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Improve Employee Retention With Our Top Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

13th July 2022 | by: James Baker
Improve Employee Retention With Our Top Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

Worried about high staff turnover rates at your company? You're certainly not alone. The employee retention anxiety is real right now, thanks in particular to the recent cost of living inflation rates and continuing pandemic uncertainty. 

According to a 2022 EY Survey, 68% of the UK employers surveyed said that turnover increased in 2021, and a massive 43% of employees said they're likely leaving their current employer.

But why are so many employees looking for greener pastures? What employee retention strategies do you need to avoid the expense of hiring and training someone new, save time replacing staff, and keep the talent you have? 

In this guide, we've put together our top proven talent retention strategies to help you prevent top performers from leaving and keep staff happy in 2022 and beyond. First, let's see what causes staff to jump ship in the first place. 

The most common causes of high staff turnover rates

Edenred's survey of 2,000 UK adults who left jobs in 2021 revealed that the top 5 reasons why employees quit their jobs were because:

  1. They didn't feel motivated

  2. They felt overworked

  3. Managers didn't prioritise wellbeing

  4. They weren't paid enough

  5. They didn't enjoy the atmosphere

Though these were the most common reasons, there are a myriad of issues that can cause high staff turnover. 

Other survey respondents talked about their boss being rude, being unable to advance in the company, working overtime without pay, and work schedules not suiting their lifestyle.

If you've noticed a problem with high staff turnover in your company, the first step is to assess why people are leaving because it will be different for every employer. 

Figure out why your employees are leaving 

Before implementing any retention strategy, you first need to understand who is officially quitting or at risk of leaving, why, and its impact on your organisation. 

Calculate staff turnover rate: The average UK turnover rate is around 15%, though this will vary widely from business to business, it's a good indicator of healthy retention levels. 

To calculate staff turnover, divide the total number of leavers in 12 months by your average number of annual employees. Then, multiply the number by 100.

Gather reasons for leaving: Once you've worked out how many staff have left over the past 12 months, collate their reasons for quitting from exit interview records. 

If you haven't been performing exit interviews, you could try sending out an anonymous survey to past employees to gain insight into their reasons for leaving.  

Assess the impact of turnover: Next, determine employee turnover's impact on your organisation over the past year.

You'll measure not only the financial implications but also productivity levels, employee engagement levels, employee satisfaction rates, and morale. 

Once you have fully explored how many employees leave on average within 12 months, the reasons for high staff turnover, and how much it costs the company, you'll be able to hone in on the specific issues affecting retention in the future. 

Improve employee retention with these proven strategies

Now, onto what you're all here for. These are our top proven talent retention strategies that have helped our clients hold onto their best staff. Use them to inform and develop your own talent retention plan in 2022 and beyond. 

Up your onboarding game

According to Gallup, 88% of organisations have poor onboarding. Poor onboarding can give your new hires a bad first impression of your workplace. 

If you rush new hires through the onboarding process or they find it messy or confusing, you risk scaring them away before they've even started!

The secret to long-term employee retention is setting them up for success from the very beginning. Through a well-designed onboarding program, you can help your new hire adjust, hit the ground running, and feel welcome. 

Remember, onboarding isn't just for the first week. It can take anywhere from 3-9 months for new hires to adjust and start reaching high productivity levels, so make sure you give them extra support during this time. 

Create an onboarding program for each new hire that contains the following key elements:

  • Do paperwork before day one

  • Schedule a team ice breaker

  • Let them know what to expect

  • Set clear tasks and goals 

  • Conduct periodic check-ins

  • Assign training courses 

Focus on flexibility

According to EY, 80% of employees want to work at least two days remotely per week, and HBR stated that 97% of people want flexibility. 

So, try to accommodate your employees preferred working hours and locations where you can and remember to focus on their output over their total hours worked. 

If total flexibility isn't possible for your particular organisational structure and working model, compromise with your employees by offering partial flexibility. 

This might come in the form of allowing two days a week where your staff can work whenever they want. 

Even if you can only offer a minor form of flexibility in your company, it will undoubtedly improve your employee's work/life balance and job satisfaction. 

Support your employee's wellbeing 

If the pandemic has taught employers anything, employee mental health matters. And with 58% of the 2,099 employees surveyed by Champion reporting some form of stress at work. It's time employers take notice. 

Burnout, work-related stress, and anxiety are all triggers for low productivity, low job satisfaction, and ultimately, job resignations. If your employees are showing any signs of poor wellbeing, it's your responsibility to support them. 

The most successful employers will have protocols in place that prevent work-related stress in the first place by: 

  • Helping employees manage their stress levels

  • Offering wellness programs and incentives

  • Not assigning unmanageable workloads 

Subsidised therapy, lunch break meditations, desk massages, and more can go a very long way in making your employees feel more confident, capable, and comfortable at work. 

Champion a learning culture

94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their professional development. 

And with many employers reporting issues with sourcing specialised skills, it's never been more important to educate the talent you have. 

Offering your employees the chance to learn new skills and progress their careers will keep them engaged for longer, stop them from feeling stagnant, and help them feel appreciated as you're investing in their education. 

Learning and development as a retention strategy is the most effective when tailored to each employee. 

By understanding what your employees want to learn and their preferred learning styles/pace, you can create a long-term learning programme personalised to their needs. 

Offer career advancement opportunities

HBR tells us that employees who remain in the same role for an extended period are more likely to leave an organisation. Let's face it; nobody likes feeling stagnant in a job. Dead ends will cause your employees to look elsewhere for somewhere to climb. 

Understandably, not every company will have a ton of management opportunities on offer for their employees. But to improve employee retention, you must develop promotional options - whether it's managing people or not. 

Maybe staff who have been with your company for a long time can become mentors, take on more admin responsibilities, or even take charge of employee wellness programs. 

Giving your team a chance to further their careers and rewarding them for taking on more responsibility is one of the best ways to keep them happy and at your company for the long haul. 

Recognise your employees achievements

According to a Gallup poll, 65% of people feel unappreciated at their job. Not showing your employees how much you appreciate them is a surefire way to see them walking out the door to another company that will treat them better. 

If an employee suddenly seems withdrawn, isn't showing much enthusiasm for new projects, or appears to have "checked out", it's highly likely that they're not feeling appreciated and might be at higher risk of leaving. 

But you can change that with a preventative and restorative retention strategy that focuses on the art of recognition and reward. Make it a priority to thank your employees for their hard work and pay special attention when they go the extra mile for you. 

Don't let overtime or employees "doing you a favour" go unnoticed. Whether through monthly rewards programmes, company-wide emails, or personal notes of gratitude, you can give employees the boost they need to stay with you long-term.

Ready to level up your retention strategy?

Without a doubt, offering higher salaries helps companies retain their employees. But it's almost always the equivalent of putting a plaster on a broken leg. 

For the most part, the cause of high staff turnover isn't to do with money. It's about appreciation, learning, wellbeing, work/life balance, and respect. 

Honour these key factors with our top talent retention strategies, and you'll be well on your way to winning the war for talent and developing a high-performing, loyal team. 

Do you need help shaping your employee retention strategy and securing the right talent for your company culture, goals, and long-term vision? Talk to our recruitment consultants here at Buchanan Search. 

Using The Buchanan Blueprint, our proven 6-step process for finding, hiring, and retaining top graduate talent, we help UK employers save on recruitment costs while securing eager, ambitious, and skilled professionals for their team. Want to learn more and see how we can help? Book your fluff-free strategy call. 

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