Retaining employees is arguably just as important as retaining clients or customers. The cost of hiring can go through the roof if employee retention is poor.
We’ve tried to offer something a bit different with this article and offer a different perspective on how to improve employee retention.
Read on to find out more!
The Hiring Process – A process of continual improvement
When an employee leaves, one of the first places you should look at is your hiring process.
Don’t just ask ‘what is the main reason employees are leaving?’, consider every single reason. Of course, you should prioritise the most pressing issue when it comes to improving employee retention, but there is a lesson to be learned from every employee that moves on, even when they move on amicably.
For example, an employee leaves the company because they found the role wasn’t for them. Maybe they weren’t quite as engaged with the role as they thought they’d be because the role wasn’t what they expected.
You could quite easily say that this is the employee’s problem. Maybe they didn’t really research the company or the role they were signing up for thoroughly.
Alternatively, is there something your company could have done to make the role clearer for the employee prior to hiring them?
Could the job description have been more clear or detailed?
Was it advertised in the right place?
Could the role have been made clearer in the interview process?
These are all ways your company could improve its hiring process and improve employee retention based on feedback from that employee.
The key is to take every lesson you can possibly learn from an employees’ experience with your company. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the hiring process. The hiring process becomes more thorough each time an employee moves on and retention rates increase!
Culture – Build a team that buys into what you do
Culture is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but don’t discount how important it is.
A great culture can be the linchpin for the employee experience. The idea is to improve the relationship between the company and its staff.
Employees should buy into what the company is trying to do and become a part of the company, not just an employee or even worse, a number.
It’s one thing trying to get staff to buy into the product or service and what its about, but the key is to communicate how that product or service is changing someone’s life.
This is a simpler process for some companies than others. For example, employees of a charity know exactly how their work is impacting lives. For for-profit companies, it’s a little bit more difficult.
However, even for those companies where it’s difficult to nail down an ethical and relatable positive impact that your product or service is having, partnering with a charity or generally taking on more ethical, moral practices will endear your company to staff and improve employee retention.
Give your staff something they can get behind like reducing carbon emissions or fundraising for charity and your employees will not only feel more valued but that they’re a part of something important.
Employee Feedback – Make employees aware of your open-door policy
We’ve all done it. Got home after a hard day at work and complained about this or that about our day. The printer stopped working, that person didn’t get back to that email, the company van broke down. The person who needs to hear it most, the boss, is totally unaware.
In any organisation, there needs to be clear, consistent communication. This comes down to management.
Does your organisational structure support good communication?
The backbone of this is having an organisational structure in place that allows for good communication. It’s not the fanciest sounding thing in the world, but it is necessary in any organisation.
In simple terms, no manager should be overwhelmed by the size of their team and there should be a clear line of communication throughout the hierarchy.
A CEO can’t be expected to manage 50 people let alone hundreds! A good rule of thumb is to keep teams to around no more than 6 employees, as any more than that can become unmanageable for managers.
Every department and company are different, but the bottom line is, when a manager feels overwhelmed by the amount of work and number of staff they have to manage, communication breaks down. Ever struggled to get hold of your manager? Does it occur on a regular basis? They’re probably overworked and are juggling too many tasks or have been tasked with managing too many people.
Employees need to be made aware of where to channel any issues or complaints. It’s no good having an open-door policy if the manager isn’t behind that door in the first place because they’re too busy or overworked.
Employee forums are a great way for employees to get together to discuss what more the company could do for staff, but some issues require a one-to-one conversation.
Most companies don’t consider communication when they think about how to improve employee retention, but good communication is one of the pillars of a successful business!
Reward and Recognition – A key pillar of employee happiness
Is there anything worse than knowing you’ve done a good job and not receiving any recognition? Rewarding employees adequately and fairly is hugely important, especially when it comes to improving retention. Doing so however is easier said than done.
We’ve touched on this in our ‘Theory Behind Employee Motivation and Retention’ article.
One theory we looked at was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to this theory, a sense of self-esteem is a crucial need and is one which employers can fulfil to a certain extent for employees.
Boosting a person’s self-esteem by rewarding a job well done or by recognising that they’ve gone above and beyond what was asked of them is a key factor in improving retention.
On the flipside, an employee who goes the extra mile or overachieves in their role that isn’t rewarded or recognised by the company or their manager will become disillusioned.
Equity is also key; employees should be rewarded fairly. Again, this is easier said than done. However, if employees feel aggrieved that they or their colleagues haven’t been rewarded fairly, having consistent, clear communication in place as mentioned earlier should help resolve this issue.
So, how should it be done?
An effective reward and recognition platform
The companies with the best employee retention without doubt have an effective reward and recognition platform in place.
These companies recognise the cost of poor employee retention but also the time cost in rewarding and recognising employees without use of a platform.
Many companies integrate their reward and recognition as part of their employee benefits platform too, not only making the process of reward and recognition simpler and more effective but helping promote the company’s employee benefits to staff in the process.
Peer-to-Peer ECards are becoming a huge part of every successful reward and recognition programme, allowing employees and managers to congratulate, say thanks and reward each other instantly through their employee benefits platform.
Rewards can be given to staff through a reward and recognition platform too, whether they be financial or non-financial.
Want to reward your staff with a gift card? Or with a longer lunch break? Done through a reward and recognition platform it is quick, easy and simple.
Employee Benefits – The difference between you and competing employers
With the amount of different types of employee benefits on the market, they’re one of the most effective tools for improving employee retention.
Salary sacrifice offers employees a way to save through salary deductions, often saving in Tax and NI, that they can’t get anywhere else.
For example, the Bike to Work Scheme offers employees the chance to get up to 42% off the cost of a new bike or accessories through paying for the bike through salary sacrifice.
There are health and wellbeing employee benefits too to help employees save on the cost of a gym membership or dental care for example.
Most employers offer high street discounts to staff too, helping make employees pay cheques go further with discounts on electricals or the weekly or monthly shop for example.
There’s no end to the different types of employee benefits available and putting together an employee benefits package that suits your business and its staff is hugely important to retention.
Given the choice between two roles where one employer offers a better employee benefits package than the other, an employee’s mind is almost made up. A good benefits package will give your employees ways to save and support for all manner of things that they won’t get with any other employer!
We provide employee benefits to suit every company. We also provide Reward and Recognition through our Salary Extras employee benefits platform.
To find out more about Salary Extras, take a look here!
Looking for a comprehensive employee benefits platform? We’ve got you covered.