Pay attention to staff retention: employee retention tips

The average millennial will only stay with an employer for a maximum of three years [1] – with the cost of replacing staff costing up to 200% of their salary [1] thanks to recruiting fees and lengthy onboarding processes, being unable to retain your employees can be costly.

Company culture

By understanding the reasons behind employee turnover, you can devise recruitment and retention initiatives that will reduce turnover and increase retention [2]. A positive company culture where employees feel challenged and satisfied with their work is the obvious root to enhancing retention rates.

However, the individuals employed within your organisation should be assessed. By employing people for their ‘fit’ within the existing teams, you can reduce the risk of ‘troublemakers’ unsettling the ranks. As explained in our blog overlooking the recruitment process, if you allow your existing employees to have a say during the interview process, you are more likely to find a suitable recruit to fit into your company culture.

Manager duties

Encourage your managers to build and foster relationships within the team. They don’t need to be best friends; but an honest and open working relationship with respect from both ends will improve team dynamics.

Managers should encourage further staff training and development, not only to improve the skillset available within the organisation, but to also promote a sense of achievement amongst individuals. Their learning and development goals should then be tracked in an online performance management system that allows managers and team members with the means to check in, comment and track progress throughout the year.

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By enabling an ongoing conversation throughout the year regarding individuals’ progress, managers can openly communicate team missions and aspirations, whilst understanding what motivates their team members. This ensures that employees feel valued and part of the organisation’s success.

Managers can also use online performance management systems to frequently seek team feedback and measure morale in a structured, formal format. The feedback received can be recorded in the online system and periodically reassessed against the team’s current feedback, ensuring that the team structure is moving in the right direction.

Assess management

Whilst managers have a duty to their team’s success and retention rates, your teams cannot work at their most content and productive if their managers are restricting their success.

360 degree feedback can be used as an incredibly powerful online tool, creating motivation and commitment for individuals to achieve behavioural transformation. This can aid towards a positive shift in your company culture, which ultimately will improve staff satisfaction and improve staff retention rates.

If 360 feedback is observed and acted upon, you can gain an understanding as to the reasons behind your staff turnover rates – and more critically, this feedback can be used to enable appropriate action to be taken to improve staff satisfaction and therefore lower turnover rates.

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Cost concerns

By asking appropriate 360 degree feedback questions, you can allow your employees to voice their thoughts in a confidential way to influence the culture and management of your organisation. The insights gained will add a huge amount of value to your diagnostic process for learning and development needs, alongside an awareness of the company culture as seen from the inside for your HR team – and the Board.

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Staff satisfaction is not just beneficial to your employees’ wellbeing – with staff turnover reduced and retention rates increased, the organisation can enjoy cost savings.

With high staff turnover comes recruiting costs – as explained earlier, recruitment costs can be over £30,000 when replacing a staff member. This is due to the onboarding and settling process, where new recruits work at a lower productivity. Research suggests that workers take, on average, 28 weeks to reach optimum productivity [3].

Naturally, a high staff turnover is something that your organisation will be keen to reduce. Bear in mind that negativity cultivates negativity, and that if a negative working environment habit is not broken, staff turnover will continue to remain high.

HR teams should therefore measure the levels and costs of employee turnover. This can either be tracked manually, on spreadsheets, or through the use of online Applicant Tracking Systems {ATSs). The advantage of bringing this evaluation process online is the reporting functionality that can be streamlined into the process.

Five top employee retention tips

  1. Employ for the company culture that you want, not have – positivity cultivates positivity
  2. Encourage healthy relations between staff of all levels and abilities
  3. Allow for staff training and development – this will build on the skillset of your organisation whilst increasing your employees’ feelings of self-worth
  4. Implement structured and regular one-to-ones to provide employees to have a say on their career pathway with your organisation
  5. Take a look at your management team – is there room for improvement?

By tracking, measuring and reporting the levels and costs of turnover, and using our five top employee retention tips, you will be able to build a business case for effective recruitment and retention initiatives [2], therefore ensuring the long-term success of your organisation.

New Call-to-action[1] Towards Maturity, ‘Unlocking Potential: 2016-17 Learning Benchmark Report’

[2] CIPD, ‘Employee turnover and retention’, 17 November 2016

[3] HR Review, ‘It costs over £30K to replace a staff member’, 25 February 2014

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