In the era of constant change and new opportunities, it is quite a challenge for HR departments and team leaders to retain an employee. In fact, the cost of losing a specialist can be as much as 1.5-2 times their salary. So what employee retention strategies should you implement at your company? What role do team leaders and the HR department play in the process? Read on to find out more.
The impact on employee retention and engagement - table of contents:
Challenges in employee retention
Employee turnover is the percentage of employees who left the organization in a certain period and were replaced by new people. It can be voluntary (an employee chooses to leave a company by resigning or retiring), or involuntary (an employee is dismissed). In the second case, such decisions are mostly deliberate and guided by the good of the organization.
Employees’ decision to voluntarily leave their jobs may be motivated by a variety of factors, for example, low job satisfaction, a lack of career development opportunities, or a work-life imbalance. In such a situation, a company has to deal with the risks of employee turnover, such as:
- decreased productivity – until a new person is hired, other team members take over an employee’s previous duties, or work is put on hold.
- lower quality of products/services – reduced team efficiency and productivity, coupled with the inexperience of new employees, directly lead to a deterioration in product quality.
- poor morale – high employee turnover adversely affects the environment and atmosphere within the organization – current employees face an overwhelming workload, while new hires often struggle to grasp their tasks and the existing procedures
- weaker brand – a high turnover rate effectively deters potential candidates from sending in applications for a given job offer, so HR departments may have difficulty filling vacancies.
Employee retention strategies
Given the risks mentioned above, employee retention is crucial. Employee retention can be defined as a company’s ability to keep employees in the organization, which we have written about in detail in the article: “Factors affecting employee retention.” Let’s now discuss strategies you can use to retain employees in your company:
- Improving the recruitment and selection process
- Offering growth opportunities
- Encouraging feedback and open communication
Already at the recruitment stage, it’s worth offering a job to candidates whose retention, from the company’s perspective, will be beneficial. Employees who are not properly matched may fail to meet the employer’s expectations. As a result, they may be dismissed or face difficulties in adjusting to the work environment, prompting them to leave.
However, it is difficult to get to know a candidate in a single interview. Therefore, it is worth organizing a multi-stage recruitment process, during which it will be possible to verify the applicant’s skills thoroughly, as well as to assess their alignment with the organizational culture and team (e.g. through personality tests).
When working for the same company for a long time, an employee may reach a point where they feel they have achieved their full potential. And this prompts the question: What’s next?” At this moment, they have two options, either to stick to a familiar role that no longer brings them joy and fulfillment or to search for new challenges elsewhere.
However, it’s possible to prevent such a situation. In response to employees’ expectations, a company can offer benefits such as workshops, training programs, or access to courses that allow them to enhance their professional skills. However, it should be noted that not every employee may be interested in learning. Nonetheless, the need for growth can be fulfilled, for example, by offering promotions or a change in positions.
Employees themselves are the ones who best understand the reasons for leaving their jobs. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to ask them why they decided to leave during the offboarding process and to frequently talk to them about the problems they face and what they think can be done to improve the work environment.
To ensure effective communication within teams, regular individual meetings are essential. They provide an opportunity to evaluate an employee’s work and engagement, as well as discuss their perspectives on their role and responsibilities. This helps to match tasks to their skills effectively, which will increase their productivity.
The key role of the HR department and team leaders
The HR department and team leaders play a very important role in retaining employees and increasing their commitment to work. However, as we’ve mentioned before, the recruitment process itself, and even what precedes it, also have an impact on employee retention. We are talking about the collaboration between the HR department and the team leader, who should communicate the need for hiring a new employee at the right time, and then, create an ideal candidate profile.
Based on these guidelines, the recruiter creates a job offer and starts looking for the best candidate. Continuous communication with the team leader should be maintained throughout the whole recruitment process.
Once an employee is hired and gets familiar with their tasks, it’s important to monitor their work. However, excessive supervision should be avoided, as it can make them feel uncomfortable. The purpose of monitoring is simply to ensure that tasks are not taking up too much of their time. If they suddenly start doing work more slowly, the team leader and/or HR department should try to find the cause. The problem could stem from health issues, as well as boredom arising from mundane tasks or an overwhelming workload.
It is important not to leave an employee to deal with the issue alone – a mutually satisfactory solution should be developed. In some cases, prolonged task execution may result from a lack of specific skills. While hiring a new person is one possibility, a more cost-effective approach would be to provide an employee with opportunities for development, such as courses, training, or access to relevant books. This will allow them to enhance their skills and address the challenges they are facing.
A drop in employee engagement and thoughts of leaving can result from feelings of helplessness and lack of understanding. To foster a sense of belonging, employees should be aware of the purpose behind their actions and the tangible impact they have on the organization. Empowering them by granting control over tasks and projects encourages a sense of responsibility. However, it’s crucial not to disengage completely as they may require mentorship and support.
Giving constructive feedback is also very important. A leader should not only talk about an employee’s failures but also praise them for their achievements. Along with the HR department and management, they can implement a bonus system as an extra motivator.
How can Firmbee help you in employee retention? – case study
As you can see, it’s quite difficult to retain employees in a company. Firmbee, a comprehensive tool for project and team management, was developed as a solution to address this challenge. How can the system’s capabilities be effectively used in practice?
- Project and team management
- Collaboration and feedback
Plan the entire recruitment process, starting from creating a job offer (you can save it, also as a template, and use it for the next recruitment), creating a candidate database, and scheduling meetings in the calendar, to hiring a person and adding them as a co-worker.
Thanks to automatic suggestions, you can reduce the time needed for manual CV screening. Simply specify the desired candidate requirements, and based on that, the system will provide a list of the best-matched individuals from the database.
Build your team with specific talents, and then identify a team leader. Create a new project in Kanban boards, break down the tasks, and assign them to particular team members. Don’t forget to set goals for the ongoing project and include the necessary documentation.
Encourage employees to track their work hours, which will give you an insight into their timesheets and let you learn how much time they spend on each task. In this way, you will be able to react quickly if you notice any negligence.
Motivate employees by providing feedback through comments on specific tasks. Set regular meetings with the team and individual members using a shared calendar. Facilitate both offline and online conversations thanks to Firmbee’s integration with communication tools like Zoom or Slack.
An engaged employee retention will not only stay longer but also bring tangible benefits to the company. HR departments and team leaders face a challenging task that requires analytical skills, drawing conclusions, identifying irregularities and problems, and responding swiftly. At the same time, they must ensure that employees don’t lose trust in them and don’t feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, tools like Firmbee allow users to manage teams and projects in a non-intrusive way and automate certain tasks, for example, the recruitment process. The time saved can be spent on conversations with employees and addressing their needs.
Now, you know how HR and team leaders ihe impact on employee retention and engagement. Read also: Empathic Leadership in the Workplace.