Hiring the right employees takes time and can be costly, both in terms of the recruitment fees, time taken to interview and the onboarding and training process. It is key for a business to focus on retaining employees to ensure that valuable knowledge remains within the organisation and the investment in the right people is worthwhile.
When turnover is high in a business, it can have a negative impact on the culture, which in turn means that attracting the best talent is compromised. In this article we explore different ways to help build a successful employee retention strategy.

Why care about employee retention?

In an increasingly competitive world, top talent is in high demand. Focusing on how to increase employee retention will allow your business to keep high calibre and motivated employees. These employees will add value to the business not only in terms of productivity, but also in terms of an improved company culture, supporting long term growth and success.

How to engage and motivate employee

Below we explore a list of creative ways to help your business attract the best talent and ensure that those hires stay with you for the long term.

Hire the right people

From the outset, if you are not hiring the right people with the relevant skillset and culture to fit into your organisation, there is less likelihood they will stay long term. By ensuring your recruitment process is thorough and you are portraying the role and company values accurately, will ensure that the people you bring on board are best suited.
When using a recruitment agency to assist you with a hire, the more information you can provide them with, the better they will know your business, which will increase the suitability of the candidates that they are able to introduce you to. Ultimately, they are your representative in the market, and you want your business to be portrayed in the most attractive (and accurate!) way.
It can also be clear when reviewing a CV if the specific candidate is the type of person who commits to roles, or if they have moved around more regularly suggesting they might do the same when you hire them. By asking targeted questions around long term plans, will also allow you to ascertain if the candidate is likely to commit long term to your business or not.

2. Offer competitive salaries

People want to be rewarded fairly for the work they do. It is common that when a candidate moves from one company to the next, they can achieve a pay rise and this can be their main incentive to make a move. However, it is worth calculating the costs involved to replace that candidate internally; both monetary and the time invested to replace them. Often these expenses will outweigh the costs of offering a small pay rise or bonus, which would keep the employee happy and increase retention internally.

3. Have a thorough onboarding strategy

Once you have spent time sourcing, interviewing and securing the successful candidate, the next important stage is to onboard them effectively into the business. The start of a new employee’s tenure with a business can often be the most unsettling and volatile and therefore starting off on the right foot can be key to them staying long term. Having a clear process in place will help to manage the employees’ expectations and ensure nothing is missed, so they have all of the tools in place to start their new role and be as productive in it as possible.
An example of this is giving new starters a buddy when they join the business, someone who will be their point of contact for queries and will be the person to assist with integrating them into the business.
We would also recommend having a detailed employee handbook with all of the information one may need. This can be sent to a new employee before their start date to allow them to have time to read it and get to grips with new policies and procedures.

4. Focus on progression 

Ambitious candidates will want to feel that they are growing and developing within a business and employers should be keen to support this. This can be achieved by having quarterly or bi-annual appraisals and providing a clear list of goals for each employee to achieve. These objectives will give the employee something to work towards, but they will also help clarify if any pay increase or bonus is deserved. Keeping employees focused and engaged should help increase their output and by acknowledging individuals’ achievements, should make them feel appreciated and thus reduce staff turnover.

5. Have clear communication

Establishing open communication within a business will help promote a sense of community and will allow employees to feel valued. By sharing company goals and allowing employees to have their input heard should help staff to feel respected. 
An example of how this can be achieved is through a shared intranet or regular internal company newsletters. Depending on the size of the organisation, different methods may be more appropriate, but this will help keep employees up to date with what is going on and allow senior management to manage what is communicated effectively. 

6. Offer training

Offering training to employees will benefit an organisation in several ways. Not only will it help upskill your staff, giving them valuable skills which they can apply to their day to day role, it will also help employees to feel invested in and challenged.

7. Create the right culture

The company culture you create should be appropriate to the type of candidate you want to attract, to ensure the working environment is appealing to them and one where they will thrive. This will help employees to feel connected with the business and foster a sense of belonging.

8. Have a generous benefits package

Looking at the demographic of your employees may help clarify the benefits which are more appealing to them. Is it a better healthcare and pension package, or is it gym membership and social events? Benefits don’t have to be expensive, but they will all make an employee feel invested in and a valued team member.

9. Learn from exit interviews

When a person leaves a business, it is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable information in the form of an exit interview. Particularly if there is trust and open communication, this should be an employer’s opportunity to have an honest conversation and gain understanding of what their motivations are for leaving. This should be a learning tool to help you improve employee retention moving forward.

10. Provide flexible working

Strengthening employee loyalty by providing a flexible ethos will have a positive impact on the office culture and staff turnover. Modern technology means remote working is far more achievable now than ever before and flexible working can ease the pressure associated with mental health and help to tackle stress by promoting a happier, loyal and more balanced workforce. This should then lead to increased innovation and output within the business and will also allow for a more diverse workforce.

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