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Accepting that staff members move on is just part of running a business. But, if you find yourself with a constantly revolving door, it could be a sign that you have a problem with staff retention in your company. It’s also a big red flag for any potential new employees.

And, in a period when job vacancies outnumber job seekers for the very first time, you can no longer afford to treat workers as disposable. Losing a staff member in the current climate could leave you in a very sticky situation.

Staff Retention: The Real Cost

According to Glassdoor, hiring a new employee in the UK costs a company £3000 and 27.5 days on average. Plus, the Undercover Recruiter estimates that training an employee costs around £1000 overall. That means, every time you have to find, hire, and train a new staff member, your business is set back by £4000 — at least.

The Undercover Recruiter goes even further, taking into account bonuses, National Insurance costs, pension contributions, and new equipment. It claims that a new employee on a £27,600 salary actually costs your business around £50,000 in the first year.

When you put it like that, good staff members are worth hanging on to.

How to Work Out Your Staff Retention Trends

So how much do you know about the retention levels at your company? Here’s how to find out.

  • Measure how quickly people leave — If you don’t already, start keeping a record of how frequently staff members leave. Do employees stay for 6 months? A year? Two years? According to LV, the average UK worker stays in a job for around 5 years. If you’re seeing a lot of people leave much earlier than that, you may have a problem with retention.
  • Take note of reasons for leaving — Find out why staff members leave and then look for patterns in the answers. Are there any common themes? Do leavers highlight a problem department? Or a troublesome employee? Keeping track can help you identify areas of your business that might need improvement.

How to Assess Staff Satisfaction

As well as recording why employees quit, it’s equally important to keep track of current staff members and how they’re feeling. A great way to do this is with an anonymous questionnaire — as long as it’s truly anonymous so people feel they can answer honestly!

Here are some important questions to ask:

  • How happy are you at your job? It sounds obvious, but overall happiness is an important metric. It’s also a fairly open-ended question that allows employees to highlight anything that might be making them unhappy.
  • How is your work/life balance? Post-pandemic, work/life balance is more important to workers than ever. In fact, dissatisfaction with long hours and commutes led to the “Great Resignation” as employees adjusted their priorities after Covid. Poor work/life balance is a huge factor in resignations so this is a vital topic to broach with employees.
  • Are you happy with your salary? With staff more in demand than jobs, salaries should be on the up if you want to retain the best employees. Find out if your team is unhappy before they’re offered something better somewhere else.
  • Do you feel valued? A good salary goes some way to making an employee feel valued, but your overall treatment of your team is just as important. You can also ask staff whether they feel like their goals and values are heard and understood.
  • Do you feel you have opportunities to train and progress? Poor training and progression options are two big reasons behind many resignations. Asking this question can help you identify whether you need to make career pathways clearer or more accessible.

How to Retain Staff in a Competitive Job Market

Once you know where your company is lacking, it shouldn’t be too hard to make the changes necessary for improved staff retention. Here are a few good places to start:

  • Offer remote working — After flexible working proved so successful during lockdown, they became a big deal breaker for job candidates. In fact, according to YouGov, 1 in 5 people want to work from home going forward and nearly half of workers want at least hybrid working conditions. It’s time to listen if you want to hold on to the best talent.
  • Make your values clear — When hiring, make sure your company values are very clear so candidates can assess whether they’re a good fit. That way, you end up recruiting an employee who’s more likely to stay.
  • Work on inclusive perks — In a competitive market, the usual benefits won’t cut it anymore. Rather than the occasional team drinking session, make sure company perks are inclusive. For example, mental health and well-being are increasingly important to workers. Make sure your benefits are up-to-date with modern needs.
  • Give staff opportunities to grow — Whether it’s training or a clear pathway to the top, employees need change and growth to avoid feeling stagnant in a job.

DB Charles Can Help

Here at DB Charles, we have experience helping companies identify and improve on problems with staff retention. We can also help you recruit the best fit for your team — so you get employees who’ll stay and grow with you. Want to find out more? Let’s talk.