They say that money makes the world go round, but when it comes to employee retention, a great salary alone won’t stop employees leaving. The recent Global HR Trends Study conducted by Mercer finds that salary is actually among the least-considered factors when it comes to accepting and staying in a role. That’s not to say that providing a competitive annual salary isn’t important–it definitely is -but there’s so much more you could and should be doing to reduce employee turnover.
So, even for companies with the ability to offer salaries over and above their competitors, it’s time to get creative and diversify what you offer to employees,in order to keep them engaged, loyal and satisfied in your business.Here are six employee retention strategies to help do just that.
Improve your onboarding process
Onboarding is a key transition period for employees to get settled with the company culture and values. A well-planned and consistent onboarding process is your business’s chance to make a great impression on new joiners and ensure they’ll want to stay. Try these tactics:
- Start onboarding before day one: No one wants to spend their first few days in a new job filling out forms. Consider sending paperwork to your new employee before their first day, so there’s less to get through when they start. Some companies also send a welcome pack out to their new hires-including your culture book, a welcome card and a small gift along with the necessary forms shows how excited you are to have them on board.
- Be personal: From a friendly introduction to the team, to treating your new employees to lunch or a coffee on their first day, personal touches in your onboarding process help to relieve anxiety and immediately make them feel welcome.
- Set expectations and goals early: According to a survey by LinkedIn, understanding performance goals is the second most important aspect of onboarding -just behind one-on-one time with direct managers. Help your new hire understand what will make them successful, by explaining the department’s goals and individual KPIs, and outlining the career path for their role.
Offer flexible working hours
The vast majority of employees highly value the ability to work flexible hours. Global surveys have found that, especially for younger workers, increased flexibility in working hours was a larger incentive for a job role than many other factors. However, many companies remain reluctant when it comes to introducing flexible working hours, preferring their employees to be in the office from 9 to 5. Dolly Parton wasn’t a fan, and she’s not alone; Deloitte reports that a “lack of work flexibility” is the most likely reason a millennial will leave their job. And as time spent in the office does not necessarily equal productivity, some businesses have actually reduced the working week -which has proven beneficial in terms of employee productivity and stress reduction. When approaching flexible hours, we recommend collaborating with your employees to design and trial a work schedule that meets both your needs. Expect to see an impact on absenteeism rates, employee morale, and productivity.
Introduce low-cost benefits
Consider offering low-cost or free benefits such as local corporate discounts, birthday days off, office fruit bowls, and relaxed dress code where possible. These can be popular, simple to implement,and much appreciated by colleagues-without costing the earth.
Implement reward and recognition
When your employees give you outstanding results, take the time to thank them and recognise their contribution. Some companies provide reward and recognition in the form of quarterly or annual bonuses, or years of service awards. Non-cash reward and recognition schemes, such as eCards to say thank you and well done, shout-outs, and additional days of leave, can also be hugely popular and provide a meaningful way to recognise your employees for their hard work. Be creative and identify forms of reward and recognition that fit with your company culture and employer brand, are fair, inclusive and meaningful.
Encourage employees to work from home
A two-year Stanford study found that allowing staff to work from home brought significant rewards both for employees and business owners. Many employees found that they had fewer distractions and stress, resulting in a 13% productivity increase. Employee attrition was halved, and they took shorter breaks and fewer sick days. With the considerable expense of office space, technology becoming increasingly affordable, and software such as video conferencing more reliable than ever before, policies which do not allow employees to work from home at least some of the time become harder to justify -and you risk your employees looking elsewhere.
Introduce employee wellbeing initiatives
Many people are leading an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, with long office hours, and downtime spent absorbing the latest box set-making high cholesterol and blood pressure very real concerns. Keeping your employees healthy should be a priority, so take the time to implement wellness initiatives in your business. Many employers offer wellbeing benefits such as free fruit, discounted or employer-paid gym memberships, meditation and massages, and social sports teams.Promoting wellbeing in the workplace can help to prevent stress, improve morale, reduce sick days and improve overall employee engagement. What’s more, it shows you care about your employees and are invested in their wellness –wouldn’t you be more likely to want to stay in a company like that?
As an SME, it can be hard to compete with larger businesses when hiring. Get tactics and example EVPs to build or enhance your own Employee Value Proposition.