The COVID pandemic had a transformative effect on the world of work, with hybrid working looking like it is here to stay. This shift has proven that employees are much more open to change, meaning the onus is now on employers to be more creative in attracting top talent and improving employee engagement and retention.

What is employee retention?

Employee retention is usually defined as a company’s ability to reduce the number of people who leave their job, either voluntarily or involuntarily. It is generally calculated yearly. The higher your employee retention is, the more chance you have of business success.

What is the difference between employee retention and employee turnover?

As mentioned above, employee retention is the proportion of your employees who stay during the year. Employee turnover is the opposite. It is the proportion of your employees who leave during that time.

Why is employee retention important?

Employee retention is vital as it promotes a better employee experience and keeps your business stable. You can quickly lose valuable company knowledge when employees leave, and the remaining employees can feel a bit lost without the departing employee’s expertise to guide them. This can also lead to more employees leaving.

The second reason why employee retention is important is to minimise the cost to your business of replacing employees, including recruiting, onboarding and training costs. It may take up to two years for a new employee to reach a similar performance level to the departing employee.

All this adds up to the fact that having a high employee turnover figure can make it challenging to build a high-performing team.

Five employee retention strategies for 2023

Now that you know what employee retention is and why it is so important, here are our five ways to retain top talent and invest in your employees.

#1 Work closely with your chosen recruitment agency

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is for our clients to work closely with us to ensure the job description posted defines the role itself, as well as the expected requirements, duties and performance expectations. Planning the position carefully and communicating well means job seekers can more easily determine whether their skills and career plan match the needs of the role before they even apply for the job. It also reduces the risk of new employees becoming quickly disenchanted and leaving when they realise the job is not what they thought.

#2 Refine your onboarding process

When new employees join your company, ensure you communicate your expectations, any metrics you will use to assess their work, and how you plan to evaluate their performance in the role. You should also ensure they are clear on your business objectives and how their role impacts those objectives so that they are fully aware of how significant their contribution to your business is. Research has shown that employees who know how their efforts help their company reach its goal are more motivated to do well and are more fulfilled in their roles.

Offering this same level of insight and guidance to employees who have been promoted or changed roles is also a good idea to ensure they feel confident in their new duties.

#3 Reinforce your brand values consistently

Your brand story should always be communicated as part of the onboarding process, but it should continue. You should consistently reinforce this message for the workforce by discussing it frequently and displaying it in the workplace.

When employees are clear on the story of your brand, its history and company values, this fosters a sense of community and strengthens employee engagement. It also makes it easier for them to use your brand values to guide their decision-making.

#4 Constantly work on building a positive company culture

A positive company culture is critical for employee retention and needs to be led from the top. Executives should work hard to promote team-building and collaboration, encourage employees to value each other’s skills, respect differences, and recognise each other’s achievements.

This will help promote a positive working environment where employees treat each other with empathy and understanding. This not only improves employee retention but can have a positive impact on your business’s success as well.

#5 Have a robust career development programme in place

One of the main reasons employees leave companies is that they feel opportunities are lacking for advancement. A robust career development programme, including on-site training and peer mentorship, can reduce employee turnover and ensure you retain the top talent you have worked hard to attract.

Working with Agile Recruit ensures you will have the right people for your business. We can assist in helping you to build an attractive Employer Value Proposition and tailor our employment solution to meet the needs of your fast-growing business.

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