A blog post from Business Support Hour speaker 14/07/2021, Heidi Roper of View HR
Retention of productive employees is a major concern for all businesses. It is more efficient and cost-effective to retain a quality member of staff than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same high quality. After all, a successful business is driven by the experience, knowledge and commitment of good staff. Each employer will know too well the regret of an excellent and knowledgeable member of staff leaving their business.
Employees leave their role for other reasons besides money such as:
- Lack of career opportunities and advancement
- Need more challenging work
- Unhappy with compensation
- Issues with management
- Unclear expectations
- No work life balance
- Lack of employment flexibility (obviously this is more of a significant concern now)
Addressing these factors with each member of staff is a crucial part of the employee retention strategy but can sometimes be forgotten or left at the bottom of the priority to do list. By talking to your employees to find out what is most important to them can help construct and direct a strategy in order to keep them happy by providing a personalised approach. If, for example, recognition is important to an individual, then managers can take action to incorporate an employee scheme where individuals are recognised for completion of certain projects or have met target criteria that month.
The rewards of focusing on employee retention such as increased performance, productivity, employee morale and quality of work, plus a reduction in both turnover and employee-related problems—is well worth the investment of time and financial resources. This can also aid employee referral schemes as well.
Here are our 8 top tips towards employee retention:
- Company culture and environment: It’s imperative that businesses create a culture and environment that encourage employees to want to stay. We must remember how much time we all spend at work, therefore, it does need to be a happy place, organised and well managed.
- Management: One of the key reasons why employees leave their job, other than their overall package, is because of their managers. As a business, it’s important you nurture a culture of trust, confidence and transparency between management and staff. Staff need to feel that there is someone they can be honest with and they know that person is going to be honest to them.
- Clear communication: Make sure your employees know what you expect from them – clear expectations, honest discussions and clear policies and procedures. Staff need to know that they and their peers are being managed equally and fairly. Don’t forget, your employees want to feel part of the business so keep them up to date on progress, sale events and any other news.
- Offering competitive packages to suit your employee’s needs: For years we have always thought of a competitive package being mainly about pay. Whilst the pay is an important part of a competitive package, it is not necessarily the key factor anymore. In today’s society, each generation has different priorities in their lives and as employers, establishing the best package for your staff will very much depend on your staff profiles. It’s important that employers try to provide a breadth of ‘enhancements’ that capture everyone’s interest in some way. Some things to consider when reviewing your packages may be holiday entitlement, flexibility in hours (time in lieu), pension packages, death in service benefit, discounts schemes, childcare vouchers, cycle to work schemes and of course, paying staff at the going rate. The list is endless but what is clear, employees want to find a good place to work!
- Conduct “stay” interviews: In addition to conducting exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving, consider asking long serving employees why they stay. Things you might ask: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? This together with exit interview information and/or staff survey information can be used to strengthen your employee-retention strategy.
- Personal development: It is important that staff feel that their own personal development needs are being addressed. This will vary according to the individual and role, but regular appraisals will help guide you on this. Things to consider are career development, succession planning (important to promote internally wherever possible), training and nurture in roles.
- Performance Management: A lot of employers when I mention the word appraisals sigh, with the typical response that they don’t have time to do them. I agree, they do take time, however appraisals are an imperative stop in time for all parties to reflect on their performance, their goals and aspirations and their development. In turn, how else do you really get to know an employee’s career needs and properly manage their performance (good and bad)? Those who do conduct them find added benefits of employee engagement and performance management.
- Recognition: Regular recognition and encouragement of staff. Staff like to hear “well done”, “thank you”, “what you’ve done here is really good” or “you’ll be great at that”. Remember that praise should be timely and personal to the individual or team.
Employers need to listen to employees’ needs and implement retention strategies to make employees feel valued and engaged in order to keep them. While the ability to attract and recruit talent is vital to any company’s success, many companies fail to create an effective employee retention scheme to maintain and withhold the current employees who share the same beliefs and ‘fit’ within the company culture.
Attracting applications to the positions posted within your company is one of the biggest challenges that employers face. Whether the challenge is that it’s a candidate driven market (as it is currently), because of the type of role, the competition for talent, the availability of a skill or the cultural fit requirements. When it comes to recruiting there is so many things to consider in order to attract the right people.
A recruitment strategy sounds a lofty requirement however there are several different things that employers can do to enable them to successfully recruit.
Here are our top tips:
- The Role – make sure that you write an accurate job description for each role prior to a job advertisement being published. Ensure the job description accurately reflects what the role will be and not a shopping list of things that could be completed in an ideal world. It’s not a good idea to set your candidates up to fail before they are hired.
- The Job Post – ensure you have a proper posting plan for your positions. You need to purposefully share your positions to the right audience as well as post your roles internally and externally. Having a referral scheme is a great way to attract talent that will fit into your organisations. Create an environment that your employees would refer you to potential new hires. Ensure your glassdoor reviews are positive. Plan where you are posting your roles and what mechanisms you will use to promote your position before you post them.
- The Interview Plan – do you have an interview plan? The worst thing you can do is be reactive and think about the process during the process as that will make you slow to recruit. This is the number one reason companies lose out on talent. You need to block out time at the start of your process to ensure that people are available to interview within days of the job posting closing. You need to have identified who is interviewing, what they will be asking and what platform you are using. Once you have created one plan, you are then able to replicate this over and over again.
- The Questions – look at what you are asking the candidates to see what kind of employees you are likely to recruit. Are you creating a process where you recruit for values or just skills? What is it that you need for your role? What can you compromise on and what can you not compromise on? What will make the person successful in your company and in the role that you are advertising. Make sure you ask questions that find this out and don’t ask questions that find out nothing about the fit.
- The Experience – new employees should be looked after. You need to ensure that you engage with your potential hires, your interviewees and new starters from the point of application, through the interview to the point of hire and continue looking after them when they are hired. There is no greater critic than someone that has had a bad experience and has decided not to work for your company. You need to take care of people closely for at least the first 3 months. Your new employee onboarding programme should start from the point of offer to ensure that they have the right experience with you.
If you need advice on creating your recruitment and retention strategy, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the ViewHR team today: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01425 205390.
More HR advice – see this white paper from our HR panellist Helen Stacey of Aspire Jobs: