Hiring the right talent is difficult enough. But retaining them presents an even greater challenge. One of the very first indicators of an employee considering leaving a job is disengagement. Creating a highly engaged workplace begins with having a competent employee retention strategy in place.
2021 welcomed a strongly led candidate market, and gone are the days when the employers held all the cards. Employees no longer feel compelled to serve companies that do not serve them beyond a salary. Thus, understanding employee retention is the key to retaining those top performers.
So, what is employee retention?
Quite simply, employee retention is the overall effort taken by an organisation to preserve its most prized asset – their talent! Moreover, a low or high employee retention rate directly impacts the company’s overall business.
It is essential to know how to manage your company’s employee turnover rate if you want to grow your operations, with 77% of companies now focusing on employee experience to increase retention.
It is crucial to implement a data-backed staff retention strategy rather than simply ticking off a HR checklist. The employee retention rate should be monitored on an ongoing basis, either quarterly or bi-annually, to ensure any issues or concerns are raised before disengaging your workforce.
Employee retention and employee engagement are interrelated to each other. Employees who receive growth and exposure feel motivated. They feel motivated and satisfied with their work and thus remain with the company.
So, what are the main drivers of employee retention?
Deciding to leave a job is a difficult decision for almost everyone. It takes a lot of thinking and weighing of options before taking the leap.
The reasons why employees quit their jobs may be personal or professional, however, there are a number of critical drivers of employee retention that could make the difference in your employees’ consideration to stay:
- Healthy work environment
- Rewards & recognition
- Opportunities for growth and development
- Healthy relationships with management
- Competitive compensation
By monitoring the causes of losing employees, you can implement your best employee retention strategies.
Innovative employee retention strategies for the post-Covid work world
As we step into the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis, the corporate world has gone through a complete culture reset, particularly in the vast increase in the number of remote opportunities. Companies that provide the option for remote work have a 25% lower employee turnover.
Retaining your people post-pandemic might not be possible with your pre-pandemic measures. You will need to constantly review and implement retention strategies to keep ahead of your competition, especially post-pandemic.
To help you through this war of talent, we have noted some of the fundamental considerations on how to retain employees.
Hiring for Cultural Fit
Employees can develop their skills and expertise, however, when considering hiring someone, keep your cultural values in mind which will result in more loyal and engaged employees. New hires can blend in with the team quicker. They feel comfortable and can contribute faster.
80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. Asking questions that are related to your company values or demonstrating the role correlation with the values will help provide candidates with a more in-depth perspective of their fit with the company.
At Corvus, our recruitment solution Corvus Assured ensures the most accurate fit to your organisation through a methodology assessing management alignment, behavioural insights and full profiling.
Flexible working arrangements have become one of the top things that people look for in a new job. It has become an expectation rather than a benefit. Hybrid workplaces have become a hot topic since the beginning of the pandemic with businesses having to reassess their working methods. The option to work in the office or remotely has presented an opportunity for employees to obtain a greater balance between their professional and personal lives, without impacting on their ability to perform to the same, if not improved standards.
However, not all employers have been entirely convinced with the idea of a semi-virtual workforce, which in return is driving employees to look at competitors, and even new industries.
Employees save time and money on daily commutes, improve their work-life balance and experience fewer distractions whilst, employers can save infrastructure costs, overhead costs, avoid office politics and reduce absenteeism.
The biggest benefit to employers, however, is that there is no longer a geographical constraint in hiring people, resulting in access to a bigger pool of talent.
Particularly after the Covid-19 outbreak, health is the top priority for everyone, as both our physical and mental health had been tested amidst the global lockdown.
You can give your employees more than just sick leaves and free health check-ups. Recently, LinkedIn gave its employees a mental week off to cope with burnout. A study in the Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace found that 95% of human resource leaders admit employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention.
Maintaining a positive work-life balance is fundamental to your employee wellbeing, with 11% of workers having refused a new job due to a lack of good work-life balance opportunities, as having considerable family time is dominating as a priority.
To take pressure off employees, ensure their workload is of an acceptable level, allow work from home, and practice flexitime.
Discussions surrounding a 4-day work week have gained huge traction over the past few months. Typically, people who work extra-long hours or leave the office last are seen to be more dedicated and productive. Let’s look at two scenarios.
Rewarding Efforts, and Not Just Results
It is easier to measure results than the effort taken to get that result.
Things don’t always go to plan, meaning companies must empathise with the ground reality and recognise the efforts of their employees and reward hard work rather than just appreciating results!Employees whose managers consistently acknowledge them for good work can reduce turnover up to 31%.
Every employee wants acknowledgement and recognition for their work. Appreciating your employees for their efforts and achievements goes a long way in making them feel valued, and when employees feel a sense of belonging, they tend to be more loyal.
Sometimes, your employees expect more than a thank you or a pat on the back. When they fulfil their goals, rewarding them to congratulate their efforts is important. Some ways to reward your employees and employee recognition are corporate gifts, point-based reward systems, performance awards, etc.
These factors motivate and encourage an employee to contribute and excel, which not only helps them along with their career but essentially helps improve your bottom line.
Shaping their Growth and Development
Helping employees achieve their short-term and long-term goals is one of the most crucial employee retention strategies. It demonstrates that you are invested in their future just as they are invested in your organisation, with a number of candidates now choosing a job with lower pay if they see development opportunities.
70% of staff members would leave their current organisations for a job with one known for investing in employee development and learning, therefore, designing in-house training programs for employees can not only retain your top talent, but advance their professional development. Other methods include encouraging them to attend conferences, industry events, etc. which can improve your employee retention strategies.
Encouraging Open Communication
You can create a workplace where employees aren’t afraid to express their opinions. In other words, a workplace where they can freely express their views and voice their concerns.
An “open-door policy” is an effective way to establish a culture of open communication, showing that you’re always available to listen to their views.
Practising a feedback culture, can help you stay connected with your employees. Covid-19 had different levels of impact for everyone with some struggling to keep their work and personal life separate, whilst others experienced workplace loneliness, anxiety, and stress.
During these difficult times, it is important to empathise with your workers and keep a check on them, ensuring you get the pulse of your workforce. Engaging and communicating as frequently as possible will ascertain the challenges or struggles your team are facing, whereby you can strengthen your rapport with them, thus increasing their loyalty and trust in your leadership and company.
Employees who don’t believe their company will act on their feedback are 7x more likely to be disengaged than those who do.
Bonding with Employees
We all know that employees don’t leave jobs but their managers. A good manager works continuously to nurture their relationship with the team members. Above all, bonding with employees outside work is as important as inside the office.
Team lunches, group treks, corporate social responsibility initiatives, excursions are some methods to celebrate employees, which in turn will deepen your bond, and strengthen your team loyalty.
One of the primary reasons that make employees quit is quite simply the lack of compensation. To avoid this, give fair and just appraisals to all employees as and when possible, as your workforce would likely be demotivated if they do not receive the proper benefits, or that to which your competitors offer.
Thus, leaders should build a competitive benefits package such as:
- Salary hikes
- Health benefits
There are alternatives to solely financial incentives. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 35% of employees said that they will quit a job for better compensation.
Team days and staff lunches are nice supplementary perks, but you must think beyond these short-lived delights. It shows that you are invested in your employees’ growth as much as your company’s growth.
So, if you are a small to medium-sized organization, you can consider giving virtual rewards to your employees. Some of them are online gift cards, Spotify, or Netflix subscriptions, wellbeing apps, etc.
Initiating a Mentor/Buddy Culture
Most people don’t like to be micro-managed. Most people don’t like to be managed at all!
More importantly than managing, is ensuring you are leading your team in a style of leadership that helps, encourages, and supports their employees. Assigning a mentor or a buddy to a new employee is also a great onboarding idea. The newcomer can learn about their work and the existing techniques from their mentor. Employees who undergo an effective onboarding process can reduce new hire retention by 82%.
Moreover, a new employee can offer a fresh take on things. As a result, this will help generate creative and innovative ideas.
Engaging in CSR Programs
Reports show that millennials and Gen-Z workers in particular are more inclined towards social responsibility. They believe in giving back to the community. Especially in times like this, people value empathy.
Contributing to society and helping those in need are feel-good factors. It inspires loyalty and engagement in your people and demonstrates that you care about more than just the bottom line. A CSR initiative where the workers can contribute their participation is an excellent employee retention idea. It will go a long way in creating effective employee engagement.
Whilst the pandemic has brought restrictions, the post-pandemic world will hopefully offer a new opportunity to add CSR activities into your business strategy. There are also some activities which you can do individually, remotely or virtually, fostering a sense of fulfilment and team bonding.
Working in a virtual environment has proven to be difficult for some employees. You might think that working from home or other remote locations would appeal to all workers, however, the ability to work virtually like in an office setting is not for everyone.
As a result, most remote employees feel isolated from their co-workers. They can’t fully immerse themselves in the company’s culture. Thus, virtual team building becomes necessary, and it often plays an important role in talent retention.
These activities should be carried out by management to improve group processes and interactions, increase employee engagement and morale. It also develops better working relationships between employees.
Conducting Exit interviews
Sometimes losing an employee is inevitable, but with the average employee exit costing 16% to 213% of their annual salary depending on their pay, conducting exit interviews are crucial.
It is, however, equally important to back up such an interview with a list of effective exit interview questions.
An exit interview is asking a departing employee about his experience at the company. This process can help throw light into things like toxic management practices, departmental conflicts, etc. or more preferably, the successes and positive experiences that employees have experienced.
The past 18 months have been difficult for both employees and employers. Employers had to let go of their valuable employees and many people lost jobs.
With the increase of remote jobs, attracting the right talent has become more difficult than ever. People now have the option to work anywhere from the comfort of their homes.
With the job market regaining its momentum, there will inevitably be a resurgence within the latest market standards and best practices.
It is imperative to re-evaluate your employee retention strategies periodically. Take regular feedback and suggestions from your employees.
If you currently have a vacancy, you need help recruiting for, or would like a consultation of Corvus Assured® to see the full process, please get in touch today on 028 9091 8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org