11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

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It’s always exciting to welcome a new employee whom you’re convinced will contribute significantly to the company. Unfortunately, for some companies, there might be a revolving door of employees that come in, work for a few months and then decide to leave. This greatly reduces the morale of existing employees. In the age of remote work, it’s also entirely possible that your colleague leaves before you’ve even had the chance to meet them in person!

According to an IDC report, about 46% of employees intend to leave their jobs in Singapore within the next 12 months. A report by LinkedIn found that about 42% of employees left a company due to a lack of learning and development opportunities.

Furthermore, the retail industry in Singapore has a monthly average resignation rate of over 5%, which is higher than the average rate of the entire workforce at 2.4%. The resignation rate is 3.6% for the F&B sector.

The top reasons employees quit include:

  • Being underpaid
  • Not enjoying their work
  • Lacking career growth
  • Looking for a better work-life balance
  • Seeking better pay.

According to the surveys, Singapore had the highest employee turnover, which translates to an unhealthy retention rate.

Importance of Employee Retention

Each time an experienced crew leaves, there is almost an immediate drop in productivity and loss of knowledge about internal processes. The remaining crew, whether part-timers or full-timers, might struggle with their work without having anyone to ask for help.

Overall, employee engagement and job satisfaction can drop, while customer experience may suffer if employees are not sure what to do. It’s also very costly and time-consuming to search, interview, hire, onboard and train new employees. On the other hand, if you avoid hiring to reduce the hassle for you, your current employees might become overworked and unhappy :(.

That’s why employee retention is critical in reducing the turnover rate and keeping existing employees happy :).

Employee Retention Strategies

Having an employee retention strategy is the first step to reducing turnover rates and improving employee loyalty. It’s critical to have one, including the situation where your employees are on an hourly work or shift work arrangement, or have remote or flexible work arrangements.

1. Offer a Competitive Pay

Offering a competitive salary is the most important thing to retain employees. One thing the company should do regarding compensation is monitoring how much other companies pay their employees. You will likely lose your best employees if your company’s salary is lower than your competitor’s. Also, your company should consider what kind of raises and bonuses other companies offer.

Other than getting paid for their time and work, employees are making sure that their salary is enough for their cost of living, including rent, food, taxes, and other things they should pay. Their compensations must also be adjusted with their experience growth and rising inflations. In sum, an employee’s salary more or less must reflect your employee’s living cost.

After that, your employees should be paid according to their responsibilities, so higher responsibilities mean a higher salary.

Read More: Top 8 Challenges of Human Resource Management in the F&B Industry

2. Allow Employees To Have A Say

A key component of retention strategy is giving employees the platform to express concerns, ideas, and perspectives without the fear of consequences or backlash from the company’s leaders. Employees may have concerns and ideas on the company can improve and resolve these issues, and managers might not have realised that these issues exist.

In addition, outlet managers and area managers should follow up with crew regularly on what the company can do to meet their career objectives in order to retain employees. This can be a 15-minute kopi chat with each employee once every 1-3 months!

As a HR Director, you might run surveys or develop ways for crew and managers to share their feedback anonymously. During meetings, give your crew the opportunity to present ideas and speak their minds about ways to improve their workplace. This also means not dismissing their concerns or feedback immediately, acknowledging their concerns, and taking the time to hear them out!

In sum, your employees love it when they can voice their opinions. Whether you take them to chat or listen to their views while meetings, your employees will be less likely to quit if you listen to them. Also, don’t forget to give some constructive feedback!

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

3. Recognize And Reward Employees For Their Performance

People naturally want to feel appreciated and valued at their workplace. When outlet managers and crew receive recognition, it boosts engagement and motivates them to work harder. It lets them know that they’re doing their job correctly and their loyalty to the business grows.

While a salary increase, promotion or monetary reward is the most obvious way of rewarding employees, there are also other ways for managers to recognize employees. After all, recognition and rewards shouldn’t only come once every one or two years! Managers can offer recognition to their employees by expressing public thank you messages and featuring top employees based on performance on the company’s newsletter or blog.

For example, you can set an employee of the month based on performance. To motivate employees to work for the rewards, you can offer special compensation such as extra tips or a raise in hourly pay or salary.

For example, Zappos has a unique bonus program where co-workers can nominate one another for $50 monthly bonuses. The bonuses can be for any reason, such as making another employee’s day or going above and beyond on any assignment. As a result of its amazing leadership, culture, and programs, Zappos has an 85% retention rate among its staff.

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

4. Have A Cohesive Culture

A positive company culture provides a competitive advantage in recruitment since people are attracted to a company that makes their staff feel comfortable. In addition, employee engagement and retention improve because they enjoy going to work every day and are treated well by others.

You might have heard of stories where people hesitated to move to another company even if they were promised higher pay, because they enjoy working in their current workplace so much and feel a strong sense of belonging.

A cohesive culture can be built within an organization by hiring managers and crew that resonate with the company values, having proper issue-resolution procedures, and fostering respect and open communication. Reinforce and instill these values and principles of the company’s culture in your employees.

Also, a cohesive culture can be built based on teamwork. If your employees have work-related problems, you should encourage them to contact their respective teams. By doing so, you can train your employees to work out the issues collaboratively.

For example, Clif Bar has an impressive 97% retention rate by sharing its mission and core values with its employees. In 2000, the ownership decided to give employees stock options, helping employees to feel a shared sense of ownership.

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Read More: Importance of Employee Engagement in Human Resource Management and How to Improve It

5. Improve Your Compensation Package And Employee Benefits To Hire The Best Talents

Employees regularly assess the employment opportunities available to them. It’s essential to have a competitive compensation package and employee benefits to attract new talent and retain them. Tie the raises or bonuses to performance to give managers and crew a fair opportunity to achieve the financial incentives. Make sure to include desirable employee benefits as well.

It might not always be feasible to provide luxurious facilities to your employees, but most employees are happy with good health insurance, annual leave, a holiday bonus, flexible hours, and employee discounts. Many restaurants offer a discount on menu items for employees and their family members (and who doesn’t like cheap and good food?! You’ll never complain about not being popular among your friends and family.)

For example, Japan Food Holdings’ employee benefits include a welcome benefit of $800, a $500 Keep-Fit incentive, an attendance allowance, birthday vouchers, staff meals, and discounts. Employees also get to enjoy a $300 staff referral fee if applicable.

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

6. Proper Onboarding Of New Employees

New employees are usually excited to start their new job and learn, and this is the time when they have lots of energy and enthusiasm! However, a lack of training and onboarding can lead to anxiety and uncertainty around their job, and their energy can quickly run out. Great onboarding programs help employees to forge relationships with other employees and their managers, encourage open communication, and increase employee engagement.

It’s critical for management to organise a proper orientation program for new hires that explains the work processes and gets them acquainted with new colleagues and managers. This becomes much easier when the company has proper structures and processes in place. For example, good employee schedules and accurate time tracking will make it a lot easier for a new crew member to ease into the day-to-day work.

In addition, an organization may offer mentorship programs where seasoned workers help out new employees. The mentor can check in regularly to see how they are coping. By the end of the onboarding process, the new hires should know the organization well (including its vision, structure, goals, culture, product, or service), get to know people in their workplace, and have the right materials and knowledge to perform well at their job.

Read More: A Guide to Annual Leave Entitlement in Singapore

7. Provide Career Development Opportunities

Businesses should provide career development opportunities for their workforce, including upskilling and vertical and horizontal career growth. This encourages employees to look internally for career progression and professional development, instead of looking for these opportunities elsewhere.

If employees feel that they have a career objective to work towards, that can boost employee retention and job satisfaction. Providing professional development can also increase the productivity of your business since you have a more skilled workforce.

Put yourself in the shoes of a waiter or waitress working in a restaurant. Some people see it as a dead-end job with no opportunities for growth, and many leave when they can switch careers.

The only thing you can do is become a manager (of which there can only be one per outlet) or work somewhere else that pays more. However, career development opportunities aren’t only limited to the positions available.

Upskilling is the process of teaching workers new skills. At a restaurant, a busser may learn new customer service and communication skills to transition to being a waiter or waitress.

A waiter or waitress may learn to serve VIP customers and learn transferrable customer service skills. A worker with more talent and skills gives the manager greater flexibility in assigning jobs to their team.

Vertical career growth means employees receive a promotion and obtain the next job title. For example, in a retail setting, vertical career growth can be a crew member moving up to a crew leader, then to a supervisor, and eventually to an outlet manager.

Horizontal career growth means the employee obtains new knowledge and skills to create more value for the company. An employee could be transferred to other departments where they learn new skills and understand what it’s like to work in another department adjacent to their previous one.

For example, at a cafe-restaurant, a crew member may move from making drinks to working at the cash register. The small shift in responsibilities allows the employee to gain insight into other roles and makes the employee more valuable in the marketplace and the company. Employees appreciate it when an employer does their best to give them opportunities for growth!

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

8. Have A Good Leadership Style

You might have heard the quote, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.” Many of us might have complained about our bosses at some point, which goes to show how much influence good and bad bosses have on the employee experience!

Managers should have compassionate and mindful leadership skills that unlock the potential of their employees. Leaders should trust their crew and managers to complete the tasks rather than micromanaging them. Provide constructive feedback.

Find out the strengths of each employee and bring out the best in them to maximize their performance. Show your faith in them by assigning them more projects and asking them for input on ideas or issues for the business.

Leaders must also have good listening and communication skills. Great leaders are willing to listen to the needs of their team, take feedback from the crew, and even accept responsibility when they’re wrong. That’s how they gain respect and loyalty from employees who would be keen to stay on as long as their boss is working at the company.

Read More: Understanding Employee Well-Being and How It Affects Your Business

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

9. Introduce Fun To Work

Most employees spend 40 hours per work at their job. If they don’t enjoy working there, they’re more likely to quit. An employee who isolates themselves, shows apathy or lack of motivation, or is less active are signs that they may resign sooner rather than later.

A healthy work environment usually consists of fun activities that bond the team together to build camaraderie. The management team can organize events, celebrate together during festivities and promote socialising in the workplace. Outings such as parties and team-building activities can improve working relationships within the company.

Turn boring activities into something more interesting. For example, meetings or lectures can include delicious snacks or lunch to make it more enjoyable. You can also allow employees to decorate the workplace during the holidays.

For instance, Hyatt introduced a cooking competition that resulted in a 10% reduction in kitchen staff turnover across 130 full-service properties. The competition allowed chefs to create new dishes, and the winner received two free airline tickets, an extra week of vacation, and a free stay at any Hyatt (a dream for many of us who are currently starved for travel experiences during the pandemic). In addition, 6 of the 12 finalists received promotions!

time management software, 11 Employee Retention Strategies that Make Your Employees Happy

10. Ensure The Company Has Positive Growth And Is In Good Financial Standing

Job security is a concern for many employees. Companies that have stagnated will result in fewer career advancement opportunities for employees.

Be transparent about the company’s current situation and future aspirations. Talk to employees about business goals in the upcoming months or years and let them know how their efforts are contributing to the organization. Share good news such as revenue growth, new expansion, new product lines, and more.

For example, if you’re a manager of a large retail chain, you can share how your store has outperformed competitors or stores in other locations so that employees feel motivated to work harder and keep up the good work.

11. Take Care Of Employees’ Well-Being

Apart from regular medical benefits, companies can offer additional health benefits, such as access to counsellors if managers or crew need mental health assistance and exercise classes to encourage regular fitness habits. Teams that work out together, stay together!

Healthy snacks or in-house workshops on topics like financial literacy can also be helpful for employees and lets them feel valued. Also, companies can consider giving them mobile stipends because nowadays, people use their phones for work-related stuff.

And last but not least, employees deserve a short break after working for 3 hours. Giving them a short break will reduce their stress and make them happier in the long run. Thus, it will make them less likely to move to another company.

Read More: Financial Literacy for Employees: Why It Matters and How to Improve It


Employee retention is a multi-faceted approach. Many factors come into play in providing an optimal work environment for employees. When a manager or crew decides to quit, it can be very costly to hire and train a new person.

Incorporating some of these employee retention strategies can improve company morale and increase employee productivity, in turn increasing employee satisfaction and company profits.

Work processes are one of the factors that affect employee retention. Employees feel frustrated at having to undertake manual and time-consuming processes that produce inaccurate results!

To increase efficiency and lower costs, check out StaffAny, a time scheduling and time attendance tracking app that streamlines the work between HR and Operations and allows employees to have better productivity.

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