If you’re like most HR pros, you can probably use all the help you can get with employee retention ideas, right?

With that in mind, here are three retention-boosting success stories, implemented in real time, and shared by HR pros just like you.

One idea boosted retention from  57% to 78%

Courtesy of Laura Rodnitzky, VP of people, 3Q Digital, as presented at the 2018 SHRM Conference & Exposition in Chicago)

We had no trouble attracting younger employees to our

The problem was these folks didn’t tend to stick around long. They’d get some experience with us, find another opportunity and be out the door all too soon.

You can imagine the time and effort (not to mention cost) it
took to hire and retrain new people made departures a major pain point for us.

We needed to give our young folks a reason to stick around long term.

Nagging student loans

So we started looking at the biggest challenges facing this
group, and student loan debt was far and away the No. 1 issue. It was causing
stress, causing people to delay milestone moments (buying a home) and, ultimately,
creating a disengaged group of job-hopping employees.

If enough people would use them, say, around a quarter of
our staff, we could offer student loan repayment benefits to sweeten the pot
for turnover-prone staffers.

We wanted to surprise our employees with the new perk. But
we needed some data to support adding the new benefit. In the end, we added a
few questions to gauge interest in our employee surveys.

There was definitely an interest. And that interest wasn’t only among our younger employees.

Tax-based opportunity

Once we found the right administrator, we needed to pick the
right type of program.

In our case, a tiered student loan repayment program, based
on years of service, looked like the best option.

Because student loan benefits are taxable, the money has to
be treated as taxable income.

We saw this as another opportunity. That’s why we decided to
gross up or cover the income taxes on the student loan benefits.

In other words, if an employee gets a $50 per month benefit, they’ll get that amount plus whatever the tax is. Many companies that offer this benefit don’t cover the taxes, so that became a real value-added benefit.

In addition to the student loan repayment benefits, we also
offer tuition reimbursement.

Employees could choose which of the perks they want to

While the majority of employees love the new benefit, there
were a few complaints.

Some grumbled about not being able to use the perk.

In those situations, we reminded folks about all the other
things we offered, as well as the fact we were always expanding our benefits
package. We also stressed one of our core values – “for the greater good” – to
support the decision.

Our student loan repayment benefit is still a relatively new
program, but the results we’ve seen so far have exceeded our expectations.

Around 25% of our employees signed up for the benefit, and
we’ve seen our retention rate increase from 57% to 78%.

This two-tiered appreciation program boosted retention and morale

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Uden, HR manager, Parkland College, Champaign, IL

We put a lot of effort into making our new hires feel welcome, but we also knew we needed to focus on keeping our current employees happy to hang onto them.

That’s when we formed our “Fun Raising” team, solely
dedicated to appreciating our employees through fun activities.

Throughout the year, the team puts on great events like
pop-up escape rooms, free ice cream days and company spirit weeks. Around
Thanksgiving, we always tell our staff how thankful we are for their hard work.

We’ve gotten a terrific employee response to this. But we
wanted to take it even a step further and help our workers show appreciation
toward each other as well.

Kudos for colleagues

As we brainstormed employee retention ideas, we hit on an idea we called the “Kudos for Colleagues” program.

We launched it with a huge kickoff event and an all day
drop-in party in the HR department. People could stop by any time to grab a
donut, play games or just hang out for a while.

But the most important part was the kudos cards we had for
employees to fill out.

They’d write down the name of a co-worker and explain what
made them awesome at their job. It’s a great way for our team to celebrate the
people they work with.

A pleasant surprise

Since the initial launch, we’ve been sending out nomination
cards once a month.

A random winner is chosen each month, receiving a trophy and
prize to share with their department.

We also profile the winner in our employee newsletter and
post their photo outside of HR.

Even those who didn’t win are recognized. Everyone who
received a nomination gets the card with their co-worker’s compliment.

Fun, but effective

It may seem a little silly, but our people are proud to
receive the recognition, and our team has really embraced the program.

Since starting Kudos for Colleagues, we’ve always received
at least 40 nominations each month. Sometimes, we’ll get as many as 100 out of
an employee pool of
about 500.

While it’s hard to get solid numbers backing the program’s
effectiveness, our employee surveys show widespread satisfaction with it.

Positive atmosphere

By employees recognizing and complimenting each other, the
atmosphere here has really become supportive and positive.

We’ve also heard from managers that morale and enthusiasm
are strong, and they’re seeing employees going above and beyond in providing
customer service.

Not to mention, retention has vastly improved since we
started the program.

Another bonus: It’s been months since we’ve started the
program and participation is still going strong.

Boosted retention with retirement perk tweak

Courtesy of Lorna Dickinson, payroll coordinator, Union Bank, Lake Odessa, MI

Like most companies, we wanted to keep our people around long term. And we were willing to try some unique strategies to improve retention. 

As a way to brainstorm employee retention ideas, we formed a committee of employees from several departments to ask for suggestions. And one idea really caught our attention.

Our company already offered a profit-sharing plan where a
portion of the company’s annual profits was distributed to employees’
retirement accounts based on a percentage of their salary.

Usually, we made these contributions as a lump-sum payment
every year.

But an employee suggested we change our strategy and
contribute each pay period instead.

Noticeable reward

This person made a really good point: By making
contributions each week, employees were more likely to relate the extra money
to the work they’d recently completed.

Because they’d see this reward on a regular basis, they’d
feel more invested in the company’s success – and they’d want to stick around
to reap the benefits of that.

It didn’t take much extra work on my part to add
profit-sharing contributions to each payroll.

The best part: It more than paid off by giving us another way to motivate and retain our employees.

Tim McElgunn and Rachel Mucha contributed to this article.

The post Employee retention ideas: Student loan perks; weekly profit sharing … and one more great idea appeared first on HRMorning.

Post Your Resume to 65+ Job Sites
Resume Service

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post