Top 5 tips to improve employee retention

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Recruiting top talent is a priority for any hiring manager but keeping hold of these employees is what will set you apart from other businesses.

A recent report found that retaining good members of staff is a concern for over a quarter of SMEs in the UK, with a fifth having a problem with high workforce turnover1. With the current economic and political uncertainties potentially impacting your organisation, a proactive focus on employee retention and engagement needs to be at the top of every manager’s agenda.

Why do employees leave?

The list of possible reasons why an employee might move on may seem endless, but most can actually be traced back to three core issues: relationships, role or the organisation itself.

We’re all familiar with the adage that “people leave managers, not companies”. The relationship between an employee and line manager or immediate supervisor is incredibly important in determining how long that person stays in the role. Bad managers significantly reduce employee job satisfaction and motivation, whilst good managers develop engagement and help their people achieve their individual and team goals. Improving people management skills is one of the most effective ways to improve retention in your business. Boosting self-awareness helps managers understand their people better and how they can adapt their management style to deliver better results.

Working relationships with your team and other colleagues is also a factor in how enthusiastically you get out of bed in the morning. A disharmonious team or working with people who you find challenging can make every day an uphill struggle. Over time this can stilt the completion of work, lead to underperformance and erode employee confidence. Being able to work effectively with a range of people and appreciate everyone’s contribution whilst being empowered to challenge constructively is the foundation of a successful team.

When an employee leaves we often instinctively look to their ability or desire to do the job. People do outgrow jobs. If they are not suitably challenged and there are no obvious avenues for growth, sometimes the only answer is to move on. Conversely, being over-challenged can be as much of a problem. If you can’t cope with the demands of the job, it can be easier to leave than admit you are struggling.

The organisation
No matter how good the working relationships or the job, sometimes people just don’t fit with the organisation. This is usually a result of a cultural mismatch or conflicting values. If an employee can’t align themselves with the way your business operates, they will never be entirely comfortable in their working environment. Considering the cultural landscape of the organisation when recruiting and making sure you hire people who fit your business as well as fit the job will significantly improve retention.

Download our top 5 tips 

Employee turnover is a normal part of any business - people naturally come and go, move roles and progress as circumstances dictate, but there are steps you can take to create an engaging, people-focused workplace and retain your top performers. We’ve put together a factsheet to help you improve attrition or simply maintain good retention rates in your organisation.

1Aldermore Future Attitudes report, Aldermore, March 2018

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Reuben Conibear

Reuben Conibear

Reuben has worked in the Marketing team at Thomas for just over 3 and half years. As Marketing Executive, Reuben's core focus is to ensure a high quality experience for Thomas customers at all times. In his spare time, Reuben enjoys kayaking, bouldering and spending time with his friends and family.