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How to reduce employee turnover as the jobs market booms

The job market heating up, combined with the pandemic changing workers’ priorities, or leaving them feeling burned-out, is meaning employers are struggling to keep and hire great talent.

Priorities post-pandemic

Randstad UK surveyed 6,000 workers recently and found that 69% were feeling confident about moving to a new role in the next few months and 24% were planning a change within three to six months. Normally, the number of workers moving jobs is around 11% a year. So how can you maximise your chances of holding on to your employees amid ‘The Great Resignation’?

Pay and conditions

We have clients who are starting to look at whether they need to improve pay and conditions to help retain their best staff. The latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer published on Monday, found that when asked about wage growth, 43% of businesses said they were expecting a 2% increase in average pay over the next 12 months, while 25% anticipated a 3% rise. Of course competitive salaries and benefits are important, but they’re not the only answer. Smaller companies can find ways, beyond the occasional nice cake in the kitchen, to stay competitive. Here’s what we recommend:

Improve communication

Employees are more invested in a company when they feel like they have a voice and have a real understanding of what’s going on in the business. As well as your regular one-to-ones with staff, an occasional employee survey with anonymous replies is a great way to get a general sense of how your team are feeling at work, pick up on any needs or concerns, and make sure you don’t get out of touch with the reality of your company culture.

Offer flexibility

The Government is consulting on whether to make flexible working a default from day one, in its ambition to ‘build back better’. Their focus is on all forms of flexibility – when you work as well as where you work  – ‘freeing employers and employees alike from the default 9-to-5 model to recruit and retain the talent they need.’

As employees who became accustomed to working from home have adjusted to the return to the office, many firms are receiving requests for flexible working. If you are considering introducing this, we recommend you formalise it with a Flexible Working Policy that will clarify the options and help you respond to requests consistently. When you’ve discussed the request with your employee and found a setup you’re both happy with, remember you can begin it on a trial basis.

Prioritise work-life balance

Work-Life Balance is a struggle for many employees and can lead to burnout that leaves them looking for another role. Flexible scheduling and remote work that eliminates a commute are two ways in which employers are trying to help workers achieve better work-life balance, which can increase retention. Giving employees time off, and respecting that time off, is also crucial.

Key to ensuring work-life balance becomes integrated in the company’s culture, is making it clear that everyone can take advantage of these policies intended to keep employees happy, and feel comfortable doing so. Without that, well-meaning efforts risk breeding resentment among those who don’t take advantage of these policies and feelings of guilt and inadequacy among those who do. To avoid this issue, leaders should stress that work-life balance is a company-wide priority.

Improve onboarding

Have a set process to make sure you’re leaving positive first impressions. Better and longer onboarding will lead to a faster time to productivity. Try pairing new starters with buddies and check in regularly to see how things are going, providing support and resources.

Improve performance reviews

Unproductive or infrequent performance reviews can leave an employee feeling criticised or unmotivated. Make yours a collaborative and continuous process that improves the relationship between the employee and manager. Set goals and agree measurable actions to achieve them.

Develop opportunities to grow

LinkedIn found that employees stay 41% longer at companies focused on hiring internally compared to those that don’t. The opportunities to offer internal promotion in smaller companies might be limited, but offer training and career development opportunities where you can. 

Want some expert help?

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