Organisational Fitness, Human Resources

How to build employee retention strategies that really work

Lydia Watson

There are two questions every leader should try to answer:

  1. Why do employees leave?
  2. Why do they stay? 

Understand that, and you’ve got the basis for building employee retention strategies that make a difference – saving you from financial, cultural, and motivational stress. On that side of things, we can definitely help (for free!) with a survey that’ll show you what motivates employees to stick around:

Discover how to improve employee retention – learn more today

Employee retention: meaning

What is employee retention? It’s about reducing the amount of staff who leave over a certain period of time – and your employee retention rate refers to that number. Organisations might try multiple methods to boost that rate, from offering better perks to creating extensive long-term strategies. 

What is labour market competition doing to retention?

Resignations are the highest they’ve been in decades. And the reality that 77% of organisations are having difficulty filling roles goes some way to explain that: employees are well aware that their options have opened up. 

The changing world of work has been quickly embraced by some organisations. And that’s a savvy approach: 1 in 3 employees wouldn’t work for a company that doesn’t allow remote working. People have new expectations, and many leaders are willing to meet them. That means high turnover is a risk if you don’t prove you’ve got something to offer. 

 

Want to boost employee retention?
We can help.

6 things to consider when creating an employee retention scheme

1. Your learning and development strategy

Providing career development opportunities for staff is essential. 45% of employees aren’t happy with the advancement opportunities they’re offered – and it’s often cited as one of the biggest reasons people quit their jobs. Firstly, you need to understand how to identify learning and development needs. 

That starts with asking ‘why?’. Why is professional development important to staff? It’s important to understand what they’re looking for. Is it a greater sense of purpose in their work, a higher salary, or just the sense that their efforts have been recognised? Employee surveys can help you pinpoint those details.

2. What is succession planning’s role?

Succession planning means training and mentoring staff to one day step into senior roles, planning to promote from within when a vacancy arises. When it comes to knowing how to motivate long-term employees, this is a big one – and an obvious extension of your L&D programme.

3. What is the importance of benefits on employee retention?

It’s easy – and not totally unreasonable – to agree with the increasingly common belief that perks are irrelevant when it comes to retention. People won’t stick around for a cycle scheme or a Friday minibar, after all…

But it may be worth reconsidering what you consider to be ‘benefits’. Could you offer 6 months’ paid leave for all new parents, or an extra four weeks off after three years of service? And instead of assuming the softer touches aren’t a selling point, listen to your employees and find out for certain. 

4. Should you consider flexible working requests? 

You’ve heard the stats.When it comes to desired benefits in this new world of work, flexible working is right up there. In fact, it’s become increasingly expected as an offering – which means that refusing all requests for flexible work is probably not a sensible approach. Because if you were wondering “when will working from home end?”, it’s probably never going to.

So what does flexible working mean for your retention rates? It means people with caring responsibilities or other commitments don’t see your organisation as a blocker. It often means higher productivity, better wellbeing, and increased engagement. It’s worth considering, is what we’re saying.

5. Should you hold an employee retention workshop?

‘Bad managers’ are the reason for a high proportion of resignations. So employee retention training could be a good option. Think about running a workshop on the following:

  • Warning signs an employee is considering leaving
  • What managers most frequently ‘get wrong’
  • What motivates your most committed employees

6. What is an exit interview‘s role?

Sometimes a resignation is inevitable. It happens. Do you have to do an exit interview? No. But you’d be missing out on getting something out of it: namely, the employee feedback you crucially need!

If you’re wondering what to say in an exit interview – and assuming it’ll just be awkward for everyone – why not consider a survey? Our Leavers survey gives you a hands-off way of understanding why someone is leaving… plus they may be more honest in writing! 

Employee surveys: the easiest way to build your retention strategy

You can try and follow employee trends. You can build the most attractive employment packages you can think of. But how do you retain the staff you already have? Meeting their needs is your #1 priority – which means understanding what their needs are.

That’s where our Employee Feedback Platform could help. 20+ surveys to help you deep dive on what matters to employees. Advanced language tech that turns 1000s of comments into clear headlines. Essentially, it’s everything you need to understand why people leave, and why they stay.

The best part? It’s free to use for 21 days: plenty of time to send a survey and check out the analysis (which is done for you, by the way…). So if you want to boost retention, give it a go today:

Faster, simpler surveys – free for 21 days

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