Keeping talented employees in your business is important—losing staff can lead to productivity drops and will cost you money to hire replacements.
So how can your business go about retaining more of your workforce on a long-term basis?
In this guide, we explore the ways you can create a positive working environment your employees will want to be a part of.
Employee retention meaning and definition
It’s a business’s effort to ensure there’s a working environment that supports its employees. The goal is to make staff want to remain with a business on a long-term basis.
Many modern businesses now have a staff retention policy in an effort to limit turnover rates.
For a business with a high turnover rate, it’s very disruptive to have to spend lots of time hiring in new employees to replace departing ones.
The net result has a far-reaching impact your business should be aware of.
The consequences of low retention rates
If employees are leaving on a consistent basis, this will lead to a loss of time and money for a number of reasons. Such as:
- Recruiting new employees to replace departing ones.
- Training new starters to become proficient in their role.
- A negative online reputation (such as poor Glassdoor reviews).
Staff turnover isn’t always a bad thing. It can bring in fresh ideas from new starters and offer fresh perspectives.
However, most employers and employees view a low retention rate as a bad thing. Professionals in particular see it as a sign of a, potentially, toxic working environment.
If, for example, there are many negative reviews for a business on Glassdoor of former employees, this can lead to employees avoiding the business in question.
Some industries naturally have a higher turnover rate—such as retail and restaurant chains.
Typically, employees on lower wages will leave on a more regular basis than in industries where wages are higher.
What causes employees to leave your business?
Although it may come down to career advancement or a move to a new country, there are common issues that can lead to a resignation. They are:
- Low morale, sometimes due to poor company culture.
- Lack of a career path.
- Low wages creating financial insecurity.
- Toxic work culture.
- High turnover rate.
- Disruption between colleagues.
- Excessive workloads.
There are some tell-tale signs if an employee is about to leave your business. Keep an eye out for these issues, as you can step in to encourage them to stay:
- Decreases in work productivity.
- A negative change in attitude.
- Increase in sick days and lateness.
- Verbally expressing unhappiness with their role.
Your business should always strive to offer a welcoming working environment for staff—one that encourages productivity and offers career progression.
So you should look to have a plan in place to ensure you’re meeting the needs of your workforce.
Employee retention strategies
Using staff retention strategies are an excellent way to encourage long-term stints with your business.
And you particularly want to keep members of staff that are great at their job. It should be a high priority for your business.
If you have employee retention goals, primarily to encourage more staff to stay. Some of the most successful tactics are as follows:
- Develop a staff retention plan—this can set out what you’re hoping to achieve and how you’ll go about doing it.
- Offer the right wage and benefits. Salary benchmarking is a useful process to keep staff. If you hold salary reviews regularly, this’ll also encourage them to work towards new goals.
- Improve your recruitment strategy to ensure you hire the right staff members from the start. This saves on any unexpected resignations, or having to let the new starter go during their probation period.
- Offer staff a good work-life balance, with opportunities such as remote working and flexible working times. This can ease the stress of commuting, for example.
- Train managers so they know to look for signs of dissatisfaction. You can also make sure they’re engaging correctly with employees and suitably encouraging them.
- Encourage employee engagement through professional development opportunities, regular two-way feedback sessions and mentorship.
- Pursue charity and environmental initiatives to promote a positive brand image. Employees like to be proud of a business they work for.
You can adapt these into an employee retention plan to set your long-term retention goals. This can be your employee retention program to encourage your workforce to remain with your business long-term.
The benefits of employee retention
There are many advantages to retaining staff. The main ones are as follows:
- Reducing the hassle of higher turnover rates, such as funding recruitment pushes to hire new staff and spending too much time on recruitment.
- Improving employee morale across your business.
- Reduction in the amount of time training employees.
- Develop employee expertise across your business.
- Improve productivity rates through a happy and engaged workforce.
- Customers enjoy a better experience as a result.
As we mentioned above, another benefit is you’ll enjoy a better online reputation and better word of mouth amongst current and former employees.
If they’re saying good things about what it’s like working for your business, then that can attract more talent.
About the Employee Retention Grant Scheme
In Ireland, there are grants for employers who retain disabled employees. This is also in the event an employee develops an illness, condition, or impairment while working for you.
The aim is to ensure employees are able to keep delivering on their skillset.
But it also offers retraining opportunities if the individual is looking for a new role. As well as special arrangements you may have to make to your workplace—such as specific equipment.
Need our help?
If you need help in creating policies that encourage employees to stay long-term, get in touch: 1890 252 923.