August 29, 2018 6:00 AM

Boosting Retention – It’s All About Employee Engagement

Retention; it’s the holy grail of recruitment. Hiring a candidate that not only has the skills to be a success in the role but also has the staying power to make it through that all-important first year is a dream come true for any recruiter. But aside from offering them a salary the size of a small country’s GDP, how can you we boost retention figures to cut down on recruitment costs?

The simple answer is employee engagement, but you knew that already didn’t you?

 

The real cost of recruitment

When we think of the cost of recruitment, we tend to focus on budget. The money we spend on ads, the time your team spends sourcing talent, the cost of recruitment software, and even the expense of outsourced processes. What we rarely consider is the true reason we’re even hiring in the first place.

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It’s true that sometimes employers create new roles due to expansion or the opening of new departments. However, more often than not, the reason a role is vacant is due to an employee leaving the company.

Now we can’t stop this entirely, and it would be crazy to even attempt to do so. After all, people need to retire at some point, right? Employees also leave roles for personal reasons such as spending more time with their family, returning to full-time education, a career change, or perhaps to open their own business. All valid reasons for leaving a good job and reasons that employers should respect.

But then there are the employees who leave because they are unhappy in their role. Maybe they feel underappreciated, maybe they feel they can’t communicate with their peers or superiors, or perhaps they feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied in their role.

And that is the real and preventable cost of recruitment.

 

Employee engagement rules the roost

Ask an employer what their most valuable commodity is and nine times out of ten, they’ll tell you that it’s their employees. Yet, employee engagement is only coming into vogue in the last decade or so. In fact, some major companies are still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to the happiness of their employees.

Did you know that according to Gallup’s State of the Workforce Report, only 15% of employees worldwide feel engaged at work?

Pretty shocking figures, so what can we do about it?

 

Ensure employees are doing the right job

It always happens. Candidate gets hired for one role, ends up handling the duties of another. At times it’s unavoidable and to be honest, most employees don’t mind helping out in times of need.

But when it drags on, it can only lead to problems. Keep employees in the right roles and keep them happy. Easy.

 

Be enthusiastic about their future

Employees want to feel valued and appreciated (more on that later), but they also want to know that the company cares about them on an individual basis. Now, we’re not just talking about benefits here, although we’ll get to that one later too. What employees want is to know that the company has future plans that involve them as individuals.

And the easiest way to prove this is to…

 

Give them the training they need (or want)

It’s no secret that employees want to learn. Offer them the opportunity to improve their skills and watch their levels of job satisfaction go through the roof.

 

In the US alone 80% of employees questioned in a Ranstad survey believed that they needed to upskill. So give employees what they want.

 

This training could be in-house programs or company sponsored courses at local institutions. Of course, they will cost the company money, but the long-term rewards are well worth the investment.

 

Give credit where it’s due

Everyone likes a ‘thank you’ or a ‘well done.’ So encourage managers and executive level staff to give credit where it’s due. And if you want to work really well, have them do it in public.

 

Offer the right benefits

To some, the right benefits might be a company car and a huge salary, but the reality is that today’s employees value work/life balance far more than they do material gains. The ability to work remotely, a solid health plan, or even family days are the kinds of benefits that today’s employees look for.

Having said that, every employee is different, and so it’s important to create a benefits package that offers a little something for everyone.

 

Keep them informed

Employees want to be in the loop. They want to know what direction the company is heading in and how their efforts are helping. Regular meetings might seem like a chore to some but they are essential for keeping employees engaged. They also offer an opportunity for higher level staff to interact with team members on a regular basis.

 

Praise nice people

Diversity blog post

And fire the rest. Okay maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you can see where we’re going with this. If your company has a positive working culture (why wouldn’t it) then you will want managers who respect their team members. Managers who (as we mentioned earlier) give credit where it’s due and don’t call out a person’s mistakes in front of the entire office.

In a nutshell, you want managers who are nice people because quite often, employees quit bosses, not jobs. So when a company makes it clear that they will not tolerate disciplinarian-style managers, they gain the respect and trust of their staff. And that, above all else, is worth its weight in gold.

 

Measure employee satisfaction

There’s no point in simply assuming that everything is going well, the company needs to actively pursue feedback from its employees. Create an anonymous questionnaire that allows employees the opportunity to let you know what they like or dislike about the workplace.

This feedback can then be measured and talked about during an informal meeting with team members. Make sure to address each issue raised letting the anonymous employee know that you value their input and are taking measures to find a solution.

If you only take one step in the coming weeks, then make sure this is the one.

 

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So how are your company’s employing retention stats? Do you operate something of an employee’s paradise with staff turnover way below the global average? Or do you still struggle to keep talent from jumping ship?

If you’re making sure that your workforce is engaged but still losing employees, then it could be that you’re not targetting the right candidates. Don’t worry; we can help with that. Our sourcing consultants love a challenge and sourcing high-quality candidates is their bread and butter. Want to know more? Click on the link below or drop us a line today.

 

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