By Rob MacGregor,
Client Services Director

The UK's average rate of employee attrition is about 15%, which can be assigned to various causes, including:

  • A mismatch of the employee to the job
  • Ineffective screening or assessment during hiring
  • Lack of company investment in employee career development
  • Inadequate communication
  • Lack of or inappropriate feedback

It is imperative that organisations view attrition as a fundamental measure of employee satisfaction and use it to gauge whether there is a wider business problem in the recruitment space. Having to frequently replace employees can be extremely costly and grind a team’s productivity to a halt, so it is critical to take steps to reduce attrition. Here are 10 tips to help:

1. Hire the right candidates

Embracing a wider diversity of candidates and taking more time to assess their relevant strengths and weaknesses will help ensure you find the best possible fit for the job. Pre-placement or aptitude tests and data analytic tools are available to help assess the calibre of potential employees and ultimately improve quality of hire. It may seem obvious, but it’s worth just reflecting on whether you have truly identified what skills and strengths your top performers in each role actually have – are you assessing candidates against the right measures? A skilled talent acquisition professional will use data to challenge hiring manager assumptions.

2. Keep salaries competitive

Not surprisingly, employees are heavily influenced by their remuneration. But the temptation to seek another job based strictly on higher pay can be assuaged by offering fair compensation, solid employee benefits, and a job that is personally and professionally rewarding. If salaries drop more than 10% behind market average, employees are likely to start looking at competitors, so regular salary reviews should be conducted and marketplace data kept up to date.

3. Tailor employee responsibilities

Customising the job to the individual creates a better employee fit. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined at the outset, so that each new hire knows what they are doing and when. Designing progressive milestones that incorporate and celebrate employees' particular interests and specialisations will also help motivate employees and cement a good relationship with the organisation.

4. Be transparent with employees

Today’s organisations tend to be much less hierarchical, instead favouring a more open-door environment that encourages transparency. Managers who communicate honestly and encourage employees to share their ideas and opinions on key issues help employees feel more involved and committed to company goals. Plus, an accessible work environment and strong team spirit encourages trust in decision-makers and leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction. A strong Employer Brand will empower your internal experts to extend their communication and widen their influence outside of their immediate colleagues and help you attract top talent to your organisation.

5. Offer flexibility

Recognising that employees have commitments outside the workplace is also important to establish a good working relationship. These days a healthy work-life balance is likely to take priority over a position that is higher-paid but rigidly structured. Job shares and part-time positions help encourage a more diverse workforce, with technology enabling greater flexibility in working hours and locations.

6. Show employees your appreciation

Workers who feel appreciated are far more likely to stay in the same position for longer, reinforcing an employee’s sense of self-worth and value to the company. A simple thank you will often encourage better performance, with fair incentives and honest performance appraisals to boost morale. Employees should always have the best supplies and equipment to deliver optimum performance, so upgrading systems, software and machinery ensures that people work efficiently and know they are valued.

7. Provide regular, constructive feedback

Employees need to know they are performing to their supervisor’s expectations and can be encouraged with consistent coaching and feedback. Regular and frequent performance reviews can help set realistic goals, motivate employees to achieve them, and strengthen their bond with managers and the company as a whole when goals are achieved.

8. Enable career advancement

Offering opportunities for promotion will ensure that employees' careers progress within the organisation and not with a competitor. Compensating employees for professional meetings, seminars and educational courses encourages them to pursue personal growth. Employees must feel that the company is investing wholeheartedly in their future and that their career development is benefits both parties. Feed these internal success stories back into the external hiring process so that those considering joining your organisation can begin to visualise their exciting career path.

9. Support training and professional development

A good training programme is necessary at all levels to ensure that both managers and employees are provided with desired skills. Managers in particular should be required to develop their people management and supervisory skills, while all employees should have opportunities to learn new technological and business developments that can increase their job satisfaction. Scheduling a collaborative learning programme within the organisation helps to create a motivated and committed workforce and provide the edge when trying to secure new top talent.

10. Make retention a strategy

To direct focus on retention strategies, it helps to make someone directly responsible for them, and to introduce incentives that encourage employees to stay. Bonus payments and perks can be redirected to reward retention rather than as a hiring incentive, with packages designed to increase salaries of those who take on more responsibility, acquire technological credentials, or additional qualifications. Retention rates should be monitored with regular statistical reviews to determine how well strategies are working, and implementing strategies such as Cielo Exit Surveys and Keep In Touch Service can help with employee feedback.

Modern times may increase the likelihood of frequent job-hopping, but implementing these strategies will help with the selection and retention of the highest-calibre employees.

Connect with Rob MacGregor on LinkedIn.