Share these insights


HR has a host of challenges to juggle. From hiring to onboarding to updating internal processes, the list is an extensive one.  Add the constant changes public health requirements for remote and hybrid work, along with salary questions due to economic inflation, it’s no wonder the last few years in HR have been exhausting.

All these elements can factor into one of the biggest challenges of HR today: retention. How do you build an environment employees want to stay in with all these areas begging for your attention? Continually invest in these two areas, and you will set your business up for greater success.

Invest in Employee Engagement

The Current Conditions

Gallup and other researchers found an interesting comparison when it comes to this topic. Worldwide employee engagement sits at about 65%, but in the U.S. that number falls to 34%. That’s quite the drop off.  Further still,  in 2021, 4 million Americans quit their jobs for several months in a row, many without securing a new job before they handed in their resignation.

With these sobering facts, how do we begin to improve and increase employee engagement for your business?

How to Face this Challenge

Take the time to create strong relationships, especially between managers and employees. Trust isn’t built in a day, but intentional efforts can make a significant difference. Here’s a few ways this can happen.

  • First, discover why employees are leaving. Conduct exit interviews and note the trends and parallel reasoning. Can you pinpoint any roadblocks or obstacles that you can eliminate or at least lessen? If you hear from four different employees there’s been a lack of promotions, pay raises, or communication from leadership, those are the areas you and your executive team need to revisit.


  • Second, cast vision for the role employees play in the business. Their contributions directly support the success of the entire organization. If you are onboarding an administrative assistant who answers phones, responds to inquiries, and coordinates schedules, do you stress the importance of those responsibilities? Without those efforts, disorder can hinder business instead of building it. Every role is crucial in your company, and your team should know why theirs makes a difference.


  • Last, invest in your team’s specific needs. Every employee has strengths and areas to improve. For example, an account manager may be fantastic at face-to-face meetings but struggle with prioritizing post-meeting tasks. Praise the employee for how well they communicate with clients, and then come alongside them and create a hierarchy of priorities to follow (from emails to notes in your internal system to placing orders) to help encourage better habits. Encourage what they are doing well and support them where they can grow.


These steps may sound great, but you may be wondering how much difference employee engagement makes on the success of your business. Here are some interesting statics from Gallup that prove insightful. Engaged employees:

  • Increase productivity by 17%
  • Strengthen customer ratings by 10%
  • Improve sales by 20%
  • Enlarge profitability by 21%
  • Reduce absenteeism by 41%


Wouldn’t you love to see that kind of improvement in your business? Investing in employee engagement will do just that, but there’s one other area that will truly boost your retention strategies.


Offer Better Medical & Retirement Benefits

The Current Conditions

Ebbs and flows exist as to what organizations are offering and what employees want in the realm of medical and retirement benefits. Do you have a current pulse on what’s going on in the businesses of today? Here’s a few findings from SHRM:

  • 93% of organizations offer telemedicine or telehealth as a benefit, up 20% points since 2019.
  • 98% of organizations offer some type of health coverage, 72% offer a fully insured health plan, and 26% offer a self-insured plan.
  • A 6.8% maximum salary match is provided for traditional 401ks and 6.7% for Roth 401ks.
  • 82% selected retirement and savings as an important benefit, up 27% from 2020/21.
  • 62% offer employees a subsidy or reimbursement for at-home office or work equipment. On average, about $891 are given to cover costs related to working from home.

How to Face this Challenge

How do your current offerings compare with these stats? The whole topic can be a daunting one to tackle. We realize you can’t offer every medical and savings benefit under the sun, and there are further struggles depending on the regulations and laws of your state.

For example, in Hudson Valley, there’s been a significant change for the companies of New York State. Costs for small business benefits are going up. According to the NYS Dept. of Financial Services, small group medical benefits plans have been approved for an average increase of 12%. 

With rising costs due to inflation, how can you offer benefits like these to your employees? That’s exactly what we are concerned with at Ethan Allen. Our team works with local Hudson Valley organizations to find ways to cut costs while improving the benefits offered. You don’t have to figure out this giant puzzle alone.

Retention will likely be a vital topic for HR teams for the foreseeable future, and several factors can contribute to a team of tenured employees. But we have seen, time and time again, the importance of supporting employee engagement and comprehensive benefits will keep workers with a company for the long-haul. The more organizations invest in their people, the more their people will want to stay.

Looking for ways to offer better benefits to your team? Check out the Fortune 500-level benefits Ethan Allen has to offer which can deliver a new level of care to your employees.


Related Articles

Hudson Valley HR Case Study: How the Legendary Legacy of a Local Restaurant Lives on

Hudson Valley HR Services Case Study: A Bank’s One-Stop Solution

Hudson Valley HR Benefits Case Study: 10 Years with Ethan Allen and Counting