Brisk morning runs, mindfulness, spinach smoothies for brekkie… January’s a great time to make a change (even if it only lasts for the first two weeks). But there’s one change that lasts considerably longer, and that’s moving jobs. Apparently, mid-January is the busiest time for new job applications – great news for recruiters, but less exciting if you’re tasked with tackling poor employee retention rates at your own organisation.
The cost of saying see-you-later to your staff
We can all agree it’s not a good way to kick off the year. Poor employee retention causes endless disruption: other team members have to shoulder the burden and you face the task of getting a new employee up to scratch. But that’s not all - one report found the average cost to employers of replacing a single member of staff is a staggering £30,000. In short: there’s serious value in striving to boost employee engagement and improve staff retention as a result.
Motivation is key to keeping employees engaged, happy and most importantly, keen to stay put. But you can’t pull employee motivation out of thin air. Ultimately, the old adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ really is the key here. If you’re looking for tips on improving employee motivation, the reality is, there are no quick fixes. You can’t buy loyalty with a nice gift voucher, and taking the team out for a slap-up meal now and again won’t cut it either. Instead, you should be working year-round to make sure employee engagement is high and your staff are satisfied. Here are our top tips for how to go about it.
The meaning of meaning
Engaged staff don’t just provide better CX, they’re also less likely to leave for pastures new. So, to really maximise employee retention, it’s worth looking at some research into what actually creates high employee engagement. One study discovered that 76% of employees cite ‘the meaningfulness of their job’ as a condition for engagement. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that you have to launch a quest to change the world. Instead, it means having a clear company mission that staff can contribute to, plus staff feeling like they have the power to create change and have an impact.
Maybe it’s a case of capturing feedback and making it visible to every employee in real-time, empowering staff to see what impact their role has and how they can improve – like our customer, Flagship Homes. Or, it could be a matter of giving staff the autonomy to act on situations they encounter, giving compassionate customer service and receiving feel-good customer feedback as a result. A module like Frontline Engagement can help you achieve both of these goals, by presenting feedback in a gamified dashboard with a fun social twist.
R-e-s-p-e-c-t, find out what it means to your team
Meanwhile, the same research revealed that over two-thirds of workers think ‘respectful treatment of all employees at all levels’ is very important to their job satisfaction – even more so than overall pay and compensation.
It goes without saying that everybody should be spoken to politely and treated fairly, but one way to really make employees feel respected is by giving everybody a voice. Ignore job titles, seniority or length of service and make sure every single member of staff has the power to feed back about the company - but don’t leave this to your standard staff appraisal process. Things change constantly, and the nitty-gritty detail of what it’s really like to work somewhere can rarely be captured in an annual employee engagement survey. Instead, provide tools to capture the Voice of the Employee on an ongoing basis – and then show how you’re acting on the feedback.
Another way of doing this is incredibly simple, but often forgotten: let your team know they’re appreciated. Not feeling valued at work is a leading reason for changing jobs, and while financial remuneration always plays a part, it also goes way beyond that. Whether it’s access to positive customer feedback or just letting an employee know they’re a superstar, make sure your employees are getting the praise they deserve for all their hard work, alongside constructive criticism for improvement.
Boosting retention in January and beyond
Nobody likes to think that staff at their organisation feel disengaged or underappreciated. As a result, it can be tempting to avoid the issue. In doing this, you run the risk of losing valued staff – incurring high costs and a whole heap of inconvenience as a result. To truly improve employee retention, you need to put in the work year-round to ensure your team feels listened to, appreciated and respected. Manage that and the only reason they’ll be cagey about returning in January is those lunchtime runs they’ve signed up for.