Employee retention is key and the ability for organisations to retain their top talent is a vital component in their overall success. Employee turnover and bad hires can be extremely costly, so businesses need to prioritise hiring the right people, and retaining these people within the organisation.

Finding new talent externally is time consuming, expensive and draining on resources, meaning businesses with high employee turnover may never reach their full potential. It can also have an impact on other employees and contribute to negative feelings towards the workplace. Other employees may start wondering “why is everyone leaving?” and resenting the added pressure that turnover can place on them.

As a specialist in employee engagement, we work closely with organisations to help them better understand their employees feelings and experiences at work, ensuring everything is done to keep employees happy and engaged. An engaged workforce is a significant competitive advantage in any market and is something that can’t be an afterthought or reactive process. Instead, employee engagement and building a culture that means top talent want to stay, is how organisations can win.

It’s all well and good saying retaining employees is important, very few would argue against that, but how exactly can organisations improve employee retention?

Tips for improving employee retention

Listen to what your employees want using employee engagement surveys and interviews

The ability to create working environments that make employees happy and engaged involves listening, understanding and reacting to what employees want. Surveys and interviews are a simple but effective way for businesses to gain insights into how employees are feeling.

This means potential issues and challenges can be addressed early and any underlying themes that could be influencing employees leaving the business can be isolated, acknowledged and resolved.

In-depth annual surveys, pulse surveys, and other employee engagement processes help to improve the communication within organisations so that employees feel empowered and listened to.

Employee engagement surveys can even be tailored to focus on retention and ask questions about what makes employees want to stay or leave.

Exit interviews are a powerful tool for understanding employee turnover and getting to the bottom of issues as soon as possible. However, conducting “stay interviews” with long-serving employees may also reveal valuable information about what has kept them engaged for so long, allowing organisations to focus on making more use of their strengths.

Here at Primary Colours Surveys, we can help you identify, track and manage the key factors that have an influence on employee engagement. To learn more about how we could help, don’t hesitate to get in touch and talk to our friendly team. The illustration below offers a quick visual interpretation of the core pillars influencing employee engagement.

Hire the right people

Employee retention is largely based on matching the right person, with the right role in the right business. If the wrong candidates are brought into the business, regardless of a thriving company culture or engaged workforce, that candidate is likely to leaving. Particularly at senior and management level, selection must be a fundamental pillar of the business.

Hiring the right people means understanding what your business needs, your organisation’s culture and values, the challenges facing the marketplace, and what the future may look like and identifying from this information what kind of candidate is required. Experts in selection assessment can help you to map out your criteria and then robustly and objectively measure for it within your hiring process, ensuring a much higher ratio of good fit hires.

Onboarding, training and mentorship early on can all help ensure new hires are embedded into the organisation, and can help to identify those who unfortunately aren’t a good fit sooner rather than later.

Get leadership right

The way businesses think about, speak about and do leadership has a huge impact on a business. Developing strong teams of leaders helps to improve individual leader well-being, engagement and performance. When people work together effectively with those who have different and complementary strengths to them, they thrive.

Additionally, leaders will always have a significant influence on other employees’ experiences and engagement at work so getting leadership right can be one of the best ways to retain key talent.

Understand the marketplace

Employee engagement and retention involves understanding the marketplace. Firstly, this helps to provide some perspective in terms of what level of retention to expect in different industries, functions or role types. Some industries suffer from higher employee churn than others, so this external benchmarking can help to offer perspective in relation to the degree of employee retention you should aim for.

Understanding the marketplace also means knowing what the market is offering candidates in terms of salary, bonuses, benefits, working conditions, flexibility, promotional opportunities, etc. If you’re not competitive in these ways, it is very likely to impact employee engagement and retention.

Be open, transparent and communicative

Openness, transparency and communication help to ensure employees feel confident in talking about challenges and problems they face. Having a company culture where employees feel comfortable talking about promotional opportunities, pay, internal conflicts, etc., will help businesses to address these challenges before people leave.

This approach to transparency and open communication must come from the top and be ingrained into the leadership and culture of the business.

Improving employee engagement and retention with Primary Colours Surveys

This list of ideas for improving employee retention is by no means an exhaustive one. For help with addressing your organisation’s retention or engagement challenges, get in touch with us for a chat about how we can help you to improve employee engagement and reduce employee turnover in a practical and measurable way.

Here at Primary Colours Surveys, we can help your organisation reduces employee turnover by shining a light on what leaders and managers need to do to create a more engaged and empowered workforce. Our staff surveys and specialist consultancy mean we can ensure your organisation is listening, understanding and actioning what employees want.

Get in touch today.