Employer brand

Back to basics: how to improve your talent retention

It may sound obvious to say that it pays to hold on to your best talent, but you may be surprised at just how big of an impact it makes. A recent study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400% more productive than ‘average’ ones.

Over the last decade, there has been a widening skills gap across all sectors and a growing trend in changing jobs much more frequently. According to research by McKinsey, nearly a third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant managerial challenge. Be sure to read our previous article, ‘Employer branding – how important is your employer brand?’ to gain some expert tips on navigating today’s unique recruitment landscape.

The gap in skills is largely due to a gap in experience. We are at a time when many baby boomers who have developed their skills at a company over a long period of time are beginning to retire — taking decades of knowledge and experience with them. 

On top of this, millennials tend to be less loyal towards their workplace. In their report, ‘How Millennials Want to Work‘, Gallup found that one in five millennials have changed jobs in the last year and two in five are currently looking for a new job.

What does it take to attract and retain talent in 2022?

Remote-friendly interviews and onboarding

65% of candidates say that bad interview experiences will make them lose interest during an application process. Hindered by technical issues, a lack of face-to-face interaction and not being able to convey the atmosphere of the office can make it difficult for employers to make the best first impression.

“Trust has to exist from day one. When you’re remote you don’t have the opportunity to lean into someone’s cubicle to see how they’re doing. You have to get creative about ways to nurture that relationship.”
Chloe Oddliefson, Head of People Operations at Dribbble
(via Miro)

How a company supports employees working remotely will also have an effect on how long they decide to stay at a company. This all starts with a well-thought-out onboarding process that accounts for the challenges of not being in the office. If you want to retain great candidates from the get-go, using a digitised version of your onboarding document and omitting anything in-office related won’t cut it.

When new starters aren’t able to meet their team in person, onboarding is even more important for sharing elements that will help them learn all they need to know to become a successful addition to the company. Depending on the role, a comprehensive onboarding process may last around three months and cover these five areas:

  1. Pre-onbording by HR, line manager and recruitment team
  2. Onboarding by HR, line manager and payroll team
  3. Orientation by line manager, colleagues and senior management
  4. Feedback on first tasks and assignments by line manager
  5. Ongoing support into their new role by line manager and colleagues

Promoting health and wellbeing

For obvious reasons, health and wellbeing has taken the spotlight over the last year. After companies saw first-hand the effects of employees suffering from poor physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic, this will be an important value in employer branding going forward.

Many companies already offer health and wellness benefits like gym memberships, cycle to work schemes and free healthy snacks. However, these make no difference when your employees are working unreasonable hours or are not getting the right kind of support.

More than creating a more enjoyable place to work, addressing employee wellbeing issues at their root cause will help reduce burnout, increase productivity and retain employees for longer. Consider initiatives like:

  • Allowing flexible hours
  • Organising social activities
  • Regular employee check-ins

Empowering employee growth

Companies that leave their employees’ career growth stagnating have always been more likely to lose their most enthusiastic people more quickly. 

In fact, 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll be forced to leave their organisation to advance their careers.

A focus on offering opportunities for personal and professional development will be a key factor in facing the current global retention crisis. These are especially important for retaining new talent at the beginning of their careers who are looking to learn fast and constantly improve. Some of these opportunities could include:

  • Internal learning and development programmes
  • Access to online courses 
  • Room to grow within roles
  • Mentorship from senior employees
  • Opportunities and encouragement to put ideas forward

Internal comms is key

Internal communication is often one of the most overlooked areas of an employer brand proposition, yet it’s evident in the employee experience every single day. Part of making it a positive one is determined by building a connection and maintaining engagement. 

Too often, internal comms is kept to the bare minimum and lacks the personality and culture traits that a company’s employer value proposition is centred around. Focusing more attention on what’s relevant and interesting to employees helps make them feel more engaged with the goals of the business. This not only instils more purpose in their role, but builds more loyalty too.

If you are keen to tackle work-related challenges that might encourage team members to look beyond your company, download our handy checklist outlining what you can do to address these issues and make a positive difference to your employees’ experience.

While email, surveys and text messaging are an essential part of the day-to-day running of a business, there is nothing stopping you from exploring other channels for more engaging communications. Video, social media posts, podcasts and blogs are a great way to share information, invite discussion and garner enthusiasm about what’s going on in the office and the wider business.

With BAM by Papirfly™ you can streamline your internal asset creation with easy-to-use templates that help teams produce studio-quality materials in minutes. It also gives you a bird’s eye view of your campaigns and makes it quick and easy to share relevant and on-brand assets within your organisation.

Here are some great examples of companies that got it right:

To make sure that all their employees were getting their flu jab, the NHS used the power of video to create these engaging posts for their social media channels.

UK supermarket, Waitrose, created a digital suggestion box to help all employees make their voices heard.

Pizza Hut
At the beginning of the pandemic, Pizza Hut acted fast to create a two-way conversation between staff, franchises and restaurant managers. Using the simple medium of WhatsApp, they helped employees feel valued in their role in feeding Britain during a challenging time.

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How to revitalise your talent retention methods

Improve personalisation

A more personalised approach shows a company’s ability to listen to the individual concerns of their employees. To retain the best talent, companies need to ditch the ‘one solution fits all employees’ approach.

Develop retention strategies that…

  • Understand the different visions and goals of their staff – both professional and personal
  • Allows employees to make their voices heard
  • Provides opportunities to take on new challenges and steer their own path

“Personalisation for millennials in the workplace is about them seeing their work and organisation as a projection of themselves, and that drives loyalty.”
Felicity Furey, Founder of the Professional Leaders Institute
(via The CEO Magazine)

Be more flexible

When workplaces were plunged into lockdown, some were more prepared than others to support their employees to do their jobs effectively from home.

The most successful strategies included…

  • Adopting the hybrid working model
  • Testing out the four-day week
  • Investing in technology that makes remote collaboration possible

Go further than raises and bonuses

Higher salaries and monetary rewards are one of the first considerations for an employee thinking of leaving an organisation. But they aren’t the only deciding factor. While having a competitive salary is undoubtedly a good thing, it does nothing to make a company stand out from the competition.

Establish a remote interview processes

Even if you have no immediate plans to bring in new talent, having a remote hiring strategy in place is vital for future-proofing your turnover, which is likely to increase going forward in 2021.

What should the remote interview process achieve?

  • Can assess a candidate’s ability to work independently
  • Reviews their proficiency communicating via digital channels
  • Highlights their ability to collaborate remotely

Discover more insights in our Ultimate Employer Brand Checklist — download for free here!

To learn more about how BAM by Papirfly™ can help you attract and retain the world’s best talent in 2021, and beyond, book your demo today.