Employee engagement tips for retention

Lyndon Evershed
Written by
Lyndon Evershed
11 January 2022

Employee retention

What are you doing to retain your valued employees?

High employee turnover can damage your company. It reflects badly on your brand. It can affect productivity. Employee churn increases recruitment costs and can create a negative working environment.

When employees feel they have organisational support and wellbeing resources, they will be more likely to recommend their company to a friend, less likely to leave and more likely to be engaged.

Research from The Work Institute found that 3 out of 4 employees could have been prevented from leaving their jobs. Voluntary resignation reasons included:

  • 22 out of 100 employees left for Career Development
  • 12 out of 100 left for Work-Life Balance
  • 11 out of 100 left because of Manager Behaviour
  • 9 out of 100 left for Compensation and Benefit
  • 8 out of 100 left for Well-Being
  • 8 out of 100 left for Job Characteristics
  • 5 out of 100 left because of the Work Environment

The same organisation found that the average cost of an employee leaving their job is 33% of their salary. Churn adds significant operational costs, compromising growth and profit.

Improving employee retention reduces the risk of losing staff and facing the costs and disruption caused from recruitment. Higher retention and excellent word of mouth will also position you more successfully within the competition for talent.


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Eight recommendations

Understand why your employees leave and build retention campaigns triggered by managers and staff

People leave jobs if expectations and needs are not met or exceeded. In the majority of reports the three top reasons were career development, work-life balance, and manager behaviour.

Conduct onboarding surveys or encourage your team to have conversations about what drives employees early in the employment lifecycle. If it’s incentives or recognition, start to reward and thank your people. Continually assess the dynamic of your teams, management styles and the overall working environment. What else could you do or provide to your people as they grow along with your organisation.

Retention efforts should start on day one, and this makes the onboarding process crucial to retention success

The onboarding process can also act as a predictor as to whether the employee will be short- or long-term. Make an impact during this process, provide up-to-date equipment, technology and welcome packs and company merchandise – everything they need to feel prepared, ready and part of the team from day one.

Successful onboarding should accomplish three things for employees, once complete they should:

  1. understand what makes the company unique
  2. learn exactly how their jobs help fulfil the company’s mission
  3. experience the mission and values of the company at every touchpoint.

By creating better experiences during the onboarding phase, you can build emotional connections early in the employee journey.

Be aware that needs and expectations change across the lifecycle of an employee

An employee’s needs and expectations at two weeks will be different to that at two years. This should be reflected in your reward and recognition scheme. Differences between worker diversity groups across generation, nationality, sex and belief systems will also need to be considered.

Retaining your talent can be supported by various means including financial rewards, job security, professional development, company culture and values, work-life-balance and flexibility, physical and mental wellbeing, ESG, charity and community involvement, incentives and recognition from peers and management.

Keep compensation and benefits current 

Be sure to pay employees a fair wage for their work (or better) and offer them competitive benefits. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how few companies offer increases that keep up with an employee’s development and rising worth.

But paying higher salaries isn’t always feasible across the entire company. Instead, look for opportunities to provide spot rewards and recognition. Quality merchandise and SWAG packs can be used as a thank you and seen by other team members as aspirational drivers.

Understand the cost of your employee churn rate

Once you know the churn rate, you should calculate the cost of employee turnover. Look at your organisation as a whole and at departments. Include any costs necessary for the calculation such as exit and recruitment fees, loss of time, impact on productivity, impact on team morale and any other measures.

Then, factor in the cost of different strategies you might use to reduce the rate. If you increase employee benefits, rewards, and improve the working environment, could these offset the cost of replacing employee(s) and reduce the overall employee churn rates?

Perks can make your workplace stand out to potential new hires and re-engage current staff 

Perks can also be a tactic to improve employee morale, whilst times are good and during those difficult times. Look again at flexible schedules and remote work options, these are becoming the perks many professionals value most.

Ensure that provisions are in place for your talent. For example, together you have identified that flexible working is important to them. How are they going to remain connected to your culture and brand? Have access to tools, equipment and systems when working remotely? Use a collection of branded products to communicate and keep them productive and engaged. Have these ready to support changing work habits and patterns.

Wellness programs are important, becoming more popular and expected 

Keeping employees fit – mentally, physically and financially – is just good business. The pandemic prompted many leading employers to expand and improve their wellness offerings to help employees feel supported and prioritise their well-being.

Stress management programs, health screening, retirement planning services and reimbursement for fitness classes are just some ways your business might improve your employee wellness.

When introducing such programmes, use this as an opportunity to equip your people with branded fitness clothing, equipment and products – great for brand exposure and bringing everyone together during team activities.

Make sure you have the right people and team 

It’s difficult to build a good team if the turnover is high, but sometimes an employee – no matter what you do – just doesn’t ‘fit’. And no matter how effective they might be at their actual work, an employee who is a bad fit can create a toxic culture.

The morale of remaining employees might drop when people around them leave. If they need to also take on additional responsibilities, then productivity and morale can be further impacted. Recognise and reward their commitment, especially whilst they continue to perform their own responsibilities and take on another’s. This can be as simple as a letter of appreciation from management, or much more.


We can help!

Keeping good staff, removing toxic elements whilst being able to bring in new recruits with fresh ideas is a tough ask.

Limelight can assist you with your reward or recognition program to help recognise and retain your talent. Creating an awards program that meets your corporate objectives is another great way or motivating staff using promotional products as rewards.

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