Employee retention is a fundamental component of organisational success. If you’re doing it right, what you should be aiming for is high engagement and high retention – your employees care about their work and the organisation, and you’re doing your best to keep them in the business. But it’s not just about compensation and benefits.

Let’s start by clarifying that employee retention and employee engagement are separate issues and can operate independent of one another. For example, it is possible to have high retention in your organisation but with low engagement; the public sector is an often-cited example where people are attracted by the stability of a role. Conversely, an organisation could have low retention but with high engagement, think innovative companies in the tech space where it’s common for people to move from job to job.

There’s a common misconception that employees leave jobs due to money. Compensation and benefits are important and may be a motivator for employees to pursue new opportunities, but it’s generally not the real reason for their departure. Research from online job site SEEK into why people leave roles shows that work conditions/the environment (53%) and management/leadership in the business (31%) rate higher than salary and compensation (30%).

Here are some smart retention and engagement strategies to consider for 2022.

First up. Are you hiring the right people?

If your retention rate with new hires is dire then perhaps it’s time to review your approach to recruitment. This involves all aspects of the hiring process – from how you “package” a role through to your search, assessment and selection approach. A low retention rate may also be a result of your onboarding practices and that means making sure new hires are set for success from their first day.

Trust matters

We’ve all experienced significant change of late and as a result trust in the leadership of an organisation has really been highlighted as a critical engagement motivator. In a leadership context, trust means that employees expect their leaders to treat them well, and therefore, are comfortable being open with their leaders. Organisations that are doing this well prioritise transparent, consistent communication and create workplaces where respect and trust go hand in hand. Think in terms of employee engagement programmes, well planned and executed change programmes, one-on-one and one-to-many interactions, and recognising efforts.

Work life balance

Work life balance can seem like an impossible dream, but the research clearly tells us that relationships, health and overall happiness are negatively impacted by overwork. Workplace stress is a real threat to employee engagement. Now is the time to start reviewing your work life balance initiatives – encourage staff to unplug from devices, prioritise health and wellbeing, offer flexibility and remote working, and importantly discourage perfectionism.

Reward and recognition

All major milestones and achievements should be celebrated – both individual and organisational. This can be as simple as offering verbal recognition “great work” or “congratulations on the new addition to the family”, through to hosting celebratory events and more formal reward and recognition programmes. When employees are recognised for what they do, they feel empowered to perform at their best. Have you created a workplace culture that celebrates recognition, even in the hard times?

Growth and development

Providing opportunities for career growth and development is one of the key motivators for new job seekers, and particularly important if you are looking to retain your high potentials. Professional development can take many forms from traditional in-class training through to offering stretch projects, cross department training, coaching and mentorships. Investing in your people grows not only their skills but also engagement and retention.

Encourage and support social responsibility

Younger generations are less concerned with compensation and benefits and instead more focused on sustainability, giving back and working for an organisation that is a responsible corporate citizen. Incorporating a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative, either organisation driven or giving staff the time to pursue social good, cultivates loyalty and enhances engagement. It’s also a great team building exercise.

Need help?

As a leading human resources consultancy, we know how to help businesses develop, initiate and maintain the platforms, processes and systems to support a positive and engaging workplace. Our experienced staff act as outsourced HR consultants, providing support to small-to-medium size enterprises and large private or government-led organisations. If you need help with employee retention and engagement, reach out to us today. 

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Share this story

Our insights to your inbox

Subscribe and we’ll update you with our latest news and insights.

our people

Your first
port of call