In times of unprecedented labour shortages, employees have been leaving companies at record levels. Retaining talent should be the focus for your business to succeed. Good retention can maximise your company’s profits up to four times (CIPD), whereas employees leaving on average cost the company up to 33% of their annual salary (Employee Benefits News).
To tackle low retention rates, we need to understand what drives an employee to leave and what can encourage them to stay for the long term.
One of the main aspects that drive employees away from a company is the lack of opportunities for professional development. Employees want to feel their job is a part of their career progression, and that they are improving, developing, and learning new skills whilst working. Studies by LinkedIn have shown that 94% of surveyed employees said they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their professional development.
Upskilling not only benefits the company by increasing the skill level of their workforce but for the employee, it makes them feel as if their career is being invested in. A study by Qlik shows that 32% of employees changed jobs in the last 12 months because there weren’t training or upskilling opportunities available. But it isn’t only training that employers should invest in but opportunities for career progression within their company. Creating opportunities for promotions prevents employees from looking to other companies for progression.
Recruiting is a costly process, and you want to make sure new employees stay beyond their first two months. The effectiveness of the onboarding process is crucial at this stage.
On average 20% of new hires leave within their first 45 days (BambooHR). From a successful onboarding process, the employee makes the decision on whether they’ll be staying with the company long term or short term. A study by the Society of HR Management shows that 76% of companies aren’t onboarding their new hires correctly. An unproductive and poor onboarding affects the new employees’ image of the workplace, subsequently, they are more likely to look for other job opportunities.
When onboarding new employees, you want the transition to be as seamless as possible. Welcome new employees to the company by being supportive and friendly, and capture their readiness to learn whilst minimising arising challenges. For a successful onboarding process, you should have a clear induction period laid out. There should be time allocated for relevant training as well as support alongside this. Where many onboarding processes fail, is that they are limited to the first day or week. Although the level of support will be adjusted, a successful onboarding should be extended over the whole first month of a new starter’s journey with you.
The company culture is key to creating an environment where employees feel welcome and that they’re part of the wider team. If the culture is less inviting, employees will be less likely to have loyalty to stay with the company. The workplace environment comes from the top and the relationships and attitudes that come from higher management trickle down into all elements of the workplace.
The relationship between the employee and their manager contributes to the wider culture, and frequently employees leave their jobs due to poor relationships with managers. A study by Gallup shows that employees who don’t receive adequate recognition are twice as likely to quit within the year. This highlights how much an employee’s relationship with their manager can impact their view on the wider company, and that making employees feel recognised and appreciated is essential. Regularly recognising your employees’ efforts and triumphs is vital, as 79% of employees who leave their jobs cite a ‘lack of appreciation’ (Forbes).
Where the initial introduction to the work culture and communication is essential, it is also important not to lose this communication with existing employees. Regular communication with employees discussing their expectations and their current situation is necessary. Other aspects that can encourage employees to stay with the company are workplace benefits like flexible work, early finishes, opportunities to work from home and 4-day working weeks. These benefits all help to ensure a good work-life balance for employees and therefore aid retention.
Whilst attention is on hiring employees, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of strategies to retain the new talent. Implementing these strategies above can help make sure the new talent you hire is being introduced to your company in the best way possible. Welcoming them into a culture and workplace where they feel they can develop and would want to stay for the long term.