Let’s face it, recruitment is an expensive process. Whether you have a team in-house, all being paid salaries, or you use agencies spending £20k a placement, it is a huge cost to the business. To then lose the employees you have spent money to hire is an even bigger cost! Now you cannot control every situation that might lead to someone deciding to leave but you can certainly create an environment that reduces that risk. This should be a priority in all organisations. Here are some things that should be considered in your retention strategy (and you certainly need one!)

Image source: Best practices of employee retention

1. Employee Satisfaction — studies have shown that when employees are asked what motivates them the most, feeling appreciated and valued is always at the top of that list. It is so important to tell people when they are doing a good job. Offer incentives of course, but a good old pat on the back is so encouraging. As a species, we just love a well done! Ask your staff what they need, how can you help them, do they want more training. Basically just be there! Being absent, difficult to talk to or get any of your time, is hugely demotivating. Employees are more loyal when they feel connected to the organisation. So check in. If they aren’t performing well, offer support, make and plan and encourage them. Celebrate their efforts to do better and any small victories they make along the way.

2. Work/Life balance — this has to be the most common reason I hear from candidates about why they are looking elsewhere. Shouldn’t this be a fundamental human right? Being frowned upon for daring to leave the office at 6pm is likely to create resentment and if it continues, constantly missing out on family time and/or leisure activities will certainly lead to an unhappy employee. No matter how much money they are making!

3. Salary — are you sitting amongst your competitors with the salaries you offer? With good candidates getting approached 10 times a day on LinkedIn, it can be very easy to tempt someone completely passive, who actually really enjoys their company, with a more attractive package. Make sure they are appropriately compensated, especially if they are doing a great job. The absolute worst thing you can do is have last minute discrepancies over commission because you moved the goal posts. This is so damaging, and they will never forget it!

4. Communication — get your employees involved. Tell them what the plans are, what the company’s objectives and goals are, update them on progress and make them feel part of that progress. If your employees are invested in your story and they are excited by your plans, and even better, know that they are helping you to achieve these things, then you have their loyalty because they don’t just feel like a number. Be an open organisation!

5. Training and Development — ensure your employees feel like they are developing and that they have somewhere to go within the organisation. So many people leave because they feel stuck. If you have ambitious employees then you have to reward their efforts with salary increases, promotions, etc. If they want to learn a new skill, encourage and facilitate this. Top employees have to know that they are being developed, rewarded, and recognised for their contributions.

If you have really good employees, you want to keep them! So have a retention strategy, communicate, be open, be supportive and encourage their dreams!