The process of recruiting the right talent might seem difficult enough, but retaining that talent is an entirely different challenge. This issue is particularly prevalent in the post-pandemic position we have found ourselves in. Employee priorities have shifted; it is no longer enough to offer the occasional work from home days and dress-down Fridays, the new generation of top-level talent want hybrid working, a better work-life balance, clear career progression pathways, and the promotion of mental health.
In this article, we explore 10 effective employee retention strategies that will enable you to retain (and engage) your top level talent.
What directly affects employee retention?
Before we dive into each individual employee retention strategy, we should first consider what exactly affects talent on a day-to-day basis when performing their roles. A proven way to assess this is by using American psychologist Fredrick Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory.
Originally published in his 1968 essay, ‘One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees’, and relevant to this day, Harzberg’s theory looks at two factors, what he calls ‘motivators’ and ‘hygiene factors’. The motivating factors are what gives an employee job satisfaction, and the hygiene factors look at what can cause dissatisfaction:
|Factors for Satisfaction |
|Factors for Dissatisfaction |
|● Achievement |
● The type of work itself
● Growth opportunities
|● Company policies |
● Working conditions
● Peer relationships
● Job security
● Quality of leadership
Despite this theory being almost 50 years old, the basic principles still apply. Important aspects of employee roles include a healthy work environment, rewards and recognition, flexibility, scope for growth, healthy management relationships, and competitive compensation.
1. Consider cultural fit when hiring
With 80% of employee turnover down to bad hiring decisions and the new, flexible working world enabling candidates to apply on a global scale, considering cultural fit has never been more important. While the new frontier of hybrid working will allow for better diversity and inclusion, it also means that care and attention must be taken to ensure that the candidate in question will be happy within your organisation. Diversity and inclusion cannot be a check-the-box activity, as cultural fit must come first to promote wellbeing.
2. No effort goes unnoticed
A key element of effective leadership is to provide praise, especially in times of adversity. Rather than solely congratulating those who have succeeded, a great leader will also identify those who worked just as tirelessly but for some reason didn’t achieve the desired result. Regardless of their level of success, if an employee is recognised for their hard work, they are more likely to engage in the business and be more productive and happier.
3. Find ways to promote wellbeing
The ‘five minutes of mindfulness’ emails are no longer enough. Top-level talent has grown weary of gimmicks and is looking for organisations who truly put their money where their mouth is. Things like health insurance, discounted gym memberships, free healthy lunches, and other creative wellbeing solutions allow you to stand out from the crowd.
More important is to create and promote an entire culture of wellbeing, where every employee feels valued, safe, and supported. Not only will this help you retain talent, it’s good for your bottom line, too.
4. Explore your ethics
A study has revealed that 64% of millennials will reject a role if the company doesn’t have a good CSR policy, and 83% are more likely to be loyal to an employer that contributes to social and environmental causes. Top level and emerging talent care about what you are doing to make the world a better place.
5. Change up working responsibilities
One cause of The Great Resignation could be the Great Stagnation – that slump that comes when roles become monotonous and boring. When an employee has worked within the same role for a period of time, you could look at alternating their tasks, or even offering them an insight into a different area of the organisation.
A well known example of this is Google’s 80/20 policy, that allows employees to dedicate 20% of their time to creative side projects that spark innovation and inspiration.
6. Welcome feedback, concerns & communication
Communication is key. By encouraging your employees to talk to your leaders, you’ll be able to spot any issues before they snowball into a large enough problem that could cause them to leave. In a similar sense, you could take advantage of employee feedback software that allows them to offer insights into how they are currently feeling, what their goals are, and what you might do to improve their current working climate.
7. Champion peer-to-peer relationships
While team bonding exercises might seem gauche, finding ways to unite your employees will improve happiness, resilience, and working relationships – ultimately boosting your bottom line.
8. Offer monetary incentives
A competitive, fair salary is the very baseline when it comes to what top-level talent wants. However, you can further attract them with other monetary incentives, such as salary hikes for top-performers, an annual bonus when certain targets are met, and health benefits such as insurance, free dental care or subsidised gym membership.
9. Be physically present
The CEO and senior leaders shouldn’t merely be mysterious enigmas that only occasionally appear in the office, as this can alienate employees from your business when the highest leader could appear uninterested in what they are doing.
By leading your organisation with a physical, palpable presence, employees are more likely to have a heightened sense of belonging, respect, and motivation. Where this is not possible due to remote working, you could try feasible alternatives such as regular, personalised emails and video conferences.
10. Conduct exit interviews
When you do lose talent, conducting considerate exit interviews could provide you with the tools you need to boost talent retention in the future. Asking questions such as, “what does this company do well?” and looking for their opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of working within your organisation can help you identify problem areas.
Whatever challenges you’re facing in your organisation, we are here to help. Call us today on +44 (0)20 7100 6656 or get in touch for a confidential discussion about what we can do to support you.