We discover seven highly-recommended practices your business can carry out to keep your employees happy, motivated and off the job search engines.
When it comes to running a business, we’d be nowhere without our employees. They’re the beating heart of any business, and we want to do all that we can to keep them loyal and engaged. But it is by no means a simple matter: like any relationship in life, keeping our employees takes work, and if you want to achieve a high retention rate, putting in the work is crucial. But how? There are numerous measures you can implement to improve employee retention, so read on if you’re a keen business owner bidding to create a workplace that will be hard to leave.
Make Use of AI
Naturally, this cannot apply to every industry, and many will find it challenging to implement AI into the workplace and will be suspended in a time before modern technology, where things are done the more fiddly way around. But if your business has the capacity, AI can be a considerable time and cost-saving measure.
A great example of using AI in accounting and finance is using credit control software for your account receivables. A start-up will likely have its employees handle most of the accounting work manually. However, a growing business will soon realise the difficulty of managing multiple accounts without any help from technology- and it won’t do your business any favours to have a team of stressed-out employees.
Adopting credit control software- or, indeed, any AI tool- will help you foster a much more helpful working environment for your employees and provide them with a more positive experience working for you. In turn, your employees will be more likely to stay working for your business for longer.
Ensure there is a Proper Onboarding and Training Process
First impressions are critical in informing whether an employee will want to stay in your company long-term. If the first few weeks at a company are characterised by a chaotic and unstructured introduction with little to no training, the likelihood of their untimely resignation increases significantly.
When it comes to new starters, it should go without saying that a company must go above and beyond, not only to provide thorough training but to make the employee feel heard and welcome. Ensure that all employees feel sufficiently confident after their training before dropping them into the deep end and expecting them to perform. After all, the more thorough their training, the better the quality of their work, and the happier they will feel in their role. A worker who feels as though they are underprepared and underperforming won’t hesitate to find a company whose onboarding and training processes are better.
Remember, onboarding is so much more than signing a contract!
Employee Benefits and Rewards
Regular socials, training and educational opportunities, discounted gym memberships, and a cycle-to-work scheme – these are just some of the attractive perks that both prospective and existing employees want to experience whilst employed by a company and what will increase their retention rate.
Of course, it is not within the means of every company to offer a lavish list of benefits, but small perks go a long way.
For all of its terrible ramifications, one good thing born of the Covid era was that we realised that the way we work doesn’t have to follow rigid rules. We can be flexible with working hours and location – so long as the work gets done. As such, we have changed the way we view job specs now, and a company that espouses an ethos of flexibility is a highly appetising one.
Flexibility on location enables employees to choose how they divide their time between being at home and in the office, rather than dictating their location. Some may prefer to be entirely in-person and spend the whole week in the office, while for others, a hybrid option of working at home some days and going into the office for others works best for them – the point is, it is beneficial to employee retention rates to allow employees the choice. If your business has the capacity, you could also offer employees the opportunity to be 100% remote and, depending on the nature of the company, generously allow them to keep their jobs while working outside the UK.
Nurture Employee Development
When an employee joins your company, it’s important to acknowledge that they aren’t doing so with the idea of remaining in that role for all eternity. They’re starting a journey with you, typically in the hopes of rising through the ranks and eventually enjoying greater responsibility and a higher salary. Therefore, you should provide the space in which they can flourish, be promoted and have their career development plans nurtured, as they will otherwise find a different company that will.
Nurturing employee development can also take the form of additional training and development opportunities.
Use Departures Wisely
People are eventually going to leave your company – it’s a fact. Use your losses wisely, and make sure there are measures in place to get honest and holistic feedback from departing employees. And once that data is collected, don’t just cast it aside; use it to make a proper difference to the way the company is run and employees are treated.
Champion Diversity and Inclusivity
A key part of staff retention is creating an environment in which they feel safe, valued and included. As such, it is vital to put diversity and inclusion at the very heart of everything you do, rather than just being the type of business that vows to care about diversity and inclusion but whose efforts to implement it are limited.
There are ways to embrace these all-important qualities, such as through workshops and training opportunities and by referring to an inclusive language guide for your business to ensure that writing is inclusive of everyone.
Companies that don’t take diversity and inclusion seriously pay the price with a low employee retention rate- unsurprisingly, particularly with employees of colour. As one study highlights, almost 50% of people of colour have left a job after experiencing or witnessing discrimination at work.
Ultimately, the secret to employee retention can’t be rattled down in its entirety to only seven things you as a business can do. However, adhering to the practices above will make for a strong start to keeping your employees, well, employed in your business.