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How to retain your best employees

With the job market being as competitive as it is, candidates have a lot of choice about who they want to work for. It’s become more common in recent years that employees will move jobs more often, rather than settle into a career that they stay in for a lifetime.

For that reason, it’s more important than ever that businesses learn to retain their best employees. Here are some of our top tips:

Make your employees feel valued

In any job, it’s easy for managers to get caught up in the day-to-day running of things. Not everyone is graced with excellent management skills, and often employees can be forgotten about or their needs not valued as highly as they should be.

It may sound obvious, but simply acknowledging their work or saying a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way to making employees feel valued, and can vastly improve morale. We’re not saying that you have to be overly-complimentary, but every little helps.

It can go further than a simple compliment too; monetary rewards, bonuses and the occasional gift goes a long way in making those expressions of gratitude much more significant. Employees are much more likely to stay at a business for longer if they feel like they’re wanted there. Highlight their work, celebrate the small milestones and be positive, it can work wonders.

Benefits

Benefits don’t have to break the bank, and employees immensely value them.

Health and wellness benefits are among the most popular, with more and more businesses offering to pay for their employee’s gym memberships or a bike to get to work with. By improving an employee’s physical and mental wellbeing, you’re also improving productivity and reducing absenteeism.

Businesses can also offer flexible hours or remote working as benefits. Larger companies are also known to pay for their employee’s lunch or childcare, but that can get quite expensive quickly.

For start-ups, a high salary is fairly hard to come by. In reality, when joining a fast-growth start-up candidates are happy to consider a trade-off in salary for employee stock options, meaning that their work directly impacts the value of the business. It gives them a feeling of ownership over their work and allows them to decide which direction the company is heading in.

When it comes to stock options, these can be a minefield that you should take advice on. Examples could be - what are the best vehicles to use in each country you will offer this benefit, what sort of cliffs and vesting periods to use, as well as what good leaver and bad leaver clauses should you have. At the same time, striking the right balance between offering enough stock on a fair valuation to have an attractive potential exit value vs not granting too much of your employee pool early on so you have enough to attract talent down the road.

The main takeaway here is that benefits are an essential part of ensuring that your employees want to stay with you.

Offer them opportunities to grow

One of the easiest ways to keep your best employees is always to offer them a new opportunity to grow. If someone feels that their progress has stagnated, or that they’ve hit a wall, they’re much more likely to leave. We don’t want that.

By offering your employees the opportunity to grow their skills and progress through the ranks, they’re much more likely to become one of your most loyal workers. To many people, the opportunity to advance their career by learning new skills is more important than moving to another company to chase a better salary.

Opportunities can be offered through training courses, mentorship, or even paying for your employee to gain a degree through university. Sometimes all they need is a small pay rise as a thank you or a new job title to show off their development in their role.

Work on your workplace culture and environment

A great work environment that ensures that everyone feels included and that celebrates diversity will almost always encourage employees to stay with you.

Building a positive and forward-thinking culture will always be necessary, but at least this year, having a great office environment might be less significant than you might imagine.

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, in 2020, we’ve seen a mass transition to working from home. In April, 46.6% of workers did at least some work at home, meaning that having a fancy office environment has become less important than before.

If homeworking is here to stay, we will see this feature much more prominently in the job ads of the future. Therefore, a way to distinguish yourself from other employers is by talking to them about what support, learning and enjoyment they can expect by working in a team that is geographically dispersed. It’s a different way of thinking.

We’ve seen businesses sending out supply kits or hampers full of coffee and treats as a way to let employees know that they’re still valued and that their happiness and mental wellbeing is important to them.

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