10 Employee Retention Strategies

Are you looking for ways to save money on recruiting costs? Start by focusing on your employee retention. Get this right and you will instantly reduce your recruiting bills.

As a business leader, hiring manager or HR Professional you will appreciate how much cost and time high employee turnover causes a business. So anything you can do to retain existing employees will benefit your organisation in myriad ways.

Why do employees leave?

Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the way employees view their jobs. Many feel that their roles have become stagnant. Career advancement, salary increases and skill development have often been put on hold. This has also allowed ‘breathing space’ for those who have previously contemplated finding a more fulfilling role.

Beyond the pandemic, other reasons include:

  • A change in work-life balance
  • Poor relationship with line managers
  • Lack of growth and development opportunities
  • Inflexible work options
  • Dissatisfaction with salary and / or benefits
  • Lack of recognition
  • Boredom

10 Employee Retention Strategies

Whatever the reason for employees leaving, the good news is there are many things you can do to reduce employee turnover. To get you started we’ve put together our top 10 strategies to improve employee retention in your organisation:

1. Hire “Cultural Fit” Employees

Although experts have been saying this repeatedly, we often overlook that retention begins with the right hiring processes. Finding people who fit your culture should be your top priority. They should have the right skills but also be able to work well with their managers, co-workers, and company as a whole.

2. Onboarding and orientation

Every new hire should be set up for success from the start. Your onboarding process should teach new employees not only about the job but also the company culture. It can also show them how they can contribute to and thrive in it. Don’t skimp on this critical first step. The training and support you provide from Day One can set the tone for the employee’s entire tenure at your firm.

3. Mentorship programs

Pairing a new employee with a mentor is a great component to add to your extended onboarding process. Mentors can welcome newcomers into the company, offer guidance and be a sounding board. And it’s a win-win. New team members learn the ropes from experienced employees, and, in return, they offer a fresh viewpoint to their mentors.

But don’t limit mentorship opportunities to new employees. Your existing staff — and your overall employee retention outlook and team’s job satisfaction — can greatly benefit from mentor-mentee relationships.

4. Encourage HR and line managers to form ‘mentor-like’ relationships with high performers

In an article by Harvard Business Review, it was advised that high performers be managed uniquely, not solely by line managers. The problem with line managers doing the managing of high-performers is that they may not be thinking about the long-term corporate asset of these individuals. Instead of identifying and nurturing their growth potential and assisting them in career development, they’re concerned with what the team requires today.

These high performers end up feeling like there are narrow development opportunities, limited by the line manager’s scope of requirements. There is also the case for talented employees being ‘hoarded’ by line managers, either to protect the performance of the team or, in some cases, due to threat.

5. Provide more positive feedback

Employees need both positive feedback and constructive advice to improve and to do their best work, but in what proportion? A study in Harvard Business Review shows that the ideal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective). This means that employers should be more aware of how many negative comments they are directing towards their employees and aim towards six positive comments for every negative comment.

6. Be transparent about problems and solutions

Be clear and open about challenges in the organisation and clear about your plans to address them. This way, your people can feel confident about the organisation’s commitment to doing and being better. This way, employees will be less likely to seek out opportunities with competitors who are better aligned to their needs and values.

7. Offer flexibility

Since the Covid-19 pandemic flexible work / home working have become the norm for many employees. Whilst you may likely be wanting your employees to return to the workplace, a flexible or blended approach to working is becoming more the norm than the exception. The option to work from home some of the time is now becoming a make or break for many employees. Consider what flexibility you are able to offer employees – depending on their job function and the needs of the business.

8. Invest in learning and development

One way of improving employee loyalty is through learning and development. Sending employees (whether they are high performers or not) for training strengthens the organisation’s strategic position and competitive advantage. It also demonstrates your commitment to nurturing your people’s potential. This is what top talent is looking for; they’ll stay with an organisation that invests in them.

9. Clear career path development opportunities

Being able to see where and how they can progress their career and be promoted is perhaps the biggest single factor that will keep employees in your organisation. Have clear and transparent career path opportunities for each individual and show they what they need to achieve to be considered for promotion. Regular review meetings with a line manager with targets is a great way to facilitate this.

Most importantly – provide structured feedback to individuals who apply for promotion or for a new role and are unsuccessful. These are often the people an organisation will be most at risk of losing. Explain why they were not successful and what they need to do to achieve success in the future. Line managers should consider giving these individuals new tasks/responsibilities to keep them interested and engaged and show them that they are valued by the organisation.

10. Make employee well-being a priority

It’s difficult to know how employees are feeling and coping without asking them. Knowing the truth, you’ll be able to support them in ways that can facilitate engagement, productivity, performance, and many other areas that promote success.

Problems will arise if employees feel they aren’t being supported and have no way of expressing this confidentially. It will either show up in their behaviour and the way they work or they’ll feel compelled to leave.

Further Reading

How to employ the right people for your business

Onboarding new employees

Exit interviews

Copeland help automotive business find great sales and marketing people. Learn whether we are the right agency for you: Why Employers Choose Copeland if you’re ready to talk get in touch: e: julia@copelandselect.co.uk T: 07973 286342

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