Why retention is important
Employee retention is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, the cost of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new employee is not small. So if you find yourself frequently having to fill vacancies within your organization, this is going to cost you in time and money.
What’s more, high retention rates reflect well on your company and can boost your employer branding. After all, potential recruits take corporate culture and staff happiness into consideration when looking for jobs. They’ll look at review sites and ask questions about your turnover rates. Being able to say that you’ve got a long-standing, dedicated workforce shows that you're doing something right and makes your organization look like a desirable place to work.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven things you can do to improve employee retention in your company:
1. Hire the right people
You need to make sure you're hiring the right people. Finding professionals that fit in well with your company culture and resonate with the overall aims of your business means they’ll be more likely to stay with your organization for longer. So during the hiring process be careful that you're not basing your decision on skill or qualifications alone. Really get to know each candidate so you can judge who is going to be the best fit for your existing workforce.
2. Get your onboarding process right
You need to start your retention efforts from the moment your new hire arrives on their first day. A strong onboarding process can help them to settle in and quickly become a valued member of the team. What’s more, just because someone has accepted your offer and shown up, it doesn't mean they're loyal to your company. Some candidates will continue to look for a new job even after they’ve accepted one, so you need to give them a reason to stick around from the beginning.
3. Ask for feedback
It’s important that you're listening to your employees and taking their feedback on board to actually implement meaningful change. One of the best ways to do this is by using employee engagement surveys. This gives staff a chance to let you know what they enjoy about the workplace and what can be improved. Giving the option to keep these surveys anonymous might be beneficial as employees are likely to be more open and honest if their name isn't attached to it.
Either way, feedback is not a one-way street and it’s not just for you to let employees know how they're doing. Your organization must also listen to them and make changes off the back of their feedback.
4. Create clear paths for progression
No one wants to feel like their career is going nowhere, so it’s important to get progression plans in place as early as possible. Staff should work closely with their managers to set up monthly or quarterly objectives, with the understanding of how reaching these goals will help them to move forward in their role. Having a progression plan can be very motivating and pushes employees to continue working hard and achieving their targets.
5. Offer competitive packages and perks
If you hope to stay competitive and hire the top talent, you need to make sure it’s worth their while. Workplace perks have been talked about a lot in recent years, with more organizations finding quirky ways to reward their staff. But you can also stick to the classics such as staff discounts, insurance, gym memberships, company cars and a day off on their birthday.
Of course, these perks shouldn’t replace a fair salary. You need to also provide employees with fair and competitive pay packages because, let’s face it, if they can get a lot more money doing the same job elsewhere, why wouldn't they take it?
6. Create an environment of trust
It’s vital that staff feel comfortable at work and have someone to talk to if they're facing issues, be that their manager, HR, or a company counselor. So it’s important that you create an environment where trust is ingrained into the culture and that staff can safely come to you if they're feeling unhappy. This gives you a chance to discuss what’s going on and make positive changes before they decide to hand in their notice. Operating with an open-door policy makes staff feel confident that they can speak to their managers or supervisors no matter what.
7. Offer flexible working options
Flexible working is becoming increasingly important to today’s professionals, with focus being placed on achieving a strong work-life balance. As such, you should be offering flexible work opportunities where you can. This might mean allowing staff to work from home occasionally or allowing them to choose whether they start or finish early.
It also involves giving them the flexibility to go to appointments and generally balance their life around their work - and not the other way around. Professionals really value this and it can be a great way to boost morale and loyalty. After all, we all have lives and sometimes these things take precedence over work. Offering flexibility shows your employees that you understand they’re people and that you trust them and are happy to help them in any way you can.
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