9 Effective Employee Retention Strategies to Use in 2022/2023

As an employer, keeping your employees on board and engaged is essential. Without a coherent team that runs smoothly, your operations will suffer, and that’s why thinking about employee retention strategies is so important. It’s no longer enough to simply give employees a pay rise when they feel restless or seem like they might leave and find work elsewhere; you need to think outside the box if you’re going to keep your best talent at your company. 

The Great Resignation following the Covid-19 pandemic sparked a shift in the workplace power dynamics, with employees now being in charge. There are more job vacancies than there are available workers, so companies are having to do all they can to keep their staff from leaving and get new ones on board. After all, when there’s a seemingly endless stream of jobs, competition is fierce and whatever you fail to do as an employer, another one won’t, and this is how staff get poached by rivals. So, what are the employee retention strategies and how exactly do you convince your workers to stay put and get new ones to join? Read on as our expert TalentSpa team explains everything you need to know about employee retention.

1. Competitive Salary

Everyone wants to be well compensated for their job. When an employee’s responsibilities increase, have their wages also increased, or are they static? When new duties are taken on, employees can reasonably expect to be compensated for them. If not, it shows them that you aren’t willing to pay them fairly for the work they’re doing. When you won’t, someone else will, so keep this in mind. 

Another aspect of wages is inflation. When the cost of living increases and bills start to rise, such as in a recession, employees will expect to be paid more to counteract the financial squeeze. If the cost of basic goods is going up but wages aren’t, employees may struggle to maintain their standard of living. 

If you don’t pay them more to help, they may be forced to look elsewhere for work as their position with you isn’t enough for them to survive on. 

Along with increasing an employee’s base pay, you can offer additional wage incentives too. Retention bonuses and sales commissions are two possibilities, as is additional compensation after long projects are completed.

2. Comprehensive Compensation

Compensation is about more than a good salary. Employees value other forms of compensation too, like good workplace pensions. The minimum pension contribution for employers is only 3%.However, there is no maximum employer contribution. A higher pension contribution can retain employees. Providing matching contributions, as well as financial advice and online tools for your employees can be a key part of remuneration

There are plenty of other ways you can compensate employees and nurture a positive workplace environment in the process, such as by offering free meals or refreshments, childcare vouchers, a gym membership, performance prizes, and incentives to carshare/walk/cycle to work.

The social aspect of your workplace can have equally as big of an impact on employee retention, too, so organising things like quarterly meet ups and team building days can make all the difference.

3. Training and Development

Learning new skills can boost employee morale. It shows that you care about an employee’s personal development and career growth. With this in mind, offering up opportunities for your employees to develop their skill sets is fundamental to retaining them. 

From enrolling them in courses and helping them gain additional qualifications to encouraging them to try new things and progress to a higher position within your company, there are lots of ways you can show your employees that you care about their career instead of just what they can do for you right now. It also drives motivation and engagement at work because they’ll want to do well if they know they can develop and move up, and this in itself is a key part of employee retention.

There’s another benefit to this, too. Developing your existing talent means you can avoid the onboarding requirements that would occur when hiring new talent. This onboarding process includes the obvious regulatory compliance as well as the time it takes new hires to familiarise themselves with workplace culture.

4. Acknowledgement

Everyone, regardless of their job, wants to receive acknowledgement of a job well done or recognition that they are improving. Constructive feedback and recognition lead to more engaged employees. Unfortunately, too many employers let feedback slide, with many employees going months or even a year without any form of performance review. 

There are two main points to a performance review that many employers forget about; yes, it gives you the chance to be honest with your workers about their performance, but it also allows them to do the same. You may not be aware of discontentment within your teams or of issues on the ground that are affecting morale and performance. If these issues are aired freely, you can get a better feel for the dynamic of your workplace and look to make positive changes that convince employees to stay. They want to be heard, too. 

During performance reviews, from an employer perspective, highlight your employees’ past successes. Reinforce the results you want to see.Give more than verbal recognition. Put it in writing too. Highlight your employees’ successes in an email or feature staff in your company newsletter.

Even if your employees are remote, acknowledging milestones like their work anniversaries can be meaningful. 

A lot of employers see praise as irrelevant when employees are doing their job, but even that is worth praising given the candidate driven market. Employees spend most of their time at work and many devote a lot of time outside of working hours to getting things done. It’s important that your workers feel valued and appreciated and their work isn’t going unnoticed.

5. Learn From Exit Interviews

It’s inevitable that some employees may leave your company. In some cases, it may be completely unrelated to anything to do with the employer. 

However, if your retention rate is low, you can learn a lot from conducting thorough exit interviews. What attracted your employee to your organisation, and why are they leaving? Perhaps the work culture has shifted, or they feel unsupported in their current role.

As mentioned previously, a lot of managers don’t always see the workplace dynamics or understand how they can be improved, especially if they’re in meetings or unavailable a lot of the time. Exit interviews can give you a unique insight into working culture and whether there’s anything you can do to improve. 

You also learn if there are external factors that are pushing employees out the door, such as competitors offering better pay or better compensation overall. It might not always be great to hear, but constructive criticism is how successful businesses learn and grow, and ultimately how they retain staff.

6. Promote a Good Work/Life Balance

In line with flexibility, it’s important to promote your workplace as one with a good work/life balance. Since working from home began, more and more workers have begun to prioritise a good life balance and this is something they’ll actively seek out. If you are a flexible employer and have provisions in place to ensure workers can freely attend healthcare appointments, have flexible time off, and tend to family duties, you’ll find people are more inclined to stay. 

7. Complete Proper Onboarding

If you fail to properly train and onboard people when they join your company, there’s every chance they will leave. Onboarding an employee and taking the adequate time to train and develop them not only makes them feel like you care about their role and experience, but it also embeds them into your company culture and helps them to build bonds. Happy and engaged employees stay, so make sure you set the bar high.

8. Give Regular Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are a chance for both your employees and you to air any grievances you might have and provide constructive criticism where necessary, but they’re also a chance for you to praise your staff. Too many bosses fail to hold regular reviews, leaving their staff feeling like they’re working with little to no recognition at all. This is bad for morale and will naturally cause employees to want to move to another company where they feel valued. 

Not just this, but it also gives you an opportunity to outline progression paths by highlighting areas of improvement and giving workers the chance to make a change.

9. Provide Strong Leadership

If there’s one thing that turns employees away and causes them to leave, it’s bad management. There are several ways bad management can happen, with micromanagement being one. If you’re a helicopter boss who is constantly looking over your employee’s shoulders, they’ll feel like you don’t trust them or that they’re not good enough to do their job. 

On the other hand, if you’re absent and never around, your employees will feel unsupported, and this can also make them want to leave. You need to find a good balance of trusting your employees to do their job, but ensuring that they can come to you and have your support when necessary. Good managers keep employees, bad managers lose them.

One Final Tip for Employee Retention Strategies

Employee retention strategies do not end there. The best way to retain your talent is to attract the right talent.

TalentSpa is the UK’s leading online recruitment specialist. Through a combination of team expertise and powerful recruitment software, we have helped over 5,000 employers reduce their cost of recruitment by an average of 75%. We specialise in applicant tracking systems, talent acquisition solutions, cv databases, recruitment advertising, RPO, contingent recruitment, and executive searches.

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