But did you know that the true cost to the organisation of losing a highly trained employee can be up to 200% of their annual salary?
But the focus on employee retention is not all about the cost to replace an employee who leaves. Long-serving employees deliver a number of extra benefits to the organisation, through their knowledge, capability, productivity and their ability to act as an authoritative ambassador for the brand.
With all this in mind, it’s clear that a strong retention strategy and programme is essential for any business that wants to thrive and maintain good profitability.
What’s the difference between an employee retention strategy and an employee retention programme?
Your retention strategy is a set of cohesive ideas that will help you to retain your employees, such as building a powerful employer brand or having extensive employee representation. Your employee retention programme is the detailed, tactical plan that executes the strategy through a specific range of activities. In the examples we looked at, this might involve executing your idea about employee representation via the creation of employee resource groups.
Factors to build into your employee retention programme
To build an effective retention strategy or programme, you need to really understand why people choose to stay or go. These can be grouped into three main areas:
There’s no getting away from the fact that employees look at salaries and will more often than not be at least tempted by a better offer. If you’re faced with a salary negotiation situation, make sure you’re well prepared as a botched process here is a surefire way to lose talented staff.
But it’s not all about the money. The benefits package you offer, in-work perks, rewards, facilities, and things like holiday allowance, and flexible or remote working options all contribute to the attractiveness of your company and influence retention.
We spend a large proportion of our time at work, so we want to feel like we’re achieving something by being there. Effective and robust onboarding, training, career progression opportunities, regular feedback, mentoring and recognition of achievements all contribute to the sense that what we do is meaningful and gets us somewhere. This engenders a desire to stay and achieve more where we are, increasing employee retention.
A positive working environment where there’s open and frequent communication, where teamwork is encouraged, milestones are celebrated, opportunities to collaborate are available, and there’s a healthy work/life balance all contribute to the “stickiness” of your employment offering without costing much (if anything) to implement.
As more recent generations move up the ranks, we’re seeing more of an emphasis on prioritising an alignment of purpose, values and culture as a driver for retention than ever before.
We have lots more tips for enhancing employee retention available on our blog ‘Creating the fee good factor’.