3 secret sauce employee retention strategies that work
Employee retention is a critical leadership focus in an economy where organisations compete hard for top talent.
Estimates currently show that the cost of employee turnover can be upwards of 2.5 times their salary - that’s before you measure losses in productivity, institutional memory, training costs and the potential impact on the immediate team.
Leaders now realise that more effort must go into developing and retaining top talent than goes into hiring them.
How employee engagement impacts retention
A strong employee experience has been shown to contribute to engagement - and engagement is strongly linked to employee retention.
A recent Gallup Workplace Report states that:
“Employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their organisation, reducing overall turnover and the costs associated with it. They feel a stronger bond to their organisation’s mission and purpose, making them more effective brand ambassadors. They build stronger relationships with customers, helping their company increase sales and profitability.”
There is, however, no magic bullet to improving the employee experience. Instead, a focus on employee reward and recognition, employee development and workplace culture typically combine to create positive engagement in the workforce, and ultimately retention too. Let’s take a closer look at how you can move the needle.
1. Employee reward and recognition
People like to see their efforts being noticed and appreciated by workplace leaders and peers, and there are various ways to make sure this happens. Praise in 1-to-1s for completing performance goals or displaying company values is valuable, but one of the most effective methods is to give reward and recognition that the broader audience of peers and leaders can see. This has become a little trickier since remote working became the norm, but online tools such as Perkbox Recognition offer great solutions. Perkbox’s recognition tool has company-wide feeds where colleagues can leave comments and share in the celebration of great work.
Recognising the accomplishments of your employees doesn’t always have to include a financial reward or bonus. Whether it’s acknowledging the ‘Unsung Hero of the Week’ for their contributions, or recognising someone going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’, you can show your employees that you see the great work they’re doing and thank them for it. And for when work really is outstanding and deserving of a material reward, you can choose from a range of rewards in a budget that suits you – which can be anywhere from a bottle of bubbly to a skydive.
By implementing a platform that makes recognition a simple part of everyday life in the workplace, your people feel more confident in their abilities and contribution, and are less likely to look around for alternative work.
Once recognition is in hand, turning your attention to rewards is a solid strategy. According to a Perkbox survey, a whopping two thirds of employees don’t feel they’re offered sufficient additional benefits in return for their endeavours – such as cost-saving perks, free meals and discounted gym memberships.
Benefits play a key role in keeping employees motivated and demonstrating that the company is willing to invest in its people. Benefits should always include a competitive salary, but in today’s employment market, large organisations need to offer more. Benefits such as health and wellbeing programs, perks at work and freebies can make your employees’ salary stretch further - and having a strong, diverse range ensures everyone is excited by something.
With a healthy 66% of employees believing rewards would increase loyalty, why not check out some cost-effective, innovative ways to reward your people?
2. Culture and leadership
When personal and organisational goals are aligned, the individual’s drive towards their employers' mission is strengthened. So knowing that a huge 59 percent of employees in our survey didn’t feel that their individual goals matched the goals of their company should ring alarm bells if you’re keen on retaining your top talent.
A predominant cause of misalignment is a lack of communication. Your people need to be clear on the goals of your organisation, as well as clear on how both their department and their individual role contribute to them. The alignment of individual and company goals leads to greater drive and motivation.
The more leaders refer to company goals, the more likely it is that people will remember and align with them. Additionally, reward and recognition can be aligned with employees’ contributions to specific work goals. This is how leaders can embed company goals into the everyday workplace culture and values of the business.
3. Development opportunities
One of the biggest frustrations that lead to employees seeking alternative employment was a lack of development opportunities. Perkbox’s study of 2000 employees found that a whopping 32% of employees resent the lack of career development opportunities on offer.
Employees will always seek out employers who provide a clear vision of the future via a compelling and achievable career path.
Work with your employees to discuss career goals or new skills that they would like to develop. This allows you to work together with your employees to construct a path of next steps. As a manager, it also allows you to create opportunities for your employees to develop the competencies necessary to take these steps.
Options for development include training programs, access to e-learning, mentoring and individual learning budgets. Whichever path you take will ensure employees feel valued as the company invests in and facilitates their growth, contributing strongly to their engagement with their work. The desire to look for work elsewhere is diminished as employees instead focus on upskilling and working towards fulfilling the next opportunity within your business.
Investing in L&D continuously increases the working knowledge base of your company. Often that translates into the ability to promote from within, as well as retain loyal and insightful staff who champion your brand.
Employee retention strategies are an important part of your overall employee experience. If you want to learn more about how to improve your employee’s engagement and experience, experience and reduce staff turnover, why not why not check out Your Ultimate Guide to a Killer Employee Experience?