Employee Retention in 2022: Unveiling Top Tips and Strategies

Posted — Wednesday 13.10.2022

It’s no secret that retaining top talent is key to promoting business growth. Recruiting and retaining new employees is expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, turnover negatively affects the productivity and morale of your employees.

The cost of employee turnover is higher than you may think, clocking in at an estimated £30,614 per vacant position. That’s a relatively conservative estimate, as well, given current labour market conditions. In the context of small and medium businesses, absorbing a cost on that scale is nearly unthinkable.

You also need to consider the impact of not having someone there to do that person’s work. That could slow down a massive project and also produce higher overtime costs as existing staff pick up their work. It may simply lead to a reduction in staff morale as they struggle with increased workloads. In turn, you may find others then choosing to resign due to the increased pressure. 

Employee retention can therefore become an ongoing cycle. The CIPD Labour Market report (spring 2022) points toward the increasing importance of retention in meeting staffing needs. Therefore, the need to adopt effective retention strategies has become increasingly prevalent.

1. Update your workplace model

Flexible work arrangements have become critical ingredients for talent retention. 

Employees want options apart from the traditional 9-to-5 office jobs. Hybrid models and remote-first companies are attractive options that also provide employees with the desired flexibility. Updating your work model by adding flexibility will result in improved employee engagement and, in turn, retention. 

How to get this right:

  • Design a workplace policy that defines arrangements for hybrid or remote work, such as guidelines on asynchronous communication, virtual meeting attendance, and schedule availability.
  • Communicate new policies to all stakeholders so they are acquainted with the procedures, expectations, and goals regarding performance and productivity.
  • Diarise periodic reviews to adjust your policy according to employees’ performance and feedback.

2. Focus on work-life balance

The challenges of the past two and a half years have made employees rethink the true meaning of work. Now that more people are working remotely, the line between work and home has started to blur.

Work-life balance is considered the most important factor for nearly a quarter (24%) of professionals when considering a new role (Hays Pay Survey). 

Employees who don’t have a good work-life balance will likely reconsider their future at your company, so designing wellness initiatives is critical.

Employers must build a company culture that prioritises employee wellbeing, which means giving them more control over their work, flexible timetables, reasonable capacities, and emotional support.

How to get this right:

  • Consider using external support to design an appropriate well-being strategy that supports your employee demographic and needs. 
  • Educate line manages in mental health, and consider Mental Health First Aid training. 
  • Encourage employees to take time for themselves and adopt healthy lifestyles.
  • Partner with an Employee Assistance Programme provider that provides counselling for personal and work-related issues.

3. Pay attention to feedback

According to Herzberg’s famous Two-Factory Theory, employee retention and employee motivation are interdependent. So, it is important to know how your staff feel about your business and what motivates them. Sending out engagement surveys and asking for feedback is an effective strategy to learn about your employees’ perspectives and needs. It’s an important metric that allows companies to determine whether they are meeting expectations or falling short. But this information is useless if no action is implemented. If you collect employee feedback, put it into practice by executing changes and making alterations.

Listening and acting on feedback builds trust and is an important sign to employee engagement and well-being

How to get this right:

  • Consider using external support to ensure that your survey is fun and creative. You can use polls, games, and visuals to make it a positive experience for your employees.
  • Show your employees you are listening. Take some of the greatest ideas and put them into practice. Be cautious not to implement these changes radically — do it gradually so that employees have time to adapt and adjust.
  • Measure employee performance and engagement to gauge the impact of these changes.

4. Empower autonomy

New research (Birmingham University Business School) into workplace culture has found that employees with higher levels of autonomy in their work reported positive effects on their overall well-being and higher levels of job satisfaction.

How to get this right:

  • Ensure your manages are not micromanagers’; focus on building a culture of trust. This not only makes employees feel valued, but eager to perform at their best.
  • Give your teams the tools and learning opportunities they need to do their job whether they work remotely or in an office.
  • Set up regular one-on-ones to review progress, discuss concerns, and celebrate success, not to control your employees.

5. Cultivate inclusion

Cultivating inclusion can positively impact employees’ well-being, and productivity. Inclusion is also key to a rich company culture, which leads to innovation and creativity. Diverse teams give employees a sense of belonging and connectedness to the company. Employees with a strong sense of belonging are six times more likely to be engaged.

How to get this right:

  • Focus on building cultural competence to understand, communicate, and effectively manage diverse teams.
  • Prevent discrimination with education. Organise training, and ensure employees and managers know about potential cultural biases.
  • Define anti-discrimination policies and outline procedures to report any trouble or concerns.

6. Promote communication and collaboration

Promoting communication and collaboration leads to a positive employee experience. With open communication, employers can build trust and engagement among teams. Collaboration is also key to a more transparent, productive, and happier workplace, and therefore, higher retention rates.  

How to get this right:

  • Make sure to enable open channels of communication and collaboration tools, such as Teams, Slack, Trello, or Zoom.
  • Welcome constructive feedback and promote a safe environment for sharing and discussing ideas.
  • Create team-building initiatives that promote cross-departmental teamwork and communication.

Souring and securing employees can be complex; however, retaining top talent is the real challenge, which is why Ingenium Talent is with you every step of the way. We help you develop the strategies above (workplace policies, engagement surveys; well-being policies; diversity policies and cultural competencies) hire, onboard, and coach teams so you can focus on scaling your company.

Contact us to discuss how we can help (michelle.johnson@ingeniumtalent.co.uk).

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