How to help raise employee retention at your company

Right now, all your employees have their eyes on your business and how you are reacting to big changes. Most people will be thankful to keep their jobs, however, if companies handle challenges in a negative way, many people will take initiative and try to find new work (which although may seem difficult, is totally possible at this time).

As a recruitment company, we look out for the ‘right hire’ who will be committed to your company and be a nice addition to your workplace whether they are a contractor or they are permanent. Of course, retention of employees focuses on permanent staff and what people look for in their full time role that will keep them interested, passionate and hard working. However, some of these tips definitely apply to contractors as well who you really need to work out their entire contract.

Pay and benefits (that are actually beneficial)

Whilst a good pay packet may be a little tricky in the current times where companies are facing job losses, reduction in salaries or hours and other implementations to help companies stay afloat; it's always extremely important to pay people what they are worth and to offer benefits that will actually be useful.

During this pandemic, the benefits you offer can make all the difference. Do you have a fitness program that people may use online? An EAP program for people to take care of their mental health? A flexibility program so people are comfortable working from home? A childcare assistance program for working parents? Whatever you are offering, we hope you are advertising the resources to your staff. When employees feel like they are front of mind when it comes to certain programs and policies, they will feel valued and cared for.

Set up an effective onboarding program

The onboarding process gives employees their first impression of your company and can potentially frame their entire attitude towards working for you. If you leave them feeling lost and unsupported do you think they will want to work hard for your business? It’s important to establish your relationship with new employees during this time.

See our blog here for how to onboard remote employees during this time!

Build a strong culture where you care for your people

Is your company known to be driven by cash? It’s important that your need to make a profit is at least equal to your need to care for your people. A great work culture does not get built over night, it takes years of hiring the right people and leaders, implementing the appropriate policies, engaging in the right projects and so much more! But it is absolutely worth it to take action to build a culture that proves it cares about its people and who has them front of mind during big business decisions.

Recognise and reward employees

This is another one that monetarily can be quite difficult during this time. However, you can still reward and recognise your employees for their hard work. A kind ‘thank you for all your hard work’ can go a long way. A nice celebratory video call for a project done well could make someone’s day. Mostly, it’s all about making your employees feel valued. If people continuously work hard without any recognition their motivation could slowly fade and they may feel undervalued or unappreciated.

Transparent communication (including clear expectations and policies)

Open communication, especially during challenging times is VITAL! People need to know what is happening, what actions are being taken, and how they will be affected.

They should also know (and not just in these times) what your expectations are, what policies your company has, as well as what is going on in the business month to month. Most people like to feel like they are contributing to the bigger picture. The more they know, the more they can see the difference their work makes. No one really likes to be left in the dark, with a thousand questions and no one to answer them. If your own employees don’t have some trust in you they won’t feel as supported as they could and they may slowly start to dislike the secrecy or vague nature of communications. When employees are unsure about what the companies intentions are, they will likely start to feel uneasy in their role causing stress and insecurity.

On another note, if you are not clear on your expectations they may not perform to the level you desire. If they are reprimanded for this, they may feel that is is unfair and as if they are being bullied due to the fact that they did not understand your expectations in the first place. Communication can really help prevent getting caught up in misunderstandings that could balloon into much larger issues.

Invest in professional development

Many people get into a job to work their way up. People are ambitious and need to feel challenged in their job. When people are bored, they do not work to their best ability. You want to keep employees excited, challenged and learning. Invest in training or programs that allow your employees to excel and potentially move up or to the side in your workplace. Although there are many people who are happy to do the same job for years on end, many other’s need change and growth. You need to cater training programs to the people who need change so that they are not tempted to grow at another company.

Take part in meaningful work

For many people, their work life can feel bland and pointless and often people will become completely unmotivated if they feel like they’re not contributing to something more meaningful. No matter what it is that your company does as their main service or product, you can always work on meaningful projects that help the community in one way or another. This could be by raising money and holding events for foundations and charities that are important to your business, by promoting volunteer team building days, by ensuring your work is ethical and leaves a positive impact on the world in some way... there are a few options. People want to feel like they’re doing something for the world too, not just for a big corporate company.

Consider exit interviews and work on the feedback

Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave your business? You definitely should be! It is during this time that you will get honest feedback about what people struggled with or didn’t particularly like when they worked for you. Whether it be about negative management, or not enough challenge, or they want to go and do something more meaningful; whatever the reasoning, you can always do some work to improve the common factors that employees had issues with. You can also conduct feedback surveys for current employees to gauge what's working for your business in terms of employee satisfaction and what isn’t. When you listen to feedback and are open to suggestions you could drastically change the way your business feels for your employees and could therefore retain many more staff building a culture of ultimate security and happiness.

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