When the unemployment rate is low, how to create an effective employee retention plan becomes an urgent piece of work.
Replacing employees is expensive. It can cost up to a third of the worker’s salary to find a replacement. The latest ONS statistics show that the unemployment rate in the UK continues to fall (the latest rate for 2018 is 4.2%). Organisations that aren’t serious about retention are risking real money. With around 727,000 jobs available, workers have plenty of opportunities to jump ship if they want to.
The 2017 Investors In People Employee Sentiment Report shows that 25% of employees are actively seeking new employment. Whatever sector you’re in, establishing how to create an effective employee retention plan is critical. It isn’t a science, and it isn’t easy.
Employee retention in a competitive market
In today’s competitive labour market, keeping workers on board involves more than just making them happy on the job. Employers have to engage employees enough to avoid the temptations being dangled in front of them by other companies. A higher salary on its own can be a powerful incentive to leave; but the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t like their boss.
There are a number of components to how to create an effective employee retention plan
- A positive employer brand
- Maintaining a solid culture
- Using the right technology to support employees
- A sense of inclusion and belonging
- Work/life integration
- Employee engagement
Bruce Tulgan, founder of workforce consulting firm RainmakerThinking says that “money’s always a factor,” ; but so is “a supportive environment and, in particular, a supportive leader, manager or supervisor.” He believes that giving workers some control over their own schedule is “a huge factor.”
Employers using a one size fits all programme like employee of the month, staff meetings and one off social events can be a big mistake. By the next day, no one remembers because they’ve returned to their jobs. And that’s the key, “their jobs”. It’s there that retention and engagement happen. That’s where employees are dealing with their managers and colleagues as well as doing the work involved in the job as well.
If, in your consideration of how to create an effective employment retention plan, you rely on a set programme you are eliminating managers from your solutions. Evidence suggests that the surest way to improve retention and engagement is for those same managers to build trust with their teams.
Employee engagement, experience and a personal touch
A successful employee retention plan has a lot to do with analysing how employees feel about coming into work each day. The majority of employees want to be able to use their skills, develop themselves and make a difference.
When a manager recognises and acknowledges an employee’s hard work, it fosters goodwill and a feeling of engagement on the part of the employee. That’s a huge factor in promoting retention.
In this age of 24/7 technology, it’s never been easier for managers to communicate with their team members but, the message outweighs the medium! Employees appreciate relevant information, not random email blasts of nonsense that some managers send on a daily basis under the guise of “engaging” with their team. Information curated to specific audiences is far more effective than general messages. So although we might want to make everyone feel lilke a member of the bigger team you have to contend with a self-interested attitude – I’m a sales person, I don’t care about engineering stuff and if I’m in engineering, I don’t want information on X, Y and Z in sales.
Measuring to see what works
The true measure of how to create an effective employee retention plan depends on getting into the workforce’s collective head. Employee surveys are a great vehicle to gauge employees’ moods and understanding what is and isn’t working.
An effective employee retention plan must be approached holistically. It needs to consider culture, leadership and tools that touch every part of the organisation’s operation to make it work.
If you want any help or advice on how to create an effective employee retention plan give us a call on 01706 565332
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.