It’s no secret that it’s great employees who make great companies. Ensuring employees are happy at work should be a major point of discussion, especially during the present “Great Resignation”. Management after all would be redundant without a team to manage.
LinkedIn statistics predict that 41% of employees will leave their current employer and that 46% of employees will change career entirely this year. Discover our top tips in achieving high employee satisfaction, engagement and retention below.
10 Top Tips for High Employee Retention
1. Cultivate a Culture with Strong & Regular exchange in dialogue
and a Safe Space for people to Air their Views. 🌼🗣
It may be management who control the work culture of an organisation. Management decide who to hire & let go, the voice for internal communications, flexibility and company attitudes to work-life balance, who to reward & how to deal with difficult problems, crises and employees, good and not-so-good. All of these aspects contribute to a healthy work culture, but it’s communication that is number one.
Open, casual internal communications, a relatively relaxed work culture, together with regular “Ideas Meetings” and constant feedback between employees and Management will help keep employees engaged, heard and feel valued. 💡👂🏼
2. Allocate Time for Employees to move Their Projects Forward
…and check the progress. ⏰ Projects as a result of open discussions above/employee reviews (below) need time to action at work, and not during personal time. This may not only improve the efficiency of your business (by backing projects that improve efficiency & efficacy of an employee to do their work for example) but also boosts employee engagement, responsibility & self-confidence and their trust in management which altogether strengthens the work culture.
3. Give Your Team the Right tools 🛠
from the start and keep training up-to-date. An employee should have access to documents, software etc. & should been shown everything they need to hit the ground running on day one. Training needs to be thorough, continuous & measured with opportunity to retrain, refresh, deepen and/or broaden their skills as needed and/or if desired. They should be given the time, the processes, deadlines, the opportunity for open discussions & any help needed to enable them to make positive changes to their life at work. But more importantly for them, their career prospects. Keeping your workforce up-to-date in training & industry skills is good for the business, and often results in enabling employees to 𝗱𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗷𝗼𝗯 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 & 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆, in way that makes them happy. 💪🏼✨
A good company trains their employees in the skills they need for the job. A great company trains employees so that they can leave, but don’t want to. 📌
4. Reward results, effort & talent
Hard work pays off of course, when talent runs out; healthy work cultures are where everyone who contributes feels valued. And it’s not just compensation or benefits, but genuine communications, regular feedback and recognition in 1-2-1 employee reviews. Within these 1-2-1’s, set actionable goals and clear steps, give employees more responsibilities and allow them to take ownership of mini team company projects which they’re passionate about, set agreed KPI targets and training programs or otherwise. Track employee progress to encourage them to reach the next level. The objective is to retain the right employees for as long as possible so that some may become the next leaders as your company grows.
5. Let go of the wrong people
There are reasons we keep people who don’t perform; sometimes we hope they’ll change bad habits to good or that they eventually “gel” with the team, or quite simply there may be no time to recruit a replacement. But for whatever reason we do it, letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to those who do put the effort in and who do excel. Firstly, because eventually the great employees end up carry the extra work-weight, compensating for the lack of ability or effort from others. Secondly because it devalues the great work that other employees are doing, making great employees question why they put the extra effort in. Great employees hence build resentment and feel demotivated, team productivity falls overall and no one gets what they want. Keeping those who don’t listen, are negative or who make a workplace less pleasant in some way, affects everyone. Reprimand, educate or otherwise encourage change in those who aren’t pulling their weight, and if it comes to it, let go of an employee who clearly doesn’t deserve to be part of the team.
6. From the start, Hire Right ✔
…with the mindset “this person will stay with us for a very long time” not “they’ll probably leave within the next year”. You’ll be more invested in their training and career progress, more willing to listen, more willing to make the positive changes that could actually improve your business (and tenure!) and be more invested in choosing the people who fit. 🤝🏻🧩 Choosing the right person however, will be extremely time consuming, guaranteed. And a lot of managers underestimate the time & energy it takes to do so.
Of course, your regular work day in management requires a lot of focus and time. Hiring takes focus and a lot more time than you think to establish a. exactly who you are looking for and b. to find this special person. For those managers already stretched or need a position filling fast, try working with a reputable recruitment agency who is a specialist in your industry.
Oh yes – we are going there, not to promote ourselves but to give you a genuinely helpful perspective. An experienced, specialist recruiter will save you time and money in the long run, regardless of the fees. The fees vary from agency to agency, and sometimes for different levels of job seniority (like ours). However, any fees are 80% of the time a drop in the ocean for what you get back in time and exceptional employee quality. In addition, fees are deducted upon successful placement & agreed probation period, and we even reimburse clients if candidates don’t stick around. This is how confident in our processes and expertise we are, as we fill 90% of our vacancies within the first 8 weeks (most in 4 weeks), and 97% of all vacancies overall, with a tenure of 5-10 years for Senior Management roles. But to decide the best agency to go with, check reviews, ask peers or reach out to the agency’s Senior Management team & discover exactly how they work from the top down. 📈🚀✨
7. Provide a Personal Career Path for Each Employee. 📌🎯
An employee should feel like they have the option to advance if they prove themselves. Most employees are capable of learning new skills, but it’s the manager’s task to recognise which. Effective & illuminating insights can be gained from bi-annual, 1-2-1 meetings set up to discuss what exactly employees want from their time at your company. Assess how their needs can fit with business objectives/opportunities/improvements, set actionable steps for the next 6 months, and watch them grow into engaged & inspired employees, actively invested in company success. It’s a two-way street.
8. Increase Work Flexibility 🤝🏼✨
According to LinkedIn, for the past year or more now increased work flexibility has been (and continues to be!) the most attractive feature for job seekers across all industries, even above salary/compensation & work culture respectively. For the finance sector, we speculate that salary remains the number one most attractive feature, whilst a good work culture is tied closely with career progression and ESG-alignment in third place.
It’s a job-seekers market out there, with ample roles to fill but the talent being more choosey than ever. Empowered by the taste of work-from-home (WFH) experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic and the knowledge that it is almost 100% possible, it’s no surprise most employees are now actively seeking hybrid/WFH/remote roles… or may change their career entirely!
There’s been a lot of resistance in increasing work flexibility; a lot of it has to do with trust. This comes back to point 5 and point 1; you can’t have trust if there’s a lack of communication and you’re unsure you’ve got the right people. But if the WFH/hybrid model is not possible, consider…
Other ideas for increasing flexibility
- The ability for an employee to reject overtime ❌ if they don’t want it (this of course needs a business with the structure to support this, which some of our Clients with Fund Accounting departments are actively creating)
- More flexible work time (e.g. 8hours/day between 8am-8pm) 🕢
- Time paid in lieu; optional and dependent on employee wishes, time off chosen when the employee wants to take it 🚴🏼
- Working holiday allowance on top of annual leave 💻👙
Employees may also appreciate additional compensation;
- Paid overtime, usually at increased rate
- Extra rewards/benefits if employee has gone above & beyond
9. Pay special attention to the enthusiastic, engaged employees. 🤩
These are the ones who are excited about contributing & who are excited about the vision; those who speak up about their ideas, suggestions for improvement & are assertive in actions to help move things forward. When they go quiet, you know something is up. This is, however, the tipping point. Keep track of these and the remaining 80% of employees who are disengaged, listen and engage now, to ensure this tipping point is never reached.
10. Review Salaries Regularly
The first article in our article series “Why Move to Luxembourg” (published 26th August 2022) highlights just how important it is for employee wages to stay ahead of inflation, as a minimum. A job that was worth €100k back in 2000 was worth about 20% less in 2021, for example. As the global workforce are gradually realising the importance of inflation, demands for pay rises above it will be more commonplace and at higher rates than before. Don’t just point to other companies and say “well no one else is rising wages”. If you want your company to be like all others, do what everyone else is – if you want to stand out, do the opposite.
The best companies usually pay the highest wages – take Google, say in 2015, for example. Employee retention and satisfaction were sky high – people literally lined up to work there. This year Google isn’t retaining staff so easily due to uncompetitive pay and lack of employee promotions; can you say the same about your company? Companies that treat their staff like Google did attract more great candidates, retain them for much longer, recruitment is ten times quicker with better results and most importantly for profits, the average level of performance increases at all levels.
Increased average employee performance translates directly into a better quality, higher efficiency product – increasing your competitive edge. In turn, you’ll likely attract higher paying, more loyal customers who appreciate your better product. Choosing to invest in your people when your competitors are cutting back (including their salaries & bonuses as well as training) could be one of the best long-term strategies to larger long-term profits. Review where your money is currently going and see if it’s possible to strategically raise customer prices slightly and/or reallocate funds from suitable sources in order to beat your competitors.
People are the most loyal when they’re treated fairly. Fair pay isn’t just about being able to afford a suitable lifestyle – it’s about respect and feeling valued.
It’s probably worth pointing out that usually what is important to employees, should also be important to their employers, and those companies who invest in their employee training, rewarding equivocally, employee well-being & company work culture tend to be the strongest businesses with the greatest success.