The Best Employee Retention Strategies of 2019
Employee retention is the ability of an organisation to retain its employees. High employee turnover can signify deeper issues that have not been resolved, which may include low employee morale, absence of a clear career path, lack of recognition and praise, poor employee-manager relationships or many other issues.
Retention of staff isn’t just down to what salary and package you can offer them or if there’s a pool table in the office. It’s about having an open, collaborative team environment where your administrator can walk into the office of the MD with an idea and talk about it openly and feel valued by what they put into the business. A happy team is a productive team, a productive team equals a profitable business. Remember the individuals in your business are your biggest asset.
So what are the best strategies for retaining your employees?
- Communication – ensure your employees feel able to present ideas and opinions to you in an open and honest way. Equally you must ensure they feel able to express concerns to senior members of staff without fear of animosity or backlash. Welcome any questions and ideas for change – businesses evolve by giving every new suggestion consideration. Letting your employees know they can speak freely will also let you know what’s happening in the company – it will be much easier to identify and solve problems.
- Hire Right – when you are interviewing candidates for a particular role, make sure no details are left out and don’t glamorise the role just because you want to fill it quickly. Later on the new employee will experience the full role and realise it is less suitable than expected and you will receive resignation. Be transparent from the start and always employ someone who genuinely wants to stay for a long period of time and progress with your company.
- Crucial Introduction – The first stages of introducing a new employee into your business are extremely important. It gives them a first impression and an idea of how the future is going to look. They need to know their job role and responsibilities, but that is just the basics. From day one, make sure they are shown the company culture, they are getting to know their new environment and settling in as well as possible. Set some goals, short term and long term and don’t expect too much too quickly. Ensure there is always someone to answer any questions and mentor the new employee. Using an experienced member of staff as a mentor can also provide an immediate friend and a feeling of belonging, and help with the social side of work.
- Celebrate! – if something good happens, let everyone know! From small individual successes to large company achievements, celebrate together and give praise where it is due. Often companies can focus too much on targets and goals and investigating when these are not met. Success is just as important and an injection of positivity is wonderful for morale. Organise company outings and team building, build a rapport with employees and create a team environment.
- Atmosphere – this is more important than you might think. When an employee walks into work, the atmosphere should be relaxed and calm. Sometimes even walking into an office can instil unease and panic into someone before the day has even started. Give the environment a light and airy feel, let everyone be relaxed and casual whilst maintaining the standard of professionalism. It’s all about balance. Issue a dress code that is not completely institutionalised – maybe suggest a ‘dress down’ day once a week. This is a simple, pleasant perk of the job that doesn’t cost you anything but is appreciated by many members of staff.
- Feedback – often companies are great at asking for feedback from customers, but forget that feedback from employees is just as important. Welcome it, value it and act on it. Listen to what every member of staff has to say and consider how you can learn from it. Encourage positive change within the business and use it to identify areas for improvement. Issues that could eat away at an employee and potentially lead to resignation could be solved easily. Give everyone a voice and show them it is not ignored. Most employees want to see that management understand, and are not another barrier to get through. Devise a way for employees to provide feedback any time – don’t limit it to meetings or reviews. A suggestion box is a low pressure way to give feedback, for people who perhaps don’t like confrontation or formal meetings.
- Growth & Development – it’s not often that a person wants to stay on a treadmill, working hard but never getting anywhere. Offering opportunities for constant learning and development within roles can eliminate that feeling and help your staff work towards something – all the time giving your staff more knowledge to run the business as effectively as possible. Opportunities for promotion and team growth are also brilliant for morale, however these opportunities come up less frequently.
- Leaders Not Bosses – to create the workplace you want, it must be run in the right way day-to-day. Any management you have must have the attitude and managing style of a leader, not a boss. Leaders are honest and are able to handle situations and work with everyone to achieve the best outcome. Bosses are good at controlling teams and giving instruction, but do not have the correct working relationship with everyone else to create a healthy workspace.
As a recruitment agency, we meet candidates every day and listen to the things they look for in an ideal employer. Autonomy, flexibility, happy working environment. Unsurprisingly, one set of requirements doesn’t differ largely from the next.
Staff retention is not something that can be achieved by one specific action. It is a result of lots of time and consideration and change in the way a company runs. It is improved upon and altered over the course of time, with a constant view to making employees as happy and fulfilled as possible at work. Ask yourself what you would want from a job and implement these things into the business. We are all human, we all want a voice, a break and a chance to succeed.