How to Retain Valuable Employees

6 Minutes

In our recent blog looking at the key HR issues employers are likely to face in 2022 (availa...

By View HR

In our recent blog looking at the key HR issues employers are likely to face in 2022 (available here), we highlighted research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which found that one in four organizations expect the number of ‘hard to fill vacancies to increase over the next six months[1], and Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows a sharp rise in job vacancies across the UK, currently standing around 1.2 million[2]. There are a number of factors behind this, however, one of these is what some sections of the media are dubbing “The Great Resignation” – a recent article in the Guardian claimed that almost a quarter of employees are “actively planning to change employers in the next few months”[3]. As such, employee retention is a key topic for employers as 2022 gets underway. So what can employers do to demonstrate to their employees that they are valued, and encourage them to see that the grass may not be greener on the other side?

This blog explores some key pointers. It’s not all about the money, but…. The reasons why employees may leave can be complex and varied, however, the offer of an attractive salary from another employer can be very tempting. Discovering that one of the team has been offered a job elsewhere with a higher salary can lead an employer to make a counteroffer, to tempt the employee to stay. However, whilst this may seem like a crisis averted, research has found that 80% of people who accept counteroffers will leave their current employer anyway within six months[4]. This can also cause resentment amongst other employees, and lead them to believe that the only way that they can get a pay rise is to do the same. Instead, we recommend that employers undertake regular benchmarking of salaries to discover market rates for roles, and review pay rates accordingly. We hear you!

Money is not the only thing that motivates employees, however; culture, benefits, working conditions, management practices and various other factors can all play a role. As such, it is important that employers actively seek out and listen to what is important to their employees. Employee appraisals, employee surveys, and stay interviews (an alternative to exit interviews) are all ways that this can be done, alongside informal discussions. When you have information about what is valuable to employees, it is then important to act on this. This doesn’t mean that you have to implement everything people ask for (“Unfortunately, our employee reward budget does not extend to everybody getting a free trip to the Caribbean this year…”) however, it is important to respond. The “You said, we did” style of communication can be particularly effective. Listening to employees can also help to identify problems before they become more significant. For example, if particular department scores low for satisfaction with management techniques in the employee survey, there may be the opportunity to invest in support and development (e.g. coaching, mentoring or training) for that particular manager.

How flexible are you? The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many people being able to successfully undertake their roles from home, and with this may have come changes in their domestic arrangements. As such, questions around flexibility, and options to work from home, may be of great importance to some employees. Therefore, it is important that employers have clear policies, and ensure that these are publicised to existing and potential employees, as part of your wider employer brand. Elliott Scott HR recently did a Q&A on the Future of the Hybrid Office with Uma Cresswell, available here, it is well worth a listen for employers considering their options on this topic.

In summary, the months ahead may continue to present challenges for employers to retain their employees, and sadly some resignations may be inevitable. However, a proactive strategy can help to retain valuable talent.

This blog has been written by ViewHR. The ViewHR team are on hand to support employers with talent retention strategy, alongside other HR matters. If you are an employer and would like support in this area, please contact a member of the ViewHR team today for an initial discussion: hr@viewhr.co.uk | +44(0)1425 205390 | viewhr.co.uk. ViewHR are UK based and provide flexible HR support and guidance combined with employment law consultancy. [1] People Management Magazine, December 2021/January 2022 [2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/timeseries/jp9z/unem [3] https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/nov/01/the-great-resignation-almost-one-in-four-workers-planning-job-change [4] https://www.recruitment-software.co.uk/7-counter-offer-statistics-every-recruiter-needs-know/