It’s no secret that employee turnover is expensive. So wouldn’t it be nicer if it covered just a small part of the pie? But the reality isn’t nearly as neat because according to 47% of HR professionals, employee retention is their biggest talent management challenge, followed closely by recruitment at 36%.

Not only is poor employee retention going to hit your company as a financial strain and affect your bottom line, but it will also cause quite a bit of a mess structurally.

What kind of impact will the departure of one colleague have on the rest of your staff? We all know that when someone we work with walks out the door, we notice their absence, especially if that person is key to a project or a team. It can even make some wonder if it’s time for them to pack their things and get going too. Mass exodus can occur from time to time.

There’s also the urgent task of finding a worthy replacement for your newly open role. Not a very easy thing to do in a market where skilled professionals are high in demand and on the low side when it comes to supply.

And lastly, you have to tackle all these challenges on top of your usual daily responsibilities…

So how do you improve employee retention?

Here are some tips on building and implementing the right retention strategies for your company.

How to improve employee retention

Retention starts during recruitment

Your retention strategy should start from the beginning. From the application process and the screening of applicants to choosing who to interview and deciding who to hire. And all of that needs to be backed by identifying which values and what aspects of cultures you want to emphasise and then seeking those out in candidates.

Ensure that compensation and benefits are competitive

Offering financial awards for employees who exceed performance goals, flexible work schedules, holiday entitlement, stock options, life insurance, and generous paid leave policies, on top of offering competitive compensation, can go a long way in ensuring that employees feel that they are valued by the company.

Employees need leaders, not “bosses”

People follow leaders, not bosses. But how exactly do you become a leader and not just a boss?

The first step is ensuring that you are available to your employees, which goes beyond just offering the phrase “open-door policy”. After all, it’s not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable about giving feedback and criticism for fear of reprisal or embarrassment, even when there’s an open-door policy in place.

The key to this is actively creating an open rapport among your employees. No need to try to be best friends with everyone, but taking the time to be friendly and genuinely engaged with your employees is definitely a necessary step in the path to becoming a real leader.

Ongoing mentorship, training, and clear paths to career advancement

Prioritise investing in your employees’ professional development and growth by providing ongoing training and mentorship. And all of that should go hand in hand with promotions from within, which will provide clear paths towards better compensation and greater responsibility, and will also help make employees feel that they’re a crucial part of the company and its success.

Recognition and Rewards System

Who doesn’t like being appreciated, recognised, or rewarded for the hard work that they do? So make it a habit to express your gratitude to your direct reports when they go the extra mile. It could be as simple as a genuine thank you email or something more memorable like a gift card or an extra day off. Some companies even set up formal rewards systems that incentivise great work and helpful ideas.

Showing your employees that the hard work they do is more than just appreciated, but actually helps the company reach its goals and targets, can do plenty in keeping employees feeling motivated.

Keep a Close Watch On Your Managers

It’s not that uncommon: You ask a friend why they left their most recent job, and they spend the next half hour telling you stories about how much of a bad experience it was working with their former superiors.

The saying “people leave managers, not companies” isn’t that much of a reach. After all, people follow as they are led, and a bad manager can create a negative mess even in the most positive of spaces. So while you’re training your managers on the technical skills that their positions require, make sure you train them on them their soft skills too. This might include conflict management, how to encourage and motivate different personalities, crisis and stress management, and so on.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible working arrangements are becoming more and more commonplace at companies and offices, and the trend began well before the pandemic started wreaking havoc across cities all over the world.

It will be in your company’s best interest to offer more flexible working schedules for your employees as it has been proven to be a major stress reliever (and retention booster) for office workers. Compressed schedules where employees work four 10-hour days a week (instead of 5 8 hour days a week), or flextime where people are required to be on the clock for a specific schedule daily, are both common flexible working arrangements that many companies offer their workforce.

Need to talk to someone about improving employee retention in 2021? Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.