As of early 2018, unemployment was at its lowest in the UK for four decades. While this is good news for the economy, and for people in work, it might make some employers uneasy.

This is because they can run the risk of losing their staff to rival companies. Furthermore, if they’ve taken the time and expense to train these employees, then it can be an even more bitter pill to swallow.

In times of low unemployment, the market may end up being the decider of whom a business employs, or keeps, rather than its HR policies.

What can businesses do to improve staff retention?


Start as You Mean to Go On

The first six months of someone’s employment can be crucial in terms of turnover. You can, however, reduce the risk of losing them by ensuring you have a clear onboarding programme.

This is where you thoroughly immerse new starters in the culture of your business. It goes beyond giving them the sufficient technical and practical details to do their job.

It is about instilling a sense of belonging in them from the outset. It means combining professional support and encouragement with socialisation – employees who feel properly connected are more engaged.

The object is to make them feel you care about their future and their potential as your employee, as much as reassuring yourself that they are fully up to speed with what you require from them.


Make Continuous Development Meaningful

Just as onboarding should be comprehensive, and immersive, so staff training and development should go beyond immediate needs and address employees’ long-term career development.

To improve staff retention, and their career prospects with you, you can offer further training to those that you have already trained to a certain level.  Plus, this demonstrates you care about them, and that you’re investing in them beyond the immediate requirements of their role.

Developing your talent is its own reward, providing you keep developing it, and use this as an effective tool for staff engagement.

Studies have shown millennials to be more value-led than preceding generations of workers. As an employer, you can tap into this if you offer them benefits within the scope of their employment, which will make it more meaningful to them.


Recognition and Thanks

Another element of a positive workplace culture is how much employees feel their efforts are appreciated.

Incentive and reward programmes have their part to play, but so too do spontaneous expressions of thanks.

These actions reinforce a sense of belonging for employees and help strengthen emotional ties between them and their employer. In turn, this helps reduce the likelihood of losing them.

It is important that employers recruit the right people for the roles they need to fill.  They must also place at least as much emphasis on retaining these key contributors to their business success.

To discuss how you can improve staff retention at your business, please contact us.

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