Regardless of an organisation’s size, losing talent is expensive and can hurt deeply, since several risks become associated with the event, including –process disruption and delay, disengaged co-workers and expensive replacement. Given that “it costs as much as twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement” it is important that HR and line managers do everything they can to stay focused on driving quality employee retention practices in organisations.
Below, we discuss some of the key employee retention practices that can be adopted to drive greater employee engagement and minimise attrition.
1. Enable quality hiring practices
When an employee leaves an organisation fairly early, say within 12 months into joining the role, the exit event could hint at several gaps and failures within the organisation’s hiring strategy and on boarding process. For instance, the new employee may realise that the role offered doesn’t quite align with his expectations or the workplace and its culture conflicts with his values and beliefs.
Such gaps can be avoided if recruiters and hiring managers invest considerable time in detailing the employee value proposition right at the time of the job requisitioning phase, and determine the ideal candidate fit. Further, they would also need to drive a detailed interview processes, spending considerable time understanding candidate motivation in seeking a new role and its alignment to career aspirations, as well as sharing details on the realities associated with the role and the work environment.
It also helps to deploy psychometric tools to generate data relating to candidate’s motivations, and their relevance to the role. The data can later be used during the on boarding process – to engage in quality conversations, structure meaningful work elements, and offer maximum support and cultural immersion to help the new hire settle into the role and the workplace.
2. Attractive compensation and benefits structure
Offering employees an attractive compensation package and a comprehensive benefits structure including health insurance, retirement-savings plans, family friendly policies and flexibility helps attract top-notch talent and retain high-performing employees in the organisation.When employees know that they are well compensated and their employer cares enough to offer them the best possible benefits structure, they feel motivated to contribute more and deliver their best effort to their jobs.
3. Ensuring appropriate reward systems
It is no secret that employees deliver their best when they feel valued for their efforts, and recognising them with the right rewards structure, helps greatly with retaining them. While the rewards can either be monetary (spot-bonuses) or non-monetary (sponsorships for exciting professional events/projects, mentorship with senior leaders) in nature, it is important they are structured to be timely, meaningful and relevant to the employee’s contribution, to drive engagement and loyalty on the job.
4. Drive a culture of appreciation and visibility
All employees like being appreciated for a job well doneand are delighted when offered valuable opportunities to help grow their skills. Recognising employees during group and company events such as Annual Days and off-site events helps make themfeel valued, and motivates them to perform better and model values and behaviour that benefit the workplace and co-workers.
Line managers have a deep responsibility in ensuring credit and appreciation is given to deserving employees and tangible opportunities are created to help them keep delivering their best. Besides, it is also important that managers document positive contributions of the employees as useful reference points to drive authentic performance-related conversations, and highlight skills that have been acquired, challenges that have been overcome and newer areas where learning can be transferred within the organisation. These drive channels for vertical as well as horizontal progression and enable employees in achieving deeper engagement at the workplace.
5. Drive opportunities for increased learning
Technology-led changes dominate our lives today, and digitisation is driving incremental changes into the scope of our everyday work. Given the scenario, skill redundancy is fast emerging as an area of deep concern for employees, and many contemplate moving onto other organisations not because they are unhappy with their jobs, but to gain new skills and protect themselves from becoming redundant.
Employees have come to believe that upskilling is the best way to augment employability, and that they need to stay primarily accountable for their career directions. As a result,employees may seek to leave their current roles not because they are unhappy with their manager/workplace but only to gain increased exposure to the latest technologies. It is therefore important that employers create learning opportunities across diverse technology areas and invest in continuous learning as a way to secure talent for the long term.
6. Increased performance ownership
Organisations that have moved away from traditional performance management systems such as annual and mid-year reviews, and transferred performance ownership to employees through frequent employee-led check-ins are encouraging increased loyalty.
With check-in sessions being led by employees, they get increased opportunities to connect with their managers and address any performance gaps immediately. This increases employee awareness on positive performance behaviour including engaging better on their jobs and seeking opportunities for challenging and varied work as a way to strengthen their skills.
7. Finally, a positive work culture trumps everything else
Creating a workplace that is respectful, open, supportive and transparent is the single biggest way through which employers can drive greater engagement and loyalty. When employees feel happy and secure in the relationship with their managers and peers, they are satisfied with their everyday experience on their jobs, and feel deeply connected to the workplace. It is therefore important that managers are trained to be authentic communicators, demonstrate fairness and lead their teams with openness and positivity.