How to Create an Effective Employee Retention Programme


Why retaining top talent is more important than ever

Why you should involve senior staff in the planning and delivery of the programme

How to build your retention programme

How to Create an Effective Employee Retention Programme

Is your organisation struggling to retain its best employees? It’s a common problem that businesses from all sectors face, yet many don’t actually do anything to address the underlying causes of high staff turnover.

Employee churn leads to a number of issues for companies, not to mention wasted expenditure on recruitment, so what can you do to resolve it? By implementing an employee retention programme—but how do you make sure that it’s effective?

Why retaining top talent is more important than ever

Following the Covid-19 lockdowns that saw a significant decrease in job moves, the number of employees looking for new opportunities has bounced back significantly.

Dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’, a 2021 study found that a quarter of all employees were considering leaving their job within three to six months, and this trend is still happening. Data collated by the CIPD and reported in February shows that resignations are still well above pre-pandemic levels.

There are a number of possible reasons for an employee leaving your organisation, some of which are out of your control, but a poll conducted by Hays found 74% of workers have simply had time to consider their job choices since Covid.

If you want to retain your top talent this year, you’re going to need to give them tangible reasons for remaining with your organisation and not moving on to pastures new.

Why you should involve senior staff in the planning and delivery of the programme

There’s an old saying: ‘People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.’

While this is somewhat of a generalisation, there’s a lot of truth in it. An organisation can do everything it can to retain its best staff, but if the relationship with management is poor, they’ll leave anyway.

This means senior management must be brought into the idea of staff retention. This isn’t just for securing funding for employee retention schemes, but also to ensure they embody those same values. Employees take their cues from senior management, so if they see bosses not taking retention seriously, no one within the organisation will either.

How to build your retention programme

So how do you build a successful employee retention programme? There’s a lot to getting it right, but these five steps are key.

Compare your turnover rate with the industry average

Before you start working on your retention programme you need to know what good looks like for your industry. Compare your employee turnover rate with your competitors and review what the average is for your industry. 

Identifying a big negative disparity between your organisation and competitors will also help secure buy-in for an employee retention programme from senior management.

See what your competitors are doing well

Your competitor analysis shouldn’t stop there though. Look at what they’re doing well and look for areas you can potentially replicate within your own business.

There’s a lot that goes into an effective employee retention scheme, but identifying what’s working well for your closest competitors might uncover some quick wins that can get you started on the front foot.

Find out what is frustrating your employees

Think you know why your employees are leaving? You won’t truly be able to identify the causes of high staff turnover until you ask them

For example, employers often think people leave for better money elsewhere, but a study of nearly 20,000 exit interviews found this was the motivating factor just 12% of the time.

You should be asking probing questions about the reasons behind an employee leaving during their exit interview, but get ahead of it too. Survey your workforce (anonymously often helps to secure more honest answers) and ask them what they think could be improved within the company.

However, don’t make the mistake of asking for your employees’ opinions only to ignore them. Your workforce is twice as likely to be actively disengaged if they feel as though they’re being ignored by management.

Focus on creating a supportive working environment

According to a study conducted by Kronos, almost all HR leaders surveyed believed burnout was one of the biggest factors behind employee turnover.

The result of prolonged stress, burnout can be avoided if you create a supportive working environment that gives people the confidence to say when work’s getting on top of them.

Supporting wellbeing helps to improve talent acquisition too. A study found that people would recommend their employer to a friend if they felt their mental health was supported, while 62% of employees identify wellbeing as a key deciding factor when applying for a new job.

Carefully select a rewards and recognition programme

When it comes to increasing employee retention, the impact of rewards and recognition cannot be understated.

Research by found a ‘strong relationship between the amount of recognition an employee receives and how happy they are in their jobs, and it goes without saying that employee satisfaction is essential if you want them to stay.

In fact, organisations with recognition programmes had 31% lower voluntary staff churn than those without.

The benefits of rewards and recognition on staff churn isn’t just evidenced by the numbers—employees say so themselves too. Employees who are always or usually recognised for their work say they are ‘very unlikely’ to job hunt in the next three to six months.

When combined with an employee incentives platform, a strong rewards and recognition strategy will deliver exceptional results when it comes to employee retention.

Here at Sodexo Engage we can offer the widest choice of rewards on the market, ranging from eVouchers and gift cards for giving instant recognition, as well as celebration packages that are perfect for celebrating milestones, outstanding performance of company achievements.

We’ve been working with a wide range of organisations and helping them reward and recognise their employees for over 20 years, and in that time our expert team has perfected the development of the complete rewards strategy. 

We’re processing around half a million reward product requests every single month, with a fulfilment accuracy of 99.98%, but we won’t just sell you reward products. We’ll work with you to ensure your solution fits with your employee retention strategy, and delivers genuine ROI in terms of reducing staff churn, driving talent acquisition and increasing employee engagement.

Ready to take the step towards an effective employee retention programme? Get in touch with the experts here at Sodexo Engage today.






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