In today’s fast-paced and highly-competitive business landscape, retaining top employees can often feel like a real challenge.
Here at Entech, we’re proud of the fact that the average length of time members of our team has stayed with us is more than 8 years.
If your employees aren’t happy, and don’t feel valued, they’re more likely to be tempted by competitors offers, so how can you keep hold of your top workers?
Here’s 12 tips to help increase your employee retention rates:
1. Get Your Hiring Right
Employee retention starts at the very beginning, during the hiring process.
Having already screened potential candidates, you’ll want to take this opportunity to get an understanding of why your candidates are looking to leave their current positions. If it’s because they’re bored and fancied a change, obviously that should be a red flag.
The interviewing process also gives you a chance to get an idea of their personality so you can gauge whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your company.
We’ve found that having several members of our team interview candidates individually works well, and gives us the opportunity to get to know potential employees without overwhelming them with an interviewing panel.
2. Build The Right Culture
Because of the dot-com era tech firms, “culture” is a word that has become associated with offices with ping-pong tables, slides instead of stairs and free beer on Fridays.
But nowadays, and especially for younger employees, culture is about so much more, and should reflect the type of business you run and the industry you’re in.
In banking, it’s perfectly reasonable that people would be expected to wear a suit and tie. In the fashion industry, however, it seems more appropriate for your employees to be dressed in the latest designer gear.
Open plan offices can create a collaborative and creative working environment, while closed-door offices can create a culture of “every man for himself.”
It’s important to create the right culture for the business you run and the type of employees you want to attract.
3. Provide Training & Progression
When you’re applying for jobs it’s expected that you have the right qualifications to be able to do the job you’re applying for, but many employers don’t continue to invest in their employees once they’ve been hired.
The reason many companies give is that they don’t want to invest in expensive training courses for employees to then leave, but this leads to a classic dilemma:
CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave?
CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?
By investing in corporate training for your employees, or offering access to e-learning sites, you’re showing your employees that you care about them as individuals, not just as cogs in your machine, and they’re much more likely to stick around because of that.
4. Act As A Mentor
Some employees just want to come in, do their work, and collect their paycheck at the end of the month. But some want to do much more than that.
They may not show it, but some may have dreams of one day owning their own business, or of moving their way up through the ranks to a managerial or director position.
Finding out what your employees want, and helping them to work through their problems and challenges will not only help them on their path to success, but will help show that you have their best interests at heart.
5. Pay Your Employees Well
There will always be people willing to take a lower salary to do the same job, but if you’re trying to attract and retain the best employees to your business, you’ll need to offer a competitive salary and benefits package.
This doesn’t mean you have to pay more than all of your competitors, but if you’re offering less then it makes potential employees much less likely to choose your business over theirs.
6. Offer Flexibility
With technology letting employees access emails and files outside of normal office hours, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to offer their employees more flexible working hours.
Whether it’s letting staff work from home once a week, giving them the option to come in and leave later to avoid traffic or drop their kids off at school, or giving them complete autonomy to work wherever they want, whenever they want, flexible working is a great way to keep top talent in your business.
7. Reward Employees With Perks & Incentives
Offering employees perks and incentives is also a great way to improve your employee retention rates.
With jobs like sales or recruitment, where hitting targets are part of the role, offering incentives is fairly straightforward, but it’s important to remember that other staff members also contribute to the sales team’s success, and rewarding these support roles is just as important.
Here at Entech, our recruiters receive a competitive salary plus uncapped commission, but we make sure all of our staff enjoy days out and perks throughout the year.
In fact, in May the whole company went to New York to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday!
8. Make Work Enjoyable
Most of us have worked somewhere where the atmosphere changes when a particular employee or manager walks through the door.
Given that people spend a huge amount of their time at work, it’s important for them to be happy while they’re in the office.
Taking time out every month to recognize employee achievements, giving staff the opportunity to get to know each other, and having a sense of humor go a long way not only helping to increase employee retention rates, but also boosting productivity.
9. Don’t Forget Efficient Employees
It’s easy to spend time focusing on helping people who may be struggling, and it’s all too common for employees who’ve missed their targets to get more attention than those that consistently hit them.
But it’s important to make sure you don’t forget these employees, as a lack of praise or recognition can eventually lead to them feeling as though they’re not a valued employee, and that can have a negative effect on your retention rates.
10. The Office
While it’s true that culture and office ping pong tables don’t necessarily go hand in hand, your company’s working environment does play an important role in your employees’ job satisfaction.
Small things like a fridge full of free drinks, or a bowl of fruit, can make a big difference to employee morale, and can help make your company a more enjoyable place to work.
11. Flat Structure
With modern business being fast paced, it’s important that employees feel they have the autonomy to do their work quickly and efficiently, and having a flat corporate structure can make that much easier to achieve.
There’s nothing worse than having to try and chase down a manager or director for their sign-off before you can move onto the next part of a project, and it can be demoralizing when a lack of an answer means your to do list begins to get longer!
It’s much simpler if employees can knock on your door, get a quick answer and get back to work, and staff will be less stressed because of it.
12. Plan For Turnover
At the end of the day, no matter what you do, there will be times where people want to leave.
Whether it’s because they’ve been offered their dream job somewhere else, they’re moving across the country, or because they just feel it’s time for a change, staff turnover is an inevitable fact of life.
But creating a succession plan and holding an exit-interview are great ways to make sure you’re doing everything you can to encourage people to stay in the business.
Improving retention rates can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Ultimately, taking the time to understand your employees will help you create a work environment that’s perfect for them, and will make them stick around longer.
We like to think our 8 year retention rate is pretty good, so if you’re interested in joining our team then why not check out our current vacancies to see if there’s a role for you?