Top Ten Tips for... Retaining Great Employees

Top Ten Tips for... Retaining Great Employees

It’s no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many workers feel about their employment situation. Thousands of organisations have had to make difficult decisions regarding redundancies and therefore, for a huge number of employees, salary growth, skill development and career advancement has been at the bottom of the priority list.

Now that the furlough scheme is coming to an end and the country finds a way to ‘build back better’, how can you ensure that these factors don’t result in your best people looking for opportunities elsewhere?

Read on for our Top Ten Tips for retaining great employees...

1. Start from the top – hire the right people

If you find that you are regularly losing staff or your turnover is high in certain departments, it could be for a very simple reason. Are you hiring the right candidates in the first place? The wrong person in the wrong role is more likely to get fed up and move on, leaving you back at square one. Take a good look at your interview and hiring procedures – make sure that you’re correctly defining the roles you advertise and asking the right questions in the interview room.

2. Create a strong onboarding process

Supporting your employees from the very start can set the tone for the entire working relationship, so it’s vital that your organisation has a great onboarding process in place. Are your new starters properly mentored and gradually introduced to their new colleagues and all aspects of the business? Or are they sat at their desk and left to it? To give your onboarding process a bit of a spruce up, start by asking your current employees what they thought of it and encourage them to be honest.  

3. Make employee engagement a priority

An engaged employee is often a motivated one – do your staff feel that their individual work impacts the business as a whole? In order for all team members to remain engaged and productive, they need to understand how their work fits into the overall business plan. Share these insights with your employees and let them know that their individual contributions are important. This step is vital, particularly if your employees are working from home, away from their colleagues.

4. Job perks don’t always have to be financial

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a financial strain on many organisations, so your employees will understand that you might not have deep pockets right now when it comes to staff rewards. Instead, try focusing on the little things. Why not supply free, fresh fruit in the staff kitchen or make improvements to your company’s parental leave allowance? Your employees may also be grateful for the option to continue to work flexibly, even if you’ve made the transition back into the office.

5. Pay as well as you can afford to

Similarly to the point above, you don’t need to bankrupt the business to keep hold of your good staff. Take a look at what the going rate is within your sector and pay your team a ‘good’ wage based on this, you can stretch it a little further if your budget allows. Take into account employee performance, experience and time with the company and pay your staff as much as you can afford to. This won’t go unnoticed by your team!

Related: Top Ten Tips for Delivering Online Training

6. Provide opportunities for growth

Many workers may feel like their professional development has taken a back seat over the last 18 months and there’s nothing worse than stagnancy for creating an employee with itchy feet. Staff will feel valued if they believe that their workplace is actively investing in them. Now that online training has become the norm, you can provide your team with great learning opportunities that they can take part in remotely or in bite-size chunks to fit around their work schedule.

7. Treat everyone equally

This one may feel like a no-brainer, but you are much more likely to retain your staff if they all feel like a valued member of the team. Pay attention to every employee, regardless of their job role or time spent with the company, and encourage managers and supervisors to check in regularly with every member of their team.

8. Have regular check-ins

You don’t have to wait for annual review meetings to check in with your team, especially if they work remotely and aren’t around for casual conversations in the canteen.  Set aside time to regularly touch base with your employees, this could be weekly or monthly – whatever you feel is necessary. These catch ups will give you a valuable opportunity to check in with every individual and to deal with any potential issues as and when they arise.

Related: Top Ten Tips for Engaging and Networking Online

9. Focus on flexibility

Recent surveys have found that a huge number of employees would prefer to continue working flexibly, at least part time, now that most organisations are returning to the workplace. If remote work on a permanent basis isn’t an option for your employees, have a think about what you can offer them instead. It could be a shorter, compressed workweek, flexitime, or even the option to alternate where they work week on week. The transition back to normal life may be difficult for some members of your team and the above options can help relieve their stress, helping to boost staff retention.

10. Celebrate the wins – big or small!

Our final tip is to celebrate success and shine a light on any achievements within your team. These could be big wins such as securing a new client or reaching a 5-year work anniversary, or smaller wins like finishing ahead of a deadline. No matter the achievement, take the opportunity to celebrate the milestone as a team. Whether you do this in person or virtually, it will help your employees feel appreciated and valued and can be a meaningful moment for everyone involved.

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