5 Employee Retention Strategies That You Can Action Today
Reuben O'Connell
5 minutes
May 24, 2023

Employee retention has been a hot topic in the world of work for the last few years. And rightly so.

With massive changes to the world of work triggered by the global pandemic, and now the cost of living crisis shifting the needle again – it’s no wonder that employers and employees alike are struggling to make sense of so much change.

For any organisation that wants to succeed, getting hiring right and keeping those people, is not only the key to productivity but will also save you thousands on re-hiring roles.

Employee churn leads to a number of inefficiencies in our organisations, the least of which is having to consistently and effectively re-assemble your workforce throughout the year. 

So how do you get employee retention right? Here we take you through everything you need to know including top tips that you can action today.

What is employee retention?

Simply put, employee retention is the action of hiring and keeping your staff. It’s about keeping them happy, productive and engaged in their work so that they will stay loyal to your company, weathering the ups and downs. 

Every organisation will need to think about employee retention. A high churn rate can indicate issues within your company structure and culture. This can then in turn affect hiring, as savvy new employees will be looking at your turnover rate for clues about what it’s like to work at your company. 

Retention is especially desired in a world where 3 to 5 million people are quitting their jobs per MONTH in the US, according to a Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Business leaders want to be the shining star in a galaxy full of places where employees are leaving in droves.

Mentoring makes managers header image: two women carrying folders walk down the corridor or an office smiling to each otherWhat does this mean for your business?

The pros of increasing your employee retention rate are countless, but to give you a flavour, here are a few of the top ones:

  • Improved morale: When morale is higher, employees work harder. This can lead to higher output and greater financial gains. Many would consider brighter company culture to be a great benefit in and of itself, but this also leads to greater collaboration between team members and carries numerous benefits for them such as networking with their peers rather than simply going along.
  • A retained workforce: Keeping your highly skilled employees at your service is always good, as you will have their expertise at your disposal, but also because you don’t have to re-hire your team, which costs more than you think (more on this shortly). As a team leader, you need to have reliable staffing who you can turn to in the long term for your various business machinations.
  • Employee loyalty: When employees feel valued, this increases their loyalty. And thus, they feel more positively predisposed to the goals of the company and will work harder to gain them. This is incentivised further by reward schemes and a general tendency to recognise the successes of others.

The cost of hiring new people repeatedly

Studies indicate that the average cost of hiring an employee is around £3,307. That might seem like a minuscule amount, but it also takes an average of 42 days to fill a position. Throughout that time, you’re losing money by losing that employee. This is even more of a problem when you lose an expert in their field or a high performer. Replacing good people is always tough, and you’re certain to see a drop in productivity and a spike in hiring spend. 

Now, think about the cost incurred every time that an employee leaves your organisation. If you are seeing a high churn then the losses quickly stack up.

While bringing new employees in is always an option, is it not better to implement a few key retention strategies to make your team more likely to stick with you? It’s all about prevention. 

5 employee retention strategies you can implement today

We have compiled a few suggestions of employee retention strategies that can be implemented at speed. 

1. Ask for feedback

The easiest strategy to implement is asking for feedback. But it’s not just about facilitating the opportunity for your team to be open about their experiences and what could improve, but also to action them.

This can be achieved with an anonymous feedback survey or factored into annual reviews. Once you can get a sense of what’s working, or not working and what teams need additional support – you can work proactively to address these concerns. 

2. Invest in learning

When employees don’t feel that they can develop and sharpen their skills for future positions, or indeed, for the sake of upward mobility in your company, then this can affect their morale.

Invest in training and other forms of learning, and you reinforce the idea that there are more areas to develop. The best part is, younger generations are increasingly asking for learning and development. In fact, 76% of Gen Z see learning as the key to their advancement in their careers. It’s a top factor in whether they decide to go or stay.

3. Mentoring, coaching & sponsorship

Organisations with mentoring programs enjoy better retention rates. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would remain with a company for longer if they were given more occasion for development, including mentoring.

This is because our modern workforce value learning and development. Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship programs are fantastic ways to develop your people. And they’re not just about learning. All three can positively impact mental health at work, promote inclusion and improve a range of holistic skills.

Another benefit is that all 3, but in particular sponsorship, have massive benefits to career direction and progression. Given this is a major factor in whether people stay or go, it’s worth investing in sooner rather than later.

Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship e-book banner4. Give employees more autonomy

Autonomy is the ultimate gift to your employees. It gives them responsibilities, while also assuring them that they are free to organise their work in a way that suits them best. This is empowering and shows your people that you trust and respect them. 

If high morale is what you want, this is the place to begin. Employees that feel a sense of ownership and responsibility in their work are often more engaged and likely to stay longer in an organisation. 

5. Start an employee resource group or network

Employee resource groups and networks are a fantastic way of supporting specific groups that may be under-represented in your workplace or be facing specific barriers at work.

These groups create communities in which people can learn grow and find support. This has massive benefits to inclusion, which in turn leads to people staying longer in a company.

A resource network is also a great method of building allyship between your employees. 

The verdict

Investing in employee retention strategies is a terrific way to improve your company culture, drive productivity, and make your company stand out in a crowded job market.

After all, nothing is more desirable than a company with a dedicated, loyal workforce, both for new graduates looking for their first major professional position, and seasoned leaders looking for a new role. 

And don’t forget, investing in retention now will save you money, and a major headache, down the line.

Find out more about mentoring, coaching and sponsorship programs for employee retention by talking to our team today! 

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