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Employee Retention: How to Attract and Retain Employees of any age.

As Gen Z slowly enters the workplace, pet care businesses must successfully attract and retain 4 generations of people. That’s no easy feat!

Thanks to the internet, the difference between each generation is vast. From baby boomers who navigated the internet as adults to Gen Z who have never known life without the internet, employee retention of each generation comes with its own challenges.  

What is Employee Retention?

Employee retention refers to an organization’s ability to keep its staff happy and prevent them from leaving. The goal of employee retention is to reduce employee turnover because high turnover rates can be very costly.

In 2023, businesses spent an average of $954 on training just one employee. Pair that with the cost of recruiting and onboarding that same employee, and you can see why losing them can be very expensive for a business. 

Two women at a desk for 'Employee Retention' article.
Source: Kerkez

Generations in the workforce.

Attracting 4 generations of employees to your pet care business is not going to be easy, especially as each one comes with its own goals and objectives. Understanding what is important to each generation will help you cater your business to their needs.

Baby boomers in the workforce. 

Baby boomers are gradually leaving the workforce, yet a significant portion of this generation wishes to continue working, even though they are eligible for retirement. Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are starting to switch to less demanding posts such as part-time or volunteer positions. 

Attracting baby boomer employees.

Baby boomers in the workforce are generally self-sufficient and a large part of their identity is tied to their job. They usually take pride in the companies they work for and strive to get the work done, no matter the cost. 

When attracting baby boomers to your company, focus on highlighting the independent, goal-orientated work the new hire can expect to complete.  

Gen X in the workforce. 

Gen X are often independent and self-sufficient employees. Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X is sometimes referred to as the ‘latchkey generation’. This generation tends to be independent and self-reliant as a result of the minimal adult supervision a lot of them received when they were younger. 

Attracting Gen X employees.

When attracting Gen X to your workplace, focus on promoting the critical-thinking positions that come with minimal supervision. Gen X are self-starters and will thrive when given the space to do so.

Millennials in the workforce. 

Millennials are now the largest demographic in the U.S. workforce at roughly 40%. Born between 1980 and 1996, millennials are the most likely to hop between jobs. A recent survey found that 60% of millennials were open to new job opportunities. 

Also known as Gen Y, millennials are the least engaged demographic in the workplace. They prioritize work-life balance and place a lot of importance on finding a job that supports their well-being.

Attracting millennial employees.

Offering millennials a flexible work schedule as well as the opportunity to work remotely is the best way to attract this tech-savvy generation. 74% of millennials don't want to be in the workplace five days a week so where possible, offer the opportunity to work remotely. 

Gen Z in the workforce. 

It’s estimated that by 2030, one-third of the workforce will be made up of Gen Z. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z places more emphasis on finding an employer that is focused on social issues. Gen Z is more interested in companies that are dedicated to inclusion, diversity, sustainability, and reducing climate change. 

Attracting Gen Z employees.

When writing your job description, be sure to include your company’s core values and ethos. 77% of Gen Z employees believe that working for a company that is aligned with their values is essential. 

Woman at desk and laptop for 'Employee Retention' article.
Source: JLco - Julia Amaral

How to retain employees.

The mass exodus of the workforce seen at the end of 2021 seems to be behind us. As of May 2023, the rate of people quitting their jobs in the U.S. has fallen to 2.6%. The highest recorded rate was 3%, seen in November 2021.   

But before you breathe a sigh of relief, you should know about the new phenomenon sweeping the U.S. workplace called quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is believed to affect a whopping 50% of the U.S. workforce. Instead of quitting outright, workers are now quitting quietly. They are putting in the minimal effort required for their job and no more. 

7 Employee retention best practices.

To boost employee morale, increase employee retention, and avoid quiet quitting, try implementing the below employee retention strategies.

1. Job satisfaction.

A team member who is satisfied in their role will more likely perform better and feel more committed to their job. Employee job satisfaction will look different for different team members. The best way to boost employee satisfaction is to routinely check in with your team members with 1:1 meetings. Ask them which areas of the job they like the most and which they like the least. Try to schedule them in those areas accordingly. 

For example, if one team member likes to do dog baths but doesn’t like to do dog walks, schedule them more for the dog grooming tasks. This will show that you care about their happiness at work which will lead to higher engagement.  

2. Work-life balance.

Having a healthy work-life balance is important for everyone on your team. One way to successfully promote a good work-life balance is to offer your team flexible working schedules.   

A recent survey found that 58% of workers agreed that having flexible schedules was important to them

If possible, offering this type of flexibility in your pet care facility could be a great way to boost employee retention. 

3. Professional development.

While having competitive compensation packages is important, it is not enough to keep your high-performing employees from leaving. Insufficient career development is one of the number one reasons why people quit their jobs

Providing your team members with a career development path will help them stay engaged in their work and strive to achieve their next promotion. 

4. Employee surveys.

Conducting anonymous employee surveys is a great way to get your team to tell you exactly what they want to stay happy. When the right questions are asked, surveys can be an amazing tool for increasing employee satisfaction and lowering employee turnover. 

5. Onboarding process. 

As busy as you and your business are, throwing new employees into the deep end and hoping they’ll pick things up as they go along is not going to help with employee turnover rates.  

A survey found that 89% of employees who had an effective onboarding process felt much more engaged with their work. The onboarding process is a great time to clearly define what the job entails so they won't be left in the dark. 

6. Job security. 

Job security also plays a part in successfully retaining employees and avoiding quiet quitting. A recent survey found that employees were 37% less engaged if they felt their job was not secure.

7. Supportive workplace.

Creating a company culture that is supportive of staff can be a powerful employee retention strategy to prevent engaged employees from becoming disheartened and looking for the door.

Focusing on your team’s well-being through different health and exercise programs has been shown to boost their overall engagement

Woman at desk and laptop with head in her hands for 'Employee Retention' article.
Source: Jirapong Manustrong

How can PetExec help with employee retention?

Using a pet care business software, such as PetExec, can help you implement these employee retention strategies with ease.

PetExec can help reduce employee turnover through: 

  • Onboarding: Getting to grips with your pet business software can be daunting. PetExec offers an onboarding training video and an onboarding session which the whole team can take advantage of. Here they can learn how to navigate the software effectively to help prevent confusion and disengagement.
  • Training: If your staff are unsure of how to use your business tools, they can become frustrated and avoid using them. For those team members who need a little more help, PetExec offers the opportunity to purchase coaching sessions for additional training.
  • Flexible schedule: PetExec allows you to offer your staff flexible schedules with their drag-and-drop calendar. If you have one team member who prefers morning shifts and one who prefers afternoon shifts, PetExec can easily schedule these preferred shifts for your staff through the time clock module.
  • Job satisfaction: If you know one of your team members prefers one task over the other, you can use PetExec to easily schedule them into those tasks. The combined calendars allow you to see, at a glance, which employees are available to cover the other tasks. This will help to keep your staff satisfied in their roles and be more committed to your company.  

To learn more about how PetExec can improve employee retention for your pet care business, book a free demo today!

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