By Rob MacGregor,
Client Services Director

Organizations are seeing record low attrition rates due to the current economic uncertainty. But as businesses recover, economies improve and sense of safety and security is restored, talent may again feel more comfortable exploring other opportunities.

New research from TopCV, the world’s largest CV-writing service, reveals that 65% of working UK professionals would consider leaving their job as a result of poor treatment by their employer during the COVID-19 pandemic (Employer News).

17% of those working during the pandemic told TopCV that their company failed to communicate effectively about major issues, 55% of employees who were furloughed felt neglected and 21% of professionals admitted they were unhappy even before the crisis.

Despite job availability in the UK plummeting to a record low, only one in four working UK professionals views their company’s behaviour positively and wants to remain employed there post-pandemic (Employer News). However, this can also be assigned to various causes before the pandemic 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 organizations 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 take the time to reflect 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 uses data to challenge hiring manager assumptions.

2. Keep salaries competitive

Not surprisingly, employees are heavily influenced by their compensation. You can assuage the temptation to seek another job based strictly on higher pay 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. Conduct regular salary reviews and marketplace data to stay up to date with your compensation approach.

3. Tailor employee responsibilities

Customizing the job to the individual creates a better employee fit. Clearly define roles and responsibilities 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 specializations also helps motivate employees and cement a good relationship with the organization.

4. Be transparent with employees

Today’s organizations tend to be much less hierarchical, instead favoring 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, manager accessibility, more so than ever as we live and work in a virtual world, 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 organization.

5. Offer flexibility

The pandemic has highlighted that employees have commitments outside the workplace. 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,’ along with fair incentives and honest appraisals, can improve performance and boost morale. Employees should 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. 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.

8. Enable career advancement

Offering opportunities for promotion will ensure that employees' careers progress within the organization 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 benefits both parties. Feed these internal success stories back into the external hiring process so that those considering joining your organization can visualize their exciting career path.

9. Support training and professional development

The most obvious solution to upping employee retention is creating more effective training and development programs, according to the Harvard Business Review. A good training program for all levels ensures that both managers and employees have and grow the desired skills.

Managers in particular should develop their people-management and supervisory skills, and employees should have opportunities to learn new technological and business capabilities that can increase their job satisfaction. Scheduling a collaborative learning program within the organization creates a motivated and committed workforce and provides an edge when trying to secure new top talent. According to PWC’s Annual CEO Survey, companies with more-advanced upskilling programs cite improved engagement, innovation and ability to attract and retain 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.

From market planning and candidate generation to technology adoption and data analytics, we can help you get the most from every aspect of your talent acquisition strategy.