5 simple ways to improve employee retention rates

Kelly Hayman 15.11.2019

“Our people are our greatest asset” - this well-known phrase can be heard time and time again in the workplace. However, many companies fall short when it comes to employee retention and this is proven to be both extremely costly and time consuming.

Tried and tested methods of employee retention

Poor rates of employee retention can be avoided with some simple but effective strategies which will help your employees feel empowered, respected and valued, giving them every reason to stay with your organisation for the long term.  

1. Listen to your staff

Though it may not always be clear if an employee is unhappy in their job, an obvious sign is a lack of motivation for their daily responsibilities and they may also have a negative attitude or a low mood. It is worth taking the time to have an informal conversation, mentioning your concerns for their welfare within the workplace so you can both find effective resolutions.

You may be able to help them discover a way to boost employee morale, suggesting a smarter way of working or maybe delegating some of the duties they carry out to other members of the team to take the strain off them. In support of this, a recent study revealed that employees who feel like their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best at work.

2. Be empathetic and recognise each employee as an individual

By getting to know your employees, you can become mindful and empathetic of their emotions and in due course get to the root of what really motivates them. Moreover, creating a genuine connection with staff will build trust between manager and employee so if any issues do arise, then they won’t feel as reluctant to reach out. For instance, research shows that “96% of employees believe that showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention”.

An effective way to follow up on this is to soften daily interactions by initiating non-work-related conversations, this enables you to identify and implement effective communication methods based on everyone’s unique personality types. By doing so employees are going to feel like they can relate to their boss and will be more inclined to share their thoughts, this simple gesture will most certainly generate a sense of appreciation as an individual in comparison to being part of a collective workforce.

3. Promote employee wellbeing within the workplace

According to a CIPD study, “mental health problems within the workplace are on the rise, however only 8% of UK companies have a standalone wellbeing strategy”. Based on this information, it is evident that providing a wellbeing scheme is vital in order to maintain employee’s mental health. Generally, the happier and healthier staff are, the less likely they are to leave. 

Promoting mental health can be done through stress management activities that don’t necessarily have to be expensive or complex. For instance, you could consider offering weekly yoga classes for the office, this non-monetary incentive could also be used as an effective team building exercise that helps colleagues to socialize and get to know each other outside of work.

4. Praising your staff

Praising and rewarding your employees for the work they do will instantly make them feel appreciated and valued, incentivising them to continue to carry on performing to the highest standards possible. The power of praise is underestimated; it’s one of the most effective methods for motivating employees and helping them reach their full potential.

Moreover, praise naturally encourages workers to take on more challenges in order to receive recognition again and again, resulting in boosted employee morale. Many studies have revealed that praising and recognising staff for the good work they do is even more powerful and rewarding than using monetary incentives.

5. Develop internal career paths to improve employee retention

A lack of career development in any job can result in a sense of stagnation for an individual resulting in a demotivated workforce. Recent research has revealed that nearly two thirds of employees say a lack of career development would be enough to make them start looking for a new job.

Whether it’s a new starter or an employee who has been with the company for years, it doesn’t matter, a good manager should discuss career succession plans and be transparent on whether there will be opportunities available. According to statistics, 66% of employees said that they would leave their position if they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager. This could be avoided by allowing employees to develop their skills and take on new responsibilities so they can move towards a more senior title and work their way up the career ladder.

While some staff turnover may be natural, it is important to closely monitor staff turnover trends within an organisation. If there’s a repetitive pattern of employees leaving, then the simple steps outlined above will help your company to turn things around for the better and improve employee retention rates. 

Kelly Hayman's picture
Manager | HR


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