Improving employee retention is important in every industry, but it's rarely an easy matter. In this guest post, Alison Brattle shares her top tips for improving staff retention.
Several factors including industry competition, changing demands of customers and clients, economic instability, and advancing technology affect employee retention.
In economically uncertain times, budgetary concerns and workforce morale come into play too. Unlikely as it may seem, economic instability can actually result in more people voluntarily leaving their jobs, particularly in manager-level positions.
This kind of attrition has a significant impact on businesses, and it’s important to take steps to both improve employee retention, and minimize the impact of losing key staff members if this does occur.
So, what can be done by businesses to improve staff retention levels?
Why Do People Leave?
First, it’s important to understand exactly why employees leave their jobs. For most people, reasons for leaving fall into one of three main areas:
- Lack of opportunities for growth or advancement: for instance, someone continually missing out on a promotion for which they are qualified, or an inexperienced manager not given sufficient leadership development opportunities.
- Inadequate compensation: either relating to other professionals in the same field, or with other employees in the company at the same level of management.
- Feeling unappreciated: not recognized for their skills, contributions, and opinions, or appreciated by their colleagues.
A Dual Approach to Improving Employee Retention
Given those three main reasons people cite for leaving their jobs, it’s obvious that while there’s no quick solution to reducing employee turnover, the types of things that businesses need to be doing to retain their staff are apparent.
First, is ensuring that key employees get opportunities for professional growth — management skills training for management staff, for example — and second, providing staff with incentives that increase their loyalty and strengthen their ties to the company.
There are other key elements to consider:
Providing competitive compensation and benefits
- Providing compensation and benefits packages that are appropriate for an employee’s level of skill and experience, and the work they do
- Providing compensation that’s in line with market value
- Providing a competitive benefit package that offers perks that employees value
Providing compensation and benefits that make a company competitive means making room in what might be a tight budget. However, since the cost of hiring and training new employees typically costs more than increasing compensation for existing employees, this saves money in time.