Recruitment is the aspect of human resource management that often gets the most attention, but employee retention is equally as important. Retaining top talent in 2023 and beyond requires companies to strategically rethink their understanding of what workplace qualities cultivate company loyalty and how to ensure those qualities are provided to their employees.
What makes employees want to stay at a company? According to LinkedIn, having their needs met, feeling like they make a valuable contribution to the business, and the promise of growing within their careers are among the top reasons. In recent years, the way we work has drastically evolved– companies that want to thrive must acknowledge and prioritize these aspects of the employee experience, or else they run the risk of losing their top performers to competitors.
Unfortunately, this is not just a short-term problem. Experts are tracking the global workforce shortage, which projects that the labor deficit will hit 85 million people by 2030. The shortage of skilled employees means that if your company must hire, you may face increased competition among qualified candidates, and you're also more likely to experience longer job vacancies across sectors.
That's why it's more important than ever to take a proactive approach to retaining your top employees. Keeping your top employees' skills and innovation within your company means you can:
Reduce interruptions to your company's growth trajectory
Avoid undergoing a lengthy recruitment, hiring and training process
Prevent competitors from benefiting from your employees' talent
Retaining your top employees also saves you money. According to Work Institute's 2020 Retention Report, employee turnover costs companies an average of $15K per departure of a salaried employee. So, losing employees is costly in unrealized profits, the cost to operate temporarily without that role filled, and your recruiting efforts in order to replace them.
As you rethink your strategy around employee retention, consider prioritizing the following:
Perks & Benefits
Since the onslaught of the global pandemic, many companies have shifted to remote or hybrid work models. In turn, this transition has provided employees with an opportunity to reevaluate how and where they work, and what they want out of their experience in the workplace.
Businesses that seek a competitive advantage in this new work order should focus on the people-centric aspects of company culture like flexible work, mentorship programs, professional development opportunities, and increased vacation time and paid parental leave. By actively prioritizing the people-centric aspects of your company's culture, you'll be more likely to increase productivity, morale and company loyalty.
Listening and actively responding to the needs of your current employees is a crucial component of the Work in Any Way approach to workforce management, which is flexible, unbound and serves as a collaboration between employees and their employer in order to serve the needs of both.
Related: Why giving your workers what they want wins their loyalty and contributes to employee retention
If your company doesn't currently offer bonuses, you may want to consider them as a tangible token of appreciation for how your employees contribute to your bottom line. Distribute bonuses based on the metrics you value, such as increased sales, productivity and contribution to the company. This appreciation can go a long way towards demonstrating that you value your employees.
It's important to remember, however, that while employee bonuses are voluntary in some countries, there are other countries where additional payments outside of salary are customary or required by law. The concept of 13 month pay is a great example of this type of regulation, where countries like the Philippines, Greece and Ecuador require employers to provide employees with an extra paycheck each year.
If you are not based in a country whose employment laws mandate generous time off, consider how instituting such policies might contribute to employee retention. By providing your workers with ample opportunity to rest and recharge, not only will you help them to avoid burnout, but you'll also foster greater company loyalty that will help your company thrive in the long run. Companies like Netflix, Oracle and LinkedIn have even implemented unlimited time-off policies; while it may or may not work for your organization, it may be worth considering how your company can go above and beyond when it comes to time off.
Related: Work-life balance, evolved
In addition to contributing to society, earning a living is the primary reason most people work. Because salary is a baseline expectation, make sure your company pays employees a competitive salary (commiserate with what competitors are willing to pay, or better) that fits with the market value of the position and factors in changing conditions like rising costs of living. If an employee's compensation no longer fully meets their needs, many will consider changing companies in search of higher pay – this is the situation you should aim to avoid.
You may also want to assess where your top employees can take your company in the coming years, as well as where your company may be without their innovation and skill. Factor this into the compensation packages you offer.
In many countries, healthcare is a government entitlement and in such cases your company can offer supplemental coverage that further meets the needs of employees. If you are based in a country where employers subsidize healthcare, providing competitive health, dental, and vision insurance to eligible employees is an extremely valuable benefit.
Ensure that your employees have the resources they need to carry out their roles effectively and efficiently. This may include a budget that covers the software, support, tools and technology required to do their jobs. Be proactive in removing inefficiencies like unwieldy processes and insufficient software that can impede your employees from being successful. Empower your workforce to ask for things that might make their job better, and level up in areas where it makes sense to do so.
Distributed workforces, for example, have a greater need for remote connection, so structuring your company to facilitate effective communication, collaboration and workflow among employees who work in different locations is a proactive way to invest in their experience. Examples of these resources include hardware like computers and headsets, communication pathways like shared documents and clouds, useful project management processes, time tracking and more. Providing the environment that sets employees up for success and makes it easy to get their work done will ultimately contribute to employee retention.
Related: From office to ecosystem
Opportunities to upskill
Keep in mind that your employees are building a career at your company. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees want to understand future career opportunities, and what skills, competencies, and capabilities they need to get there. Your company can build a program that offers chances to learn new skills, connect with mentors, take on stretch assignments (which are projects that are beyond the employee's current level of knowledge or skills) and more. As the global workforce shortage looms, investing in your employees in this way can contribute significantly to employee retention.
There is a popular quote that says, "people don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad managers." That may be oversimplifying a complex situation, but what it does convey is that it's important for companies to invest in the management team to ensure that they are equipped to manage people as well as projects in an efficient and effective manner. If your company takes an active role in eliminating workflow redundancies, micro-management, and communication roadblocks, your top employees will be more inclined to stay.
Company culture encompasses the values, business goals, aspirations, work environment and practices of an organization. Cultivating a company culture can help create an intentional work environment and foster trust and collaboration among colleagues.
As more companies embrace remote, hybrid, and distributed work, it can be challenging to create a unified company culture across locations, but it's not impossible. If you aim to facilitate a more unified culture across a dispersed workforce, you may want to consider hosting group activities such as virtual trivia events, remote yoga, virtual networking, and dedicated time off to volunteer at charitable causes. If your company has an in-person workplace, you could consider the aforementioned ideas, as well as location-based ideas like a company-sponsored sports league.
In all areas of life, people who feel appreciated are happier with their situations, whether that's at work, home, or otherwise. Be vocal and genuine with your appreciation for your employees; a few examples include recognizing employee birthdays with a virtual card or gift card, offering holiday bonuses or gifts, awarding bonus days off, initiating team bonding activities, holding office parties, and rewarding people when they complete specific goals. In addition to showing appreciation, listen and communicate in a way that values their feedback and their contribution.
Employee referral system
Offer a monetary incentive in exchange for referrals from your employees. Not only does this allow you to tap into your employees' network to discover potential team members, but it also shows appreciation for their referral. Encouraging employee referrals also fosters an environment where employees can work with people they respect and collaborate well with.
How Safeguard Global can help you find and retain top talent
The future of work is ever-changing and evolving—and how your company approaches recruitment and retention should also continue to evolve.
Safeguard Global can be your partner in the recruitment of top employees. Our comprehensive recruiting services include a dedicated recruiter focused on your operational needs, access to our network of highly qualified candidates, support with salary negotiations, and contract-to-hire solutions to test your candidates.
We can also help with hiring, including hiring local workers on your company's behalf, complying with all local payroll and employment laws on your company's behalf, onboarding local workers with compliant employment contracts, remit salaries, taxes and benefits owed, and support in-country workers' HR needs. If you need to hire internationally, consider our employer of record (EOR) solution.
Whether recruiting or hiring, Safeguard Global can help you easily manage the logistics of hiring, onboarding and paying employees and contractors wherever they are in the world, so that you can focus on what really matters: keeping your company a place where your team members can thrive and picture themselves long-term.
Contact us today to speak with a global solutions advisor about your recruiting and hiring goals!