It’s never easy keeping staff turnover down and employees can move on for many reasons, often reasons that are out of your control.
However, the key to any successful business is attracting and retaining top talent and employee retention can always be improved. That’s where effective employee retention strategies come in.
We’ve picked out strategies we know have helped our partners and clients and strategies we use ourselves too. We’ve also offered a little further food for thought when it comes to adopting these employee retention strategies to help you improve staff retention as much as possible!
Flexible working strategies
Not only will flexible working employee retention strategies reduce staff turnover, they’ll genuinely improve the overall wellbeing of your team.
Flexible work timings – offering staff flexibility when it comes to when they begin their day, when they finish or how and when they take breaks gives them freedom and control and shows a valuable sense of trust. It gives staff better work/life balance allowing them to work things such as going to the gym around their workday, thus helping contribute to their overall wellbeing and helping build a valuable relationship with the company.
Working from home options – 2020 has shown everyone the benefits and drawbacks of working from home, however allowing staff to remote work is now of course more important than ever. Have thorough provisions in place for remote working and make sure everyone is as comfortable and happy as they can possibly be working from home.
Financial employee retention strategies are important for everyone but particularly for graduates who are looking for financial support to further their career but also to save and to get on property ladder.
Financial support for education – this is particularly important for graduates who, having recently completed further education, want to advance their career without adding more debt or getting into financial difficulty.
Stock investment opportunities – allowing staff to invest in the business not only strengthens their ties but also helps develop further financial security and make their savings go further.
Salary and compensation – it’s important not to be paying below industry standard in order to retain talent, however its more than just handing out pay rises. A fair and competitive salary is financial security for your staff which contributes to their overall wellbeing, while also keeping competing recruiters from tempting your talented staff away.
To improve employee retention, you often have to start at the very beginning, with recruitment. This is where hiring employee retention strategies come in.
Continually review the hiring process – high staff turnover can often point to underperforming recruitment. Constructive feedback from staff who leave is critical to improving your hiring process and thus your employee retention. For example, an employee leaves the company because the role wasn’t what they thought it would be. There could be a number of reasons for this, but could it involve how the role was advertised? It sounds simple, but its crucial to good recruitment and even better employee retention.
Optimise your onboarding – anyone in HR knows the importance of a good onboarding process. Some onboarding processes however are only designed to fit the minimum requirements, only considering the initial training and compliance and security for example. With your onboarding it’s important to think outside the box and include some fun and engaging initiatives. This has become ever more important with the importance of remote working. At a minimum, make sure staff are provided with the tools they need to do their job, educate them on what they need, then focus on acclimatising them to your company and environment. Implement a detailed plan for your new hires’ first week and month.
Provide a roadmap for success – set a timeframe, for example 30, 60 or 90 days, then outline goals, objectives and targets and set out a clear path for progression. Show employees you not only care about their progression but that you’re actively planning and working towards targets with them.
Company Culture and Environment Strategies
Your culture is key. It’s what attracts talented staff to your company, makes them feel a part of something important and encourages advocacy while creating a workplace staff genuinely love.
Plan out of office activities – whether it’s a regular visit to the local restaurant or a game of football, out of office activities help bring your whole company together and makes employees feel a valued part of the team. Find out what your staff enjoy and encourage managers to organise get-togethers and create a culture and environment your employees love being a part of.
Design an inclusive workspace – make sure your workplace has plenty of gathering areas where people can eat together and socialise. Break rooms and seating areas are more than just places for your staff to relax on their lunch break, they’re specific areas away from the workspace where people can socialise. It’s all part of building a friendly, inclusive environment which contributes hugely to the overall employee experience!
Encourage regular catch up calls – remote working has brought about many challenges when it comes to inclusiveness and reducing isolation. Social calls are hugely important and even if it isn’t necessarily work related, it’s better to encourage social calls to help staff stay on top of their wellbeing as well as helping them still feel a valued member of the team. Remote working is important, but don’t lose your company culture!
Have an open-door policy – it sounds obvious and it has been said many times, however, an open-door policy is crucial. Employees should be encouraged to be open about their difficulties with work and suggestions should be welcomed through surveys for example. After all, the nature of work means that no job is perfect and we all have areas of our role we feel could be improve. A clear communication channel lets staff know they have a voice and that whatever problems they’re facing in their current role can be solved.
Have one-to-one ‘stay’ interviews – finding out why staff are choosing to move on is important, however wouldn’t it be better to find out before they leave? Regular one-on-ones are very important and staying on top of how your employees feel is key to ensuring they’re as happy as they can be as part of your team!
Effective reward and recognition – employees want to be recognised for their hard work. In fact, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it’s a vital component to someone’s overall happiness. We’ve written about this before in our ‘5 Key Elements of a Successful Reward and Recognition Programme’ article, and how timely, effective and meaningful reward is key to overall employee satisfaction. Rewarding and recognising staff is one thing, doing it effectively is the difference between a satisfied team and a happy one!
Peer to Peer recognition – encouraging and giving staff ways to thank or show appreciation for their colleagues helps foster an inclusive culture and a friendly atmosphere! Implementing Peer-to-Peer technology can help massively particularly while remote working.
Regular performance reviews – annual performance reviews are one thing, but why not make them every 6 months or quarterly? Doing so lets staff know how much you value their progression and that they’re on the path that they want, while also giving employees the opportunity to discuss areas of their role they would like to change or improve.
Employee benefits strategies
If your compensation and benefits package as a whole provides genuine financial security for your staff, you’ll retain your talent and build a team to drive your business forward. Building employee benefits into your employee retention strategies is key.
Optimise your health and wellbeing strategy – there are loads of health and wellbeing employee benefits out there such as the Health Cash Plan, Private Medical Insurance, Dental Care, Employee Assistance Programmes and loads more. Offering a health and wellbeing package that suits your staff and can’t be matched anywhere else will benefit not only your employees but their families too.
Offer financial support through employee benefits – As mentioned, looking after your staff and their financial wellbeing is key to retention. It goes way beyond just salary and pay and real financial security is what you should strive for in every employee. Staff can use salary sacrifice schemes to make savings and investments while financial education through employee benefits can help avoid financial trouble.
Provide the most popular employee benefits at a minimum – your employee benefits set up should match that of competing employers at a minimum in order to avoid losing talented staff. Employee benefit schemes such as the bike to work scheme, EAP, car scheme are all popular and can be key in not only attracting talented new recruits but retaining them too.
Offer a complete benefits package that suits your staff down to the ground – if lots of your staff don’t see any benefit in your employee benefits they may be tempted away by employers with more tailored offerings. A good benefits package can save an employee hundreds and sometimes thousands per year, particularly through bike to work scheme but also through staff discounts.
Introduce flexible benefits – flexible benefits allow your staff to tailor their benefits package to them by choosing where their flexible benefits allowance is invested. Find out more about how flexible benefits work on our flex benefits page.
Strategies to give you that little extra boost
Keeping staff turnover low isn’t easy, so here are a few extra employee retention strategies to consider too.
Manager training – managers are managers for a reason, however a poor relationship with a manager can cause staff to leave almost instantly. Whether it’s through consulting, on-site training or online training, giving managers the skills to manage their teams effectively is a critical factor to improving the employee experience.
Be a company your employees are proud to be a part of – whether it’s through charity partnerships or taking corporate social responsibility, both your internal and external brand are a big factor in improving employee retention.
Mentoring – tutoring and mentoring has the potential to be incredibly effective, particularly for new starters or even graduates. It also has the added benefit of developing skills throughout the business to maintain that important knowledge within the company.
Exit interviews – as mentioned, having exit interviews are crucial to establishing the reasons for your employee turnover and thus reducing turnover going forward. Use exit interviews to not only improve the recruitment process but to improve the exit interviews themselves going forward too. Make sure your exit interviews are as thorough as possible.
When it comes to implementing employee retention strategies, first consider who your strategies will be best received by and conduct your message accordingly. For example, as mentioned, while financial employee retention strategies will benefit everyone, they’ll be particularly well received by graduates. Secondly, consider your budgets and what suits your business best. You may not have the finances to offer stock investment options for example, however you might be better placed to offer more flexible working strategies.
With the right employee retention strategies in place, you’ll be better placed to build the most talented team in your industry while savings thousands every year on recruitment costs!