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Rethinking Employee Retention Strategies

With unemployment rates at a historic low in many sectors, it’s no surprise companies are looking for ways to retain their existing employees and position themselves competitively when recruiting new hires. Capital Bank is no exception. Based on our experience, we’ve found that a key factor in attracting and retaining employees is benefits — defined in a new way.

Look Past the Money

Although many people in professional-level jobs say they’re leaving their positions for higher salaries, the real reasons are often more subtle and personal. In this year’s Deloitte Millennial Survey, six in 10 respondents said “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose — and continued to stay with — their current employer. How do they fit into the organizational puzzle? How is their work relevant? Employees care about these things, so be transparent about how their personal goals are aligned to the “big picture” goals of the organization.

Long-term opportunities are equally important. Employees want to grow and develop in their jobs, and they want to work for companies positioned on upward trajectories over the long term. Employees are energized by companies with forward-thinking strategies and the organizational maturity to implement and follow through on those strategies — without the distractions of constant change or turnover of staff and ideas.

Rethink Benefits

Today, employee benefits go beyond health insurance plans and vacation days. They reflect a company’s personality and philosophy — its culture, environment, and opportunities — in addition to competitive pay and benefits packages.

According to Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, about 60 percent of people reported that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. The survey also found that 80 percent of employees would choose additional benefits in a broader context. At Capital Bank, we’ve had success with this, adopting more organizational flexibility around jobs, sometimes including work-from-home options, where they make sense.

We used to have general benefits policies covering all employees, but we found that more customized, people-centric benefits help our employees succeed and be their best selves at work every day. For example, we work hard to keep our health insurance coverage affordable, using a combination of high-deductible health plans and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs give employees the flexibility to use those dollars where and when they need them based on their circumstances.

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Listening to Your Employees

To enable two-way communication about your company and your environment, you can survey your employees every couple of years to get their feedback and understand their needs. Recent survey results helped us revise and improve our paid time off (PTO) policy. While our existing policy was generous, it came with a lot of rules related to different types of PTO (sick time vs. vacation time) and how those hours could be used. By converting to a single comprehensive PTO policy based on years of service, we simplified this benefit and made it easier to manage for us and for our employees.

In the 2014 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 75 percent of respondents believed that their organizations could do more to develop future leaders — a response that fell in line with what we heard from our own employee surveys. Our employees told us that management development was an important area of focus for them, so we implemented a year-long program designed to help managers communicate with employees and handle difficult conversations. A well-rounded employee training program is an important differentiator for us. While development usually means job-specific skills training, it’s important to help your employees succeed in today’s economy — where communication, leadership, agility, and handling ambiguity are just as important as subject matter expertise.

Retaining Is Recruiting

Retaining employees and recruiting employees should be one and the same. This means that while you recruit externally, you should also be recruiting your own employees every day. In this spirit, Capital Bank has created an environment that challenges our employees to grow and succeed at work while supporting them in their personal lives with benefits that have specific, individualized value to them.

Even if you’re not a large business, re-evaluating the tangible and intangible benefits you offer to employees can help you retain your best talent. For example, consider no- or lower-cost benefits such as no dress code, flexible work hours, or built-in time off to volunteer. Evaluate the costs and benefits of healthy living coaching programs, pet insurance, on-site child care, or unlimited time off (vacation and sick days).

Investing broadly in people, benefits, and services helps us succeed in a highly competitive job market and helps our employees get the most out of their personal and professional lives. Employees who are happy at work and confident that their families are healthy and secure are the best and most valuable kinds of employees. Adapting your company culture and environment — and your benefits — can help you grow alongside your employees.

Capital Bank, N.A.

1 Church Street Suite 300 Rockville, MD 20850
Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC.