Top 10 Employee Retention Strategies For 2021

15.02.21 11:47 AM

Employee retention has a huge impact on your bottom line–and now is a great time to make some employee retention resolutions for 2021 that will pay off all year long.

Poor employee retention can be a pricey problem for any business. High turnover rates result in lost productivity and additional expenses such as recruiting, hiring, and training replacement employees.

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  • 85 percent of HR decision-makers admit their organisation has made a bad hire, and a third (33 per cent) believe that these mistakes cost their business nothing
  • A poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000
  • The hidden costs involved in bad recruitment include money wasted on training, lost productivity, and increased staff turnover
  • Four in ten employers (39 per cent) admit that the interviewing and assessment skills of their staff should be improved.

So with the new year ahead, let’s look at top 10 employee retention strategies for 2021;

1. Hire smart

The first step in the process in employee retention is to ensure you do it right from the start. Take time to really assess the needs of the business and the team. Turn over every stone with the hiring manager to ensure you draft job descriptions accurately. What has gone before is not necessarily what you need going forward. Take your time when recruiting candidates and interview them thoroughly. This will ensure both you and the candidate are 110% day one and there are no surprises around the corner

2. Offer a fair and competitive salary package

Know the norm for the position, your industry, and your area of the country. Are you losing employees because you are paying under their market value.Believe me, candidates who are in demand know their worth and they often have more than one opportunity on the table at any given time. If you low ball them, do you really think you are going to be the top choice?

In 2018, a survey by Glassdoor of people in recruitment, HR, and hiring managers found that for 45% of employees who quit, the top reason is salary. This reason was followed by career advancement opportunities, better benefits, and location.

3. Offer an attractive benefits programme

Including items such as medical insurance, an attractive pension, or even perks such as health club memberships. Remember, salary is obvious but also look at more subtle benefits like paying for their parking if needed will all add value to the package on offer. It doesn’t hurt to think outside of the box

Ask your staff (not just HR) what they actually want. A survey by employment website Jobsite found a significant discrepancy in perception between HR decision makers and staff when it came to benefits. In particular, staff were less enthusiastic about office-based perks and social events than HR assumed they would be

4. Train and mentor your employees

Help them set goals for both their role in the company and overall career, and provide support to help them get there. A mentor will offer seasoned experience in the form of training and socializing the new employee to the company, and with an effective mentor, a new employee will quickly become a contributing member to your department and will therefore feel valued.

The benefits of a good mentoring program are felt by both parties. The mentor feels they are giving something back to the department by sharing their knowledge and experience. They will gain a better understanding of themselves through helping others and will create a fresh perspective on their role and the business.

The new employee will have access to quick advice and guidance, encouragement and clear information and honest feedback. Their integration to the business will be quick as they will have help in understanding the culture of the business

5. Put a priority on work/life balance for your employees

This can take the form of flexible work hours or even the ability to work at home for some positions. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is incredibly important for your worker’s health and happiness. Failure to take this seriously can lead to very serious health issues arising – including stress, high blood pressure and burnouts.

6. Recognise employee achievements and contributions that go above and beyond regular job performance

Who doesn’t like praise? You can do this through regular, formal programs, such as “Employee of the Month,” or on an ad hoc basis. Manager recognition lets employees know that their contributions are appreciated by creating a positive and motivating environment. Peer-to-peer recognition helps establish a culture of caring and trust. Recognition reaches beyond the recipient. It creates an environment that attracts and retains the best talent

7. Leadership opportunities are also a great way for empowering employees and providing greater job satisfaction

Give your employees the chance to take ownership of projects and to be engaged at higher, strategic levels when possible. Again, this makes them feel valued and allows them to make significant contributions to the business direction and strategy. This in turn will drive loyalty and a sense of belonging.

8. Offer regular feedback throughout the year on performance rather than holding it back for the formal review

This gives your employees the opportunity to change or amend any shortfalls or issues, and reduces the likelihood that they will be unpleasantly surprised at review time where they may be seeking a pay rise as recognition for their contribution to the businesses achievements.

9. Communciation is key

Listen to your employees and encourage open dialogue. Seek feedback from employees through such means as employee attitude surveys where employees can give confidential feedback on their opinions of your company in terms of satisfaction with the job, and suggestions on how their jobs and work environment might be improved.

10. Foster teamwork both in and out of the office

You can engage in formal team-building training at work but also coordinate outside opportunities such as company days/nights out (when this Covid mess is finished of course). This will in turn drive a sense of belonging and teamwork.

So there are my Top 10 employee retention strategies for 2021. Of course this isn’t a magic wand to retain your staff but by putting these strategies into place, you are on the right step to creating a more happier, content and hungry workforce who want to grow with the business and stay for the long term

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Scott Williams
Director of Food Recruit 
07835 426149
[email protected] 

I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit. Passionate about the Food & Drink industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.

I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.