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Building a Frontline Worker Retention Strategy That is Flexible (But Also Drives Positive Outcomes)

Mark Bell

April 19, 2022

Recently we covered the importance of having a retention strategy that delivers positive outcomes and the steps to build one, but what’s also important is building one that can be flexible. 

In 2021, turnover rates hit an all-time high of 55%. Although the rate of turnover continues to be high, the reasons driving this turnover are constantly evolving. From rising inflation, to the war in the Ukraine, emerging situations influence employee turnover behaviors.

That’s why developing a retention strategy that allows you to pivot as the turnover motivators change is so important. Here are the top three things to think about when creating a flexible plan. 

Are you making sustainable changes?

Once you’ve implemented a retention strategy and begin to make changes, you need to assess if the company has the resources to extend them across the organization and continue those changes for the long-term. 

For example, increasing pay helps attract and retain folks in the short-term, but how sustainable is it for the company in the long-term? Are you only able to increase pay for new-hires, but not tenured employees? Doing that may lead to existing workers leaving due to feeling under-valued and therefore dissatisfied in their role. When they leave, their skills and knowledge of the company go too. 

Only providing improvements to parts of the company or for a limited time can create new problems that influence retention rates. Evaluating the sustainability of improvements beforehand can help you avoid this, allowing changes you make to have a long-lasting positive impact on retention.  

Do you have a way to gauge if turnover reasons are shifting in real-time?

Being able to monitor a shift in employee satisfaction and see what is influencing it can help an organization remain flexible in their approach. This means you have to have a way to gather feedback on a regular basis that also allows you to take action in real-time. 

Simply surveying workers once a quarter isn’t enough to adjust your actions when new issues arise. Infrequent check-ins leave a significant amount of time where employee satisfaction can drop without a company knowing. It also means you will likely miss people who begin a position and leave before ever being able to provide feedback, and these are the key people you want to hear from!

Are you prepared to introduce new approaches and track the success of ongoing efforts?

Changes you made last year may not be having the same impact now on employee satisfaction as they did then. Scheduling flexibility might have been very important to workers at the height of the pandemic, but now those needs may have shifted to something like pay or training. That means you need to be prepared to introduce new approaches quickly.

It also means you need to have a way to track the success of the actions you’re implementing to measure when they are no longer effective. This helps you determine the ROI as well to protect your bottom line. 

WorkStep can help guide you through building a retention strategy that is flexible and delivers positive outcomes for the long-term. For more information on WorkStep RETAIN, schedule a demo today!  


Mark Bell

Mark Bell, VP of Marketing | markbell@workstep.com