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5 Essential Employee Retention Strategies In 2022

It’s a much less expensive task to retain a productive employee than it is to hire a new one too often. 

New Zealand is currently seeing a chronic staffing shortage across all industries, job seekers today have the luxury of being able to ‘pick and choose’ from a record number of job listings out there. Keen job seekers are taking the opportunity to negotiate the highest salary and are in a position to demand more flexible working conditions. 

“Job hunters are still very much in the driver’s seat. There has never been a better time for Kiwis to check out the market and explore their options, or ask for a pay rise”

Matt Tolich, Trade Me

The only way to come out on top of this Great Resignation is to focus all your efforts on retaining your current staff. You don’t want to lose those superstar employees, the time to act is now. With the likes of Linkedin and Instagram profiles it has never been easier for a recruiter to appear in an employee’s inbox of messages. Are you at risk of losing your staff to companies offering bigger and better opportunities? Here’s what you need to know to help keep your team together and thriving! 

Create professional development opportunities 

According to a survey by LinkedIn for its annual Workplace Learning Report, 

“94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their professional development.”

Companies that don’t offer internal professional development opportunities are at risk of losing highly driven and curious individuals. The types of employees who are keen to learn and develop their skill set are the ones who will provide the most value. These guys are the ones you want to keep around. 

How do you provide this? 

Create an effective learning and development program. This is not something you can create in a day’s work. It will take time and research but don’t lose sight of the potential gains as a result. 

You’ll have to understand the learning preferences of your employees. Do they like to learn from home at their own pace or in the office with others? Do they prefer online or in person tuition? 

Offering corporate learning tech is a popular choice among many Employers. Allowing companies to educate a large number of employees in house and online. Another option is to provide workplace programs, although not all companies have the budget to offer internal learning tuition. If you’re in this position, try to support your employees by subsidizing their education. 

Improve the onboarding process 

The hiring process from start to finish can be very expensive and time consuming. You don’t want to get two months down the track and realize you’ve made the wrong decision or for the employee to leave. Losing a new employee can be a result of a poor onboarding process. 

How do you improve the hiring process? 

Involve your team with the onboarding process. Build a program that outlines the integration of new hires into the workplace culture. 

Allow the new recruit to shadow current employees, get to know their potential coworkers in a meaningful way and meet with managers who can offer them insights and mentoring. 

Make mental health a priority. 

“Linkedin reports that 66% of Gen Z want a company culture founded on mental health and wellness.”

Gone are the days where providing a fresh fruit bowl is the length to what companies will go to for enhancing workplace wellness. So what can you do to make mental health a priority? 

  • Provide lunchtime yoga or meditation classes 
  • Offer competitive salaries and more flexibility around paid time off 
  • Provide subsidized gym memberships and counseling services 
  • Introduce office sleep pods or dedicated quiet zones 

The idea of putting employees first and customers second brings benefits to both the company and its clients. Investing in workplace wellness will continue to provide benefits for years to come. Who doesn’t want a happier workplace environment and employees that want to stay for the longer term? No wonder an increasing number of companies today are taking a more serious and dedicated approach to workplace wellness. 

Show your appreciation. 

A new study from the Office Team reports that,

“66% of employees would quit if they feel unappreciated”

Appreciation goes a long way. How do you make sure you’re recognising your employees and the work they do? If you’ve never expressed gratitude in this way, going around thanking everyone for all their hard work is going to look ingenuine and very odd. Instead build a culture of recognition, where everyone can feel comfortable expressing gratitude and also receiving it. Create annual awards where employees can be recognised for their accomplishments or involvements in certain projects. Show your appreciation by sending a personal note to your employees and express what positive difference they’ve made in the workplace. Your employees will see straight through false gratitude so make sure you’re being truthful and authentic. 

In the end, it’s the simple act of paying attention that will have a tremendous impact on your employee retention rates. Employees want to learn, feel appreciated and be part of a team culture that encourages creativity and community. Paying more to retain staff is not always the answer.

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