Making up one-third of private sector GDP and employing approximately 47.9 million people, middle market companies (ranging from 500 to 4,999 employees) are vital to the health of the U.S. economy.
In fact, a National Center for the Middle Market report states that “the health of these businesses and their respective outlook serve as a solid indicator for the greater U.S. economy as a whole.”
However, as mid-sized companies experience revenue and employment growth, recruiting, engaging, and retaining top talent remains a challenge. And if the middle market can’t overcome these challenges, our entire economy could suffer.
5 Employee Retention Strategies for Middle Market Companies
#1. Hire for Alignment
One of the top three middle market turnover predictors is misalignment with future. Meaning, when middle market employees are uncertain of how they fit into the company’s future, they’re more likely to leave. Remember this when hiring. Ask applicants what their career goals are and how they plan to achieve them. Then, it is up to you to make sure that the applicant and the position are aligned with your company’s plans for future success. Remember, the cost of hiring the wrong candidate is far greater than the cost of ensuring the right fit.
#2. Collect Employee Feedback
How can you expect to retain talent if you don’t know what’s motivating employees to stay or what might drive them to leave? Collecting regular employee feedback (via annual engagement surveys, pulse surveys, and one-on-one meetings) sends a strong message that you value each individual employee voice even as headcount grows. Plus, employee feedback trends and analytics can actually help you predict employee turnover – by identifying where engagement might be slipping and intervening before it is too late.
#3. Offer Training and Development Opportunities
If middle market employees don’t think their jobs are interesting, challenging, or utilizing their strengths, they’re likely to make a beeline for the door. In fact, the number one predictor of middle market turnover is lack of job satisfaction. Give employees the chance to develop new skills, challenge themselves, and advance their careers by offering training and development opportunities. Any investment you make in your employees’ career growth and professional development will only benefit your growing company.
#4. Create Positive Team Dynamics
When employees like their manager and believe their team collaborates effectively, they’re more likely to be engaged (and less likely to leave). This is especially true in middle market companies, where close-knit team members are often expected to rely on each other to reach department goals. To foster positive team dynamics:
- Train managers on how to build and nurture a passionate team
- Create a culture that expects and values open and honest communication
- Encourage team members to learn and understand each other’s strengths and working personalities
- Clearly define team roles and responsibilities; set public goals to ensure accountability
#5. Motivate in Meaningful Ways
When employees believe their contributions and efforts are recognized, they’re more motivated, more engaged, and more likely to stay at your organization. But as headcount grows, responsibilities increase, and unexpected challenges surface, making it easy for genuine employee recognition to slip through the cracks.
Keep employee recognition at the forefront of your middle market retention strategy by implementing best practices and software that make employees feel valued and fit your culture. Develop a detailed bonus strategy, foster a flexible work environment, or utilize a public recognition board.
Middle market companies are facing real challenges, but none that are too large to overcome.