In recent years, employee retention has become a hot topic among companies both big and small, in all sectors. As workers increasingly look for more from their employers and are more aware of opportunities that might exist elsewhere, it’s becoming more and more important for employers to offer the very best conditions to their staff.

From an employee’s point of view, it’s never been easier to explore other options online or research the pay and benefits available in other firms. The internet age has made all this information freely available for those that take the time to look – so finding ways to improve employee satisfaction is essential these days.

Simple ways you can help keep employees on board

If you find you’re on a constant treadmill of hiring, training then losing staff, below are some ideas you could use to try and improve your employee retention. In truth, most of these concepts could be loosely considered as employee engagement, but that doesn’t mean they come naturally to all bosses or managers. Nonetheless, as a basic rule, if you try to think more like your workers, you’ll be far more likely to retain them. Below are some tips that will help you think more, act more and react more like your employees.

Offer more flexibility in both roles and location

The tide had already been turning for many years in terms of employees looking for more flexibility in their working conditions; however the recent Coronavirus brought the concept even more to the fore. With remote and home working becoming a necessity rather than an optional extra during the COVID pandemic, employees began exploring and (in most cases, enjoying) the newfound freedom and better work/life afforded by being able to work outside the confines of the traditional office.

For the majority of companies (not to mention, employees), the great home-working experiment that was necessitated by the virus proved to be a great success. From an employee’s point of view, it meant the end of the long commute, eating lunch in the office/at cafes or the inconvenience of working outside their homes. For employers, home working resulted in reduced overheads (i.e. equipment and utility bills) plus heralded a new era of online collaboration, automation and trackable work. It was a win-win situation in most cases – and an arrangement that most employment experts suggest is unlikely to simply disappear once the virus has passed. Indeed, these days, most job applicants and existing employees have come to expect a level of geographic flexibility.

By offering your staff greater freedom in terms of where they work, you’ll not only show them you trust them – you’ll also give them independence.

The same can also be said about your expectations in terms of the role you want them to perform. If you allow your staff more creativity and sideways movement in their roles, you’ll foster a better culture of ‘belonging’ in your company – to the point staff will feel like they have the opportunity to grow and develop in your firm. And on that subject . . .

Show development opportunities with in-house and external training

One of the most common reasons for employees leaving a role is the idea that they didn’t feel they had any opportunity for growth or development. This is particularly problematic in smaller firms that lack the traditional career ladder to climb – companies that simply don’t have the width and depth for career progression.

If you look at the reasons why people work, sure, you’ll see money is an important consideration (indeed, it’s one of the primary and fundamental reasons) – yet, scratch a little deeper and you’ll find that, for the vast majority of staff, a job is much more than just a paycheck. Rather, a job can offer a sense of self-esteem, belonging, importance and of feeling like you’re making a difference and are part of a team.

Whether you’re a larger or smaller firm, offering staff the chance to develop in their role is essential if you’re to get the best from your team. Moreover, giving them the chance to grow personally, learn new skills and become more adept is also key to keeping staff on board, interested, engaged and working hard for you. Not only that – you’ll also help capitalize on one of the greatest assets of any firm: your workers. Improve employee retention by offering development opportunities; click here to read more.

Rather than taking the all-too-common, slightly blasé view that just paying your staff should be recompense enough, why not see that relationship as a two-way street and think more from a personal (and company) development point of view?

Money makes the world go around

While a job undoubtedly represents much more than just money, there’s no denying that pay is important – particularly if your employees feel you’re paying substandard wages. Nothing shows gratitude or gives a feeling of worth more than a dollar in your back pocket so make sure you spend time working out where you sit in the pay scale side of things. There is no quicker way to lose employees than by paying them below-rate wages.

Start right

You could offer the best pay and conditions in the world but, if you’re not hiring the right candidates in the first place, you stand little chance of holding onto them. Workers are savvier than ever these days and, with a world of information at their fingertips in terms of job research and looking for other positions, you can be pretty sure every applicant already has an idea of their worth.

Working through applications and interviewing doesn’t come naturally to most people so, if you’re finding you have issues finding the right candidates, perhaps think about hiring professional help.

Where once Human Resources (HR) staff would only work in-house, these days there are multiple third-party resources you could use – either online or working for you on an ad hoc basis.

Good work deserves praise/reward

Unfortunately, in today’s hectic culture and 24/7 environment, it’s all too easy to take good workers for granted. You would do well to remember, nothing says more to a hard worker than getting the occasional thank you or reward for the time and effort they’ve put in. Make sure you acknowledge and reward hard work – otherwise, you’ll see employees walk, time after time.

Build a culture

Good management tends to start from the top and filter its way down. If you provide a good role model to your team, they’ll be far more likely to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success. This is particularly important with younger, less experienced team members.

Good management isn’t simply about controlling people or getting them to do what you want – rather, it comes from exemplifying the very qualities you hope they will eventually mirror. If you manage and foster your team with a positive, open and supportive outlook, you’ll be far more likely to draw out the best from them – even qualities they (and maybe you) didn’t realize they had in the first place.

Having a strong in-house culture can be one of the most powerful ways to build company loyalty that will work almost like glue in terms of keeping your team on board.