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Employee engagement and retention is vital for present-day corporate management. It stands for the company’s efforts to establish a strong and durable relationship with its employees. 

In today’s working environment, one major concern is employee dissatisfaction and a subsequent high rate of labour turnover. Employees often resign because they don’t feel appreciated, there is a lack of communication, or they don’t see opportunity for personal advancement. Resignations increase the churn rate and always have a negative effect on the company. To counteract this trend, there are various effective measures to help companies feel the benefits of employee retention by creating a positive working environment.

In this article, we discuss why employee retention is important and introduce some of these measures. Showing what is needed to keep employees in the business on a long-term basis, we will explore some of the tactics management can take to reduce labour turnover.

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Measures for employee retention include creating a positive company culture, recognising and rewarding accomplishments, development opportunities, and good working conditions. But what does it take to implement these measures? 

A positive company culture is key

To establish employee engagement and retention, it is vital to create a positive company culture. Companies that regularly organise team-building events where employees come together in a relaxed atmosphere and get to know each other better, are more likely to have happy employees with a high level of job satisfaction. Interaction within the team has a great influence on the company culture and employees attach great importance to a healthy working atmosphere, openness, and appreciation.  It’s evident that meetings in which employees can openly talk about their experiences, issues, and ideas, contribute to a healthy atmosphere. Reidheid’s (2020) case study of employees at a UK hotel indicates that when an organisation’s management focuses on building a supportive culture, the level of employee satisfaction increases.

Motivation is underrated: Why appreciation and reward systems are important

Employees’ willingness to work hard and for long hours is often underestimated and is not rewarded accordingly. Introducing reward systems has a positive impact on employee loyalty. Such systems help to show appreciation for the employees’ commitment in an adequate way. More and more organisations introduce programs like “Employee of the Month“. Whoever wins is awarded financial benefits such as a bonus or a raise, as well receiving the message that they are appreciated. The employee’s extrinsic as well as intrinsic motivation is boosted, which contributes to the positive working atmosphere.

Pouliakas (2010) used British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data to investigate the effects of pay rises. This study found that employees who receive a bonus pay may initially experience a boost in their job satisfaction, but they eventually acclimatise to it and so the effect abates over time. It demonstrates that a financial reward is conducive to establishing successful employee engagement and retention, but it is not enough. Another key factor for employee satisfaction is presenting staff members who show potential with development opportunities.

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Talent management as a factor of success: Strengthening employee engagement and retention through career opportunities

Career-building opportunities are essential in every sector to reach the employees’ goals as well as the company’s. While individuals have a responsibility to pursue career development themselves, it can be a great advantage for the company to promote further education of its employees. Employers investing in talent management help their employees broaden their skills so that they are better prepared for their current tasks, as well as future roles. It is even more valuable to do that both internally and externally. If the staff sees that further education and development is part of the company culture, it will strengthen employee engagement and retention. One of the clear benefits of employee retention in this case is that the company will receive a distinct return on investment. The employee who has received further training will use their new skills to deliver at a higher level of performance.

The company can support individual development by offering training and further education programs, either in the shape of an internal training program or as the opportunity to study at an educational institution while working. Investing in talent management increases expertise and demonstrates the employer’s interest in the development of its staff.  It is also important for the company to create clear career opportunities for its employees. Such measures are not complicated to implement but have a massive impact on motivation and loyalty. They encourage the individual’s career development and the growth of the company in the long run. 

The importance of healthy working conditions and work-life balance

Everything discussed so far may become ineffective if these needs are not fulfilled by the company. Proper working conditions play an important role in terms of productivity and the well-being of the employees. This includes ergonomically designed workstations, decent lighting, healthy room temperature, and sufficient ventilation – all of which are basic requirements for a pleasant working environment. 

Employees working in a comfortable and safe environment are more motivated and content. Therefore, it is vital for companies to create ideal workplaces in an inviting environment. These days it is also common to work from home. Even though opinions on remote work differ, it is a fact that employees appreciate it and that it contributes to good working conditions and a good workplace. A 2015 study by Atwood Leighs found that high labour turnover was heavily influenced by health and safety factors.

A healthy work-life balance is becoming more and more important as part of motivating your team. Employees attach great importance to having enough time for their private life and the duties that come with it. Unfortunately, there is no universally agreed method to delineate work and private life, but the following basic approaches should always be considered within the company: 

  • Protect staff from working overtime
  • Introduce flexible hours if possible
  • Respect holidays and recovery time
  • Support an open internal communication culture
  • Promote health
  • Keep scope of duties diversified

Flexible staff can disburden core teams

Healthy working conditions and a balanced work-life ratio are a crucial factor for content and productive employees. But even if the conditions are ideal, the pressure can be overwhelming in peak times or if staff drops out unexpectedly. This is a time when temporary hires can disburden full-time employees. This contributes to avoiding burnout and working extra hours and hence enhances employee satisfaction. A 2021 study by Linos, Ruffini and Wilcoxen indicates that burnout and resignations are connected, demonstrating the importance of reducing worker stress levels in order to prevent high labour turnover.

Further information

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Measuring and recording employee satisfaction

To make sure that measures to improve employee engagement and retention as well as the satisfaction are effective, the state of satisfaction should be evaluated on a regular basis. This can happen through polls or one-on-one interviews. 

A company named Gallup has developed, after years of research, 12 questions to measure employee satisfaction that can be used in any company. These 12 questions can measure any aspect of satisfaction and allow you to take steps accordingly.

In addition, it is important to discuss detailed feedback and address possible adjustments in one-on-one interviews with superiors, for instance in relation to tasks or volume of work. It shows that the company is responsive to individual needs and to adjusting the working conditions to that effect.

Why employee retention is important

We know that there are many benefits of employee retention for today’s companies as it prevents employee dissatisfaction and a high fluctuation rate. Effective measures for employee engagement and retention include creating a positive company culture, appreciation, training opportunities, and good working conditions. 

Coople can help disburden your staff

CoopleFlex enables companies to hire flexible temporary workers who disburden their core teams and create a better work environment. This strategy helps avoid full time staff working extra hours, improving their work-life balance and employee satisfaction. Flexibility and a systematic allocation of resources are key factors for successful employee retention and long-term success for the company.