Why Is Employee Retention a Growing Concern for Businesses in Washington State?

Washington represents the home of some of the country’s most iconic companies. No wonder the battle for talent becomes so fierce when you have the likes of Microsoft and Amazon in your backyard.

This level of competition puts a premium on employee retention. Once you land a talented team member, you need to do what you can to keep them. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find them working for the competition.

Meanwhile, the overall economy has seen a spike in employee movement. The so-called “Great Resignation” has seen the number of people quitting their jobs reach its highest level of the 21st century.

Adding to this, the labor market in Washington has tightened in recent months.

In August, the state recorded an unemployment rate of 5.1%. This remains elevated compared to the approximately 4% seen in the pre-pandemic days. But the figure represents a post-COVID low, as people slowly return to the workforce.

As you can see, economic forces, both in the country and in Washington, are working against your retention campaign. However, that doesn’t mean you’re engaged in a lost cause. With the right strategy, you can hold your best employees over the long haul, improving your long-term growth prospects.

What are the biggest reasons top talent leaves?

To improve your retention strategies, you need to identify why you are losing talent. Here are a few of the top reasons employees look for other opportunities:

  • Low Compensation: Ultimately, it comes down to pay. If you offer a below-market rate for your workers, you’ll have trouble keeping good people.
  • Lack of Challenges: Think of it as a romantic relationship. You need to find ways to spice things up. If you don’t offer ways for employees to develop and grow, they will eventually search for new challenges.
  • No Room for Advancement: You might offer a great wage for your entry-level positions. But where do employees go from there? Make sure your best workers understand how they can get ahead in your organization.
  • Cultural Mismatches: Focus on culture during the hiring process. This ensures that candidates share your vision and values. That alignment will help form a long-term connection.

How can you improve employee retention?

Identifying the problem only takes you so far. You also have to consider ways to address the challenges you face in retaining talent. Here are a few steps you can take to improve employee retention:

Target Your Best People

Don’t just look at the raw numbers on retention. Think about who you want to keep most. Some people are harder to replace than others. Focus your efforts on your top performers.

Improve Communication

Culture makes a big difference in retention. If you can share your vision with your employees and show them that they are working for something more than a paycheck, you’ll get a more engaged workforce. You’ll also get one more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Hire the Right People to Start With

Turnover happens when people are mismatched with their jobs. When you have the wrong workers in place, it creates an inherently unstable situation, ripe for rapid departures. To avoid this, work to improve your hiring process.

Finding the right candidates helps you lay the foundation for a strong team. You get better talent, and you’re able to keep them longer because they are well-suited for your organization. A partnership with a strong recruiter, like SmartTalent, makes this possible.

Contact SmartTalent today to upgrade your Washington team-building efforts.


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