Employee retention: a constant blot on the landscape for employers across the globe. The balance between pushing your employees too hard and not challenging them enough is an important one, because in either scenario, given the constant stream of news around the floundering UK economy and the looming shadow of Brexit, you’d be forgiven for thinking that employers are able to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. But you’d be wrong. UK
So how can employers ensure employee retention? Here we look at five ways to ensure the retention of your top talent.
A GOOD SALARY
An obvious perk of any job, you’d be surprised how many employers fail to see its importance. In 2018, 55% of employers increased salaries in an attempt to improve employee retention rates.
We’ve come across too many talented candidates who have left their current employment over issues of pay. Today’s candidates aren’t afraid to voice their indignation at not being paid what they’re worth. More importantly, they have the confidence to go elsewhere. When this happens, it’s often too late for an employer to throw money at the problem in a bid to keep them. In our experience, if it gets to this point, it’s already too late. Once an employee contemplates leaving your business, you’re at risk of losing them to better offers.
As employer, make sure you know what you’re up against. What are your competitors paying? What do candidates expect to be paid? There are so many guides out there to help you with this, as well as knowledgeable recruiters. A good employer shouldn’t have to pay for high employee retention, because employees should never want to leave in the first place.
As Bill Copeland very wisely said “the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”. If you take the time to set manageable targets, you’ll find that productivity soars. Team this with understanding the career goals and ambitions of your people and you’re on to a winner.
Investing in training and development should never be a token gesture. It should form part of a strong retention policy and be a priority from the get-go. Training and development is key to employee retention, and it benefits your company massively.
HAVE AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION STRATEGY
Don’t have one? Get one. An employee retention strategy is a plan to keep your staff happy, and on your premises (in a non-kidnappy-kind-of-way). A good retention policy should cover things like salary, employee progression and your company culture. It should set out the process you use to hire new staff, mentoring schemes and the training you offer. It’s about showing potential hires who you are, what you offer and why they’ll be happy working for you.
The CEO of Boxed, Chieh Huang, absolutely nailed it when he committed to paying the college fees of his children’s employees. Now we’re not suggesting that you pay for the cap and gown of your employees offspring, but perhaps think of some perks that are just enough to make your people think less about leaving and more about staying.
YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Not so long ago we wrote a blog about how the importance of company culture when it comes to employee retention. Company culture is not a fluffy, romantic notion. It’s real, and it’s a big player when it comes to staff retention.
All too often, employees find themselves burnt out, stressed and depressed all because of an unpleasant working environment. Your business should promote an atmosphere of trust, honesty and flexibility. If it doesn’t, low morale and unproductively will completely derail your retention intentions.
Make sure you respect the work-life balance. Make your workspaces bright, safe and healthy. Ensure that your employees know that they can come to you if there’s a problem and that they’re free to voice ideas and opinions and really contribute to company life.
HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Good people are the key to good culture, so it’s important to get this right. As recruiters, Headway look beyond whether a candidate has the right skills and experience, and use psychometric testing to ensure that their particular personality traits are the perfect fit for our clients. We also tap into that hard to reach talent pool – those not actively seeking a change.
Once again, GOOGLE is the perfect example. This is a company that receives 5,000 applications every year, but despite this, headhunts the majority of its employees. The bottom line is, that if you’re not willing to go the extra mile for the right staff, your chances of retaining them are compromised. Getting recruitment right from the start will save time, money and the company culture you’ve worked so hard to create.
When it comes to recruitment, the perils of the ‘talent war’ are well documented. It’s hard enough to find candidates who are the right fit for your business in the first place, so it makes sense to put things in place to retain
Whilst the fact that employees are clearly not afraid to change employment arguably shows strength in the economy, it goes beyond this – to a place where employees feel valued, happy and challenged, and where the grass is way, way greener than on the other side.