Employee retention is an underrated metric to follow as a business owner or leader. It is often directly tied to other metrics relating to business performance, as well as business longevity potential. Not only this, but employee turnover is an expensive thing, with its own detrimental impacts on the running of a business in the short- and medium-term. How can you improve employee retention and improve your business as a result?
One of the leading factors in employees’ decisions to leave businesses is the onboarding process itself. While perhaps surprising to businesses expecting other evergreen factors to play into staff turnover figures, there is evidence to back it up. According to a recent study, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a business for three years if their onboarding process was a comprehensive and positive experience. When only 12% of employees strongly feel their business’ onboarding processes are positive, the discrepancy is made clear.
Presence and availability are key to a positive onboarding experience. If a new employee feels as if they have been dropped into their role with little preparation, they are less likely to feel like a cohesive part of the team. With a steeper on-ramp to comfortable work, these employees are more likely to seek a better fit elsewhere. With this in mind, a comprehensive review of your onboarding system could be the key to reducing turnover.
Ultimately, though, workers that feel undervalued, unsupported, or ‘adrift’ within their department are less likely to stay for the long term; while there is a fine balance to be struck between positive support and micromanagement, the evidence is there to indicate that employees value managerial support. Besides, there are numerous ways in which that support can be provided.
Periodical outreach to individual members of staff, whether to check in on progress and development or to evaluate stress and workload, can help employees feel seen and heard while ensuring that no one is under the radar in terms of high stress or workload. HR software can help automate parts of this, while also providing immediate access to employee resources and portals for managing larger staff cohorts.
Speaking of workload, there are active routes to balancing workload and responsibility that do not negatively impact productivity; indeed, a more open approach to balance for staff can have positive results, not only for employee retention but also for performance.
For example, some businesses suffer higher staff turnover on account of a company culture that disincentivises the use of annual leave. This could be directly, through high workloads and high-pressure projects, or indirectly through poor manifestations of certain company values. In actively encouraging employees to utilise their holiday perks, you can reinforce yourself as on the side of the staff. Likewise, the equitable adoption of flexible working practices can help staff retain control of their schedules and lives outside of work.