When it comes to retaining employees, organisations need to focus on benchmarked industrial practices to keep their best talent and control attrition rates. That being said, attrition need not always have a negative connotation - it’s an indicator that your organisation is changing. Often, attrition can help you bring in better talent and build a diverse workforce. But throughout this process, your focus needs to be on attracting and building the right base for your company, while also putting in the effort to retain the workforce that makes your company what it is.
So, why is retention so important? Let’s take a look at how constant churn and loss of talent can be a dampener to employee and organisational growth.
Collaboration can witness a dip
A team that has worked together for a long time is likely to function like a well-oiled machine, having built a degree of understanding and synergy. They are likely to collaborate better and possess stronger team dynamics, with each person being aware of the strengths and weaknesses of others, and making adequate adjustments to complete projects more efficiently. While fresh perspectives and talent are always welcome, losing an essential cog can disturb healthy team dynamics and result in reduced productivity as the team transitions to cover the gap left by the employee who quits.
Onboarding time and costs
Employees who have been with the company for a long time have a better understanding of how the organisation functions, as well as the talent and skills required to navigate their job role. It’s no secret that the cost of onboarding new employees both in terms of resources and time can take a major chunk out of profitability. Whether it is the cost of job ads and job portals, time lost in the screening & interview processes, or the transition period of onboarding and the resources spent on upskilling and training new entrants - The cost of a high turnover rate can impact the bottom line. This makes it significantly more viable for organisations to invest in retaining the current workforce and building a happy work environment that bolsters individual and team productivity.
Negative impact on employees
Adjusting to constant churn can take a toll even on the most resilient of employees. Feelings of dissatisfaction and disengagement can spread within an organisation, and teams often see the organisation as responsible for the loss of good talent. Especially if people are leaving due to reasons like a toxic work environment, authoritarian leadership, a lack of transparency and below average pay, it’s only a matter of time before more and more of your best people find brighter opportunities. This in turn can be demoralising and demotivating to others, even prompt your more “stable employees” to seek other avenues.
So, clearly, attrition is an important factor when it comes to team performance. Here’s how you can reduce attrition rates in your organisation:
Engagement exercises: By helping your employees get to know each other better, encouraging health and wellness, and focusing on collaboration in addition to L&D programs for skill-building, you can create an engaging work culture & a positive work environment that quite simply makes people want to stay.
Effective listening exercises: Conducting pulse surveys to grasp employee sentiments and experiences, and paying close attention to expectations & feedback from employees during interviews, exit polls and periodic surveys can help you understand what you’re doing right and what you’re not. Step 2 is to assess feasibility and ensure implementation. Often, asking for feedback and failing to follow through is worse than not asking for feedback at all.
Upskilling and career mapping: Providing learning and development opportunities for your employees will keep them engaged, productive and continuously learning. With more focus being placed on growing professionally, it will also help to chart out their journey with your organisation through career mapping/planning efforts. This not only ensures progress in the technical sense, it also adds a sense of purpose to the employee experience - a factor that is a major driving force for commitment and ownership at work.
Building benefits and policies: Putting in place an appropriate Rewards & Recognition program, promoting wellness, work-life balance, and encouraging stronger teams are all important factors in reducing attrition rates within your organization. Robust policies and processes, as well as thoughtful perks and benefits complete this picture. All of this together builds a culture that helps your employee-base grow not only as professionals but also as people. This isn't a process that can be completed in a day. It involves assembling strong, well-informed and competent teams across HR, Talent Development, L&D and D&I, amongst others to come together and lay the foundation for an organisation where people thrive.
Impediments to work-life balance & synthesis, negative mentoring styles, and a toxic work culture can cost your organisation your most talented employees. Keeping a check on the pulse of your company and taking steps to building an engaging and holistic workplace will, in the long-term, help you keep your employees happy, your attrition rates low, and your employer brand aspirational. High levels of retention also serve to grow your company from within. Whether it is to identify your next top leaders, or to plan new business endeavours, the people who stay with you the longest can often lay the base for exciting new expansion plans and ambitious organisational growth initiatives.