Gone are the days of a job for life! On average, we have 3-7 careers in a lifetime, and it’s predicted this will rise for the upcoming generation of workers.
Some staff turnover is therefore inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept it as the status quo. There are simple and practical steps you can take to create a working environment for new starters and existing staff that encourages your talent to stay year after year.
Understanding how to retain new employees should be one of the highest priorities for HR professionals and leaders. In this blog, I’ll walk you through my top 5 tips for retaining new starters, although many of these points relate to longer-term employees too.
The benefits of retaining employees
- Higher productivity – a high staff turnover can distract management and teams from focusing on what needs to be done to deliver consistent output, meet customer expectations or develop opportunities to grow.
- A stable workforce – when employees want to stay in a company, they’re more motivated to develop themselves professionally, take on additional responsibilities and use their talents to help the company thrive.
- Increased morale – employees who feel secure at work are more likely to contribute to the organisation’s vision and goals, creating a happier, more cohesive workforce.
- Reduced costs – advertising, interviewing, onboarding, and training new staff costs money! And it’s often a more expensive process than investing in and progressing the talent you already have.
- Better reputation – a high turnover of staff can paint a negative image of an organisation to its customers, suppliers, investors and prospective employees. More and more employees are checking websites such as Glassdoor to see whether a company has a good reputation, so it pays to be on top of it!
5 ways to retain new employees
1. Robust onboarding process
Help your new starters hit the ground running! Get organised with paperwork, IT equipment, office space and login details. Be clear on what the role is and what you expect from your new hire. Clear individual and company goals help new starters feel settled and motivated.
Make time to be available to answer questions or assign a mentor to help new starters feel welcome and find their way around the organisation in what can be an incredibly overwhelming time.
Understand what motivates your new starter and think about how this can be used to your team’s advantage and the broader organisation.
Be clear on what results you expect to see and when. Be mindful of putting new starters under unnecessary pressure but help them understand what you expect from them in the first few weeks, month two and after 90-100 days.
2. Empower new starters
New starters bring with them a fresh perspective. Be open to their ideas and the experience and skills they may be able to transfer from other roles or sectors.
This can empower individuals, make them feel valued and respected, and help them see a long-term future in your company.
3. Improve internal communication
Strong internal communication lets employees feel in the loop and understand what’s happening in different teams and the whole organisation.
You can boost your internal communication by encouraging employees to share their thoughts and ideas, update them on projects and hold regular staff briefings.
4. Provide two-way feedback
Regular one-to-ones provide an opportunity for effective two-way dialogue. Listen to what your employees say, what they find challenging, where improvements can be made, and how they want to develop.
Employee performance reviews are an excellent way for employees to grow in their roles and iron out any issues which may cause them to look outside the organisation.
5. Provide interesting opportunities
As I said earlier in this blog, developing the staff you already have is usually less disruptive and less expensive than recruiting new staff. Seminars, conferences, workshops, training courses and qualifications allow employees to gain new knowledge and skills, grow their networks, share ideas, and bring valuable information back into your organisation.
Employees who experience interesting opportunities are more likely to stay in an organisation. This could be promotions, secondments or being part of cross-function projects.
Need help onboarding your new starters?
I can support small and medium-sized businesses to successfully onboard new starters through my 90-day coaching programme.
To find out more, let’s grab a virtual coffee and talk through your requirements.