Employees are leaving their jobs at record rates. Depending on your view you could see this as the Great Resignation or natural turnover of staff following a turbulent couple of years. But what are you as an employer doing to retain top talent? What are your retention strategies? Do you have a great employee value proposition (EVP)? My Blog explores what is being termed as the Great Resignation and what you as an employer can and should be doing to retain your top talent. 
In September, the Office for National Statistics reported there were 1.3 million job vacancies in the UK, while the average unemployment rate fell to 4.5 per cent, meaning the UK faces its tightest labour market in decades. So, are we in a labour market crisis? I think it depends on which sector your business operates in and where your business is based however regardless of this, as an employer replacing employees is expensive and no employer wants their talent leaving. 
Here’s a list of my key retention strategies. 
1. Explore why employees might be leaving… 
There are many reasons why employees leave companies, and we are seeing an increase in stay interviews as an emerging trend in the HR space. Stay interviews are focused on reviewing employees’ needs and expectations when it comes to their workplace. Why wait until someone resigns to find out they were unhappy? Many employers want to find out what the problems are and tell employees what they can offer, and some issues can be easily resolved. Underpinned by engagement surveys, they can be a great way of understanding what motivates your employees as they provide a more personal platform, a two-way approach to look at opportunities for improvement and getting to the root of any problems. 
2. …and then fix it by implementing change! 
Companies with high level of employee engagement experience less turnover therefore early identification of issues and acting on them contributes towards longer-term retention, increased motivation, and improved productivity. Exit interviews are often used to determine what prompts an employee to leave however it’s often too late to solve problems and retain valuable employees. Your organisation may use data from those exit interviews to try and understand the trends and key issues which warrant organisational change however in my experience the information obtained, especially when the employee is leaving because of the culture of the company or management, is less efficient. Having the data and insights are important moving forward to make critical business decisions. 
3. Look at your employee value proposition (EVP) and employer brand 
Victoria Short, CEO at Randstad UK said some of those looking for new jobs were workers who during the pandemic had stayed in roles they were unhappy with. The pandemic has changed how some people think about life, work, and what they want out of both. So, if you’ve done your stay interviews or have looked at why employees are leaving, what are you doing as an employer to implement changes? What are the unique set of benefits you can offer to potential and existing employees? Are you looking at ongoing development? Do your employees feel recognised and valued? Are they getting the flexibility they need? An increase in salary or enhanced benefits are not always the key drivers for an employee to leave. Recognition comes in many forms. However, it’s important to recognise that one person’s motivations are not the same as another’s. One person’s flexibility could be another person’s insecurity. As such, it’s vital that employers manage expectations responsibly, however, to retain quality employees, renumeration needs to be fair and competitive. 
4. Create a solid onboarding process 
Who’s started a new role where the laptop hasn’t been configured or the new mobile hasn’t turned up until the second week of employment? It doesn’t create a great impression and it’s so important to make a new employee feel welcomed and part of the team as early as possible. The psychological contract between employers and employees is so important and sets out the expectations, beliefs, and obligations of the employment relationship. This includes sharing the company vision from the start. People feel engaged and valued when they know where the company are going and how you will get there so ensure employees can see their impact on organisational goals and what they can do to achieve them. Recognise achievement and success with positive feedback and recognition. 
5. Focus, focus, focus on succession planning 
Succession planning must be a strategic priority. Employers need to look at their internal talent pools and focus on identifying and growing talent to fill leadership and business-critical positions in the future. All organisations need to be able to find people with the right skills to fill key positions. How are you as an employer going to approach it? Succession planning can help retain talented employees who are aware of internal opportunities to progress their careers. The last two years have taught us to be fluid with change however business planning helps to avoid uncertainty where possible. 
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