Top 6 Factors That Drive Better Employee Retention

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Top 6 Factors That Drive Better Employee Retention

Posted:

Jan 25, 2021

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More and more employers are investing in employee retention. Hiring can be expensive and it’s easier to retain great employees than hunt for new ones. Additionally, great employees can help shape a positive work culture, thereby attracting more great employees and boosting your company’s productivity. As a values-driven tech recruitment company, we’re on a mission to change the culture of work, for the better. With that in mind, here are our 6 top factors for driving better employee retention.

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1. People and culture

A positive working environment or company culture should fit like your favourite pair of jeans. It should be comfortable, a good fit, and make you feel fantastic. According to a 2018 study by LinkedIn, 70% of professionals would not work at a leading company if it meant they had to tolerate bad workplace culture.

Humans are social creatures, so it makes sense that employees crave workspaces where they feel like they belong and can bring their whole selves to work. While it may seem counter-intuitive, investing the time to foster a positive working environment at your company will mean less time concerned about productivity, engagement, motivation and retention.

Humans are social creatures, so it makes sense that employees crave workspaces where they feel like they belong and can bring their whole selves to work.

Take a closer look at your company values and explore opportunities to tangibly demonstrate those values to your employees. If respect is a company value, provide diversity and inclusion training or show employees that you’re actively listening by actioning feedback. If transparency is important, make it easy for employees to access relevant documentation and approach conflict-resolution situations with empathetic honesty. If your company values innovation or flexibility, work with employees to set up flexible working arrangements as suited to the individual’s and company’s needs.

Culture is created by people so by investing in your people, you are investing in your culture.

2. Work acknowledgement

As mentioned earlier, humans are social beings and as such respond well to positive reinforcement. Research by experts at Meta Learning and University of Michigan Business School revealed that the highest performing business teams offered a 5.6 to 1 ratio of positive-to-negative reinforcement (meaning an average of 5.6 pieces of positive feedback to 1 piece of negative feedback). Comparatively, the lowest performing teams received an average positive-to-negative reinforcement of 1 to 3.

This illustrates how important it is to discover ways employees can feel heard and acknowledged. In fact, active listening from leadership and recognising accomplishments are important factors in employee retention.

In practice, this might look like:

3. Meaningful benefits  

Employees stay with a company when they receive competitive benefits, have opportunities to grow, feel respected and valued, and support the company’s culture and mission. 

Provide tangible reminders of your company’s values to keep your employees motivated. Chances are that your company’s values were an important part of your employees’ decision-making when you hired them. According to LinkedIn, 44% of professionals care about strong workplace benefits such as paid time off, parental leave, and healthcare plans.

You may want to look at implementing a results-based rewards system where top performing employees get access to an experiential benefit, such as a coffee voucher or a yoga class. Even more importantly, consider researching what ongoing benefits your company could reasonably offer for all employees. Offering benefits does not necessarily make the company “lose money”. Research from the University of Oxford has found that workers are 13% more productive when they are happy. And worker productivity means more money back in the company’s pocket.

4. Ongoing training  

Studies show that employees find “opportunities to grow” a key factor in remaining with their company. Training could take shape as a seminar or conference, in-company apprenticeships or mentoring, online learning, or through an advisory agency

By investing in employees, you are demonstrating care regarding their professional growth and potential to progress to more senior positions within the company. This feeds into a positive loop of belonging, motivation, productivity, and ultimately, retention.

5. Workplace environment  

Imagine working your 9-to-5 in a room dominated by the bluish glow of computer screens and the artificial glare of too-bright lights. Now imagine going to work in an airy space with pot plants and windows that allow plenty of natural light. Where would you prefer to spend your workdays? 

It should come as no surprise that environment can have a big impact in your employee retention strategy. Access to daylight directly relates to employee health and wellbeing. Surrounding yourself with real or fake plants can decrease stress and increase productivity. Other factors like noise, ergonomics, and daily movement can also affect employee performance. 

Since we know that environment has such a big impact on a person’s wellbeing and energy levels, it makes sense for your company to invest in a good workplace environment setup.

6. Mission and values alignment  

People spend about 90,000 hours of their lifetime working. The Huffington Post estimates that number even higher at 13 years of your life. Considering how much time employees spend at a workplace, it’s natural to want to feel good about the work you produce. Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, agrees that defining an individual’s purpose and mission may help employees to pick the kinds of organisations they’d prefer to work for – one that ideally holds similar values to their own.  

At Lucida, we witness firsthand that when values align within an organisation, culture improves along with productivity and performance. And that’s good for everyone.

Summary

Research shows that six important factors in employee retention are people and culture, acknowledgement at work, providing meaningful benefits, ongoing training, workplace environment, and mission and values alignment.

Try offering flexible working arrangements, leadership course opportunities, or a competitive paid leave policy. Add some pot plants to your office and foster a sense of belonging by making Friday lunch a company-wide affair. If you would like more hands-on and personalised assistance, let us help you transform your employee retention strategy with our Lucida Advisory service

Happy working!

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