Think that your staff want to stay with you forever? Think again. That’s if the CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook: Spring 2015 survey is reflective of your organisation.
It reveals that 23% of respondents were looking for a new job with a different employer. And if the economy continues to pick up, that situation is only likely to worsen as employees grow more confident about switching roles during the upturn.
What is employee retention?
Employee retention is the phrase used to describe how long your staff work at your company. The longer your employees remain in your employ, the higher your retention. Therefore, companies, and HR departments, should continually strive to keep employee retention as high as possible.
What is employee retention rate?
When looking into staff retention, you’ve probably come across the term ‘employee retention rate’. This refers to a metric that summarises the percentage of staff that remained in your employ over a certain period.
It is a pretty straightforward calculation:
[the number of people employed during your specified period] divided by [the number of people employed at the start of the period] multiplied by 100 equals retention rate!
You should select a period, perhaps every quarter, and carry out this calculation to ascertain whether your retention rate is increasing or decreasing. If it’s reducing, measures need to be taken to identify the cause and strategies implemented to resolve the problem.
Who is responsible for employee retention?
Every person within your organisation plays a role in employee retention, from team members creating a positive work environment to team leaders, HR staff and company owners. However, the HR team may be tasked with monitoring the retained staff ratio and be responsible for flagging and resolving any issues.
Why employee retention is important
You are probably all too aware of the financial costs of recruiting a new staff member, never mind the time and trouble that goes into finding the right person. High employee retention is essential to:
- Reducing the cost of continually advertising vacancies.
- Avoiding entering into salary negotiations time and again for the same role.
- Saving time through not having to rehire, onboard and train constantly.
- Maintain staff morale.
Keeping your employees loyal to your brand for as long as possible is essential. The last thing you want is for highly talented people who you have invested time and money into training to go to your competitors.
Additionally, low staff retention will negatively affect your employer branding, as candidates and customers may begin to question the reason for such high turnover.
High staff turnover is something you can’t afford to ignore. So we’ve put together a five-point guide looking into some longer-term answers to increase your employee retention rate.
How to increase your employee retention rate:
1. Get it right at the job advertising stage
It probably seems common sense to recruit the right people with the suitable skillset who will fit in with your culture, help achieve organisational goals and grow your business. However, it works both ways; after all, would you want to be in a role that isn’t what you signed up for?
Be clear during the recruitment stage about what the role entails. If there are some less glamorous aspects of the workload, be upfront about it. It’s better for the recruitment process to take a little longer to find someone who is happy to do the work than simply fill a vacancy, have them leave and be back to square one.
2. Create an onboarding programme
Onboarding, induction, whatever you call it, the end goal is the same – to welcome your new employee to their team and organisation and make sure they have the information they need to get them up and running.
A well-structured onboarding programme can help to reduce short term staff turnover. Draw up a checklist to ensure every new employee receives the same programme, although the specifics will probably need to be tailored for different roles.
Don’t just rely on HR to deliver the induction programme; look at how team members in other departments can get involved in presenting information. This way, your new employee will get to physically move around their new working environment and meet their new colleagues.
3. Research and offer the right salary and benefits package
A high paid salary above market rate will help attract people and keep staff, but don’t be complacent. Whilst most of us work to pay the bills, not everyone is money motivated, and not everyone is tolerant of miserable working conditions when we could go elsewhere for less money but have a happier life.
Equally, smaller businesses probably won’t have the budget to pay big wages, so think about the employee benefits you can offer to entice and retain talented candidates.
Employee benefits don’t have to be costly; free drinks, on-site parking or flexible working contribute to the overall value an employee receives from their employer. But do your research to ensure you are offering something your staff truly wants. For example, if your employees care about flexible working, they aren’t going to be content with free drinks on a Friday.
Why not carry out an anonymous survey to better understand what your team cares about the most and then find a way to deliver this? Staff who feel valued and cared about are much more loyal.
4. Hone a positive company culture
There’s a lot that goes into creating an organisation’s culture – from vision and values to behaviour, language and much more. Culture takes time to grow and develop, so you need to go into the process with that in mind.
The process requires many small steps, and you’ll likely come across hurdles along the way that you’ll have to learn from and overcome, but a positive, clean and safe working environment can quickly make a difference to employees.
5. Training and development
While some members of your organisation will be content to stay in their position for years, most staff will be looking to progress in their careers. And if they aren’t offered any opportunities to learn the skills they need to advance, they will likely move to a competitor who is willing to invest in their training and development.
Research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that a quarter of 18-24-year-old employees would choose a four-day training programme over financial rewards. This is also the same group that the Employee Outlook identified as being most at risk of leaving your organisation.
It is well documented that younger employees value training and development, so take a look at what opportunities you could offer in addition to formal training, such as secondments and personal development, to help increase retention and benefit your business.
How Natural HR can help you increase your employee retention rate
There are numerous ways the Natural HR software can help you increase your employee retention rate, including:
- Giving your employees a voice through our employee engagement software.
- Accelerating employee development and celebrating rising stars with our talent management software.
- Creating and organising training and development cycles to help your employees thrive through our software.
We would love to demonstrate these to you and discuss how we can increase your staff retention and create an environment that makes your team eager to come to work every day.
“What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
“What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
CIPD/Halogen (2015) Employee Outlook: Spring 2015 [Online] Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/survey-reports/employee-outlook-spring-2015.aspx
PricewaterhouseCoopers (2015) Employee Benefits preference varies according to gender and age: PwC research [Online] Available at: http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2015/04/employee-benefits-preference-varies-according-to-gender-and-age-pwc-research.html