any changes in your employee’s behaviour? For example, were they usually very punctual and are now frequently late? Were they always smiling and now seem sad and unmotivated? Again, it is important to compare an employee with themselves, not to each other. 

Keep in mind that external factors might be involved. This brings us to the next point in your strategy: gathering information.

Informal Discussion With the Employee

In some cases, if you have a good relationship with your employees, an informal discussion will be sufficient. Then, as you share your observations and questions with the employee, they can answer honestly and in full.

Annual Performance Review

Evaluation meetings allow you to discuss your employee’s strengths and weaknesses with them. They also provide an ideal context for enquiring about their experience, particularly when it comes to their happiness at work and their expectations. 

Employee Engagement and Mobilization Surveys

Workplace climate surveys are a great choice if you want to take the pulse of the whole organization. Several tools are available to help you. For example, Folks Surveys’ engagement solution offers an expertly designed workplace climate assessment survey. The questions are unbiased, neutral and have been validated by hundreds of clients across Canada. Constructive employee feedback – collected on a confidential basis – provides a detailed portrait of your company and allows you to pinpoint your employees’ irking and concerns and identify key strategies to set up in your organization. 

Folks Surveys also offers solutions for engaging staff and surveying employees on a more recurring basis through continuous engagement surveys with a focus on ongoing improvement. 

Discover Folks Surveys

... The software that can help you build employee loyalty and improve retention!

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The Importance of Workplace Environment

Employees’ perception of their work environment has a significant impact on their happiness and, in turn, shapes the success of a company. Considering that numerous factors can influence the work environment and the company’s corporate culture – both positively and negatively – it is relevant to ask the following question: How do you cultivate a healthy and motivating work environment for employees?

Employee Recognition

The need for recognition is the pillar of self-esteem. By being aware of the strengths of each of your employees, you will be able to use their skills to the fullest, to consider the value of their work and to express your appreciation accordingly. An employee who feels valued will be more motivated. They will develop a sense of belonging to the company much more quickly and remain within the organization. Want good news? It’s free! According to a study led by Officevibe, 82% of employees would prefer receiving recognition from their employer rather than a gift.

Encourage Communication

Good communication should flow seamlessly throughout the organization: from management to employees and vice versa. Communication is indeed essential to a healthy work environment and your company’s productivity. Conversely, poor information flow not only slows down work but can also cause frustration among employees.

Show leadership

A good leader develops good relationships with employees. They can listen and show support. According to Officevibe’s study, 68% of employees say they would like to spend more time with their manager. Considering that employees who develop a good relationship with their manager feel more connected to their company, it would be wise for managers to build relationships with their team members.

Adopt Flexible Measures

Flexibility includes flexible hours and the ability for employees to telecommute. By being flexible, you will show your employees that you trust them. This is a great way to increase employee engagement and loyalty, all the while improving productivity – by 13.5%, according to a Harvard Business Review study – and reducing absenteeism.


As you’ve seen, there are numerous benefits to a healthy work environment. Contributing to your employees’ happiness strongly increases their retention. As a manager, it is very relevant to survey your team at least once a year. This way, you will identify your employees’ expectations and determine whether they are met. Happy employees, in addition to being more committed and successful, will stay with you longer! 

If you need more ideas to improve your company’s work environment and increase employee retention, feel free to contact our team!

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