How to improve staff retention levels

The so-called Great Resignation has been in the news a lot recently. It’s the result of numerous surveys showing that roughly a quarter of all UK employees are considering quitting their current job.

Even if that’s something you don’t feel will affect you, the idea of improving your staff retention levels almost certainly will.

Because the investment you make in your team always needs time to pay off. And the ancillary costs of replacing someone (work not being done, other people having to fill in) can be high even if you work with a specialist manufacturing or engineering recruitment agency.

Luckily, there are many simple steps you can take to increase your staff retention levels. Here are just a few of them.

Employee benefits that improve staff retention levels

1) Offer flexible working conditions

Many people with engineering jobs of all kinds have been able to work from home successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has opened the eyes of many employees to the benefits of being able to spend at least one or two days a week working from home.

Flexible working conditions were already pretty much a given in areas like the tech sector. Yet many employers in the engineering sector have been slow to adapt to this new and highly desirable way of working.

There are a number of different reasons why you might consider doing so:

1. Attract younger talent – flexible working conditions are starting to be the minimum that high-level candidates from younger generations, in particular, are looking for in their employer.

2.Offer better childcare possibilities – with childcare set to join a bunch of other costs that are rising with the cost of living crisis, flexible working conditions can help encourage team members who are parents to stay with you. It’s estimated 1 in 12 women with children end up looking for a different position purely for better childcare options.

3.Boost productivity – it might surprise some employers to learn that those who have offered their teams reduced working hours, flexible working options, and even more time off tend to see no reduction in overall productivity. In fact, the reverse often seems to be true.

2) Give them more responsibility

Giving team members who deserve it more of a challenge in their day-to-day work can be a great way to boost staff retention levels.

Boredom and repetition are the enemies of a happy and engaged team. If someone is capable of more, consider offering them the chance to achieve it.

Increasing someone’s responsibilities is also a chance to see who your best and brightest are. Perhaps they’re ready for promotion with the aim of turning them into one of your company’s leaders of tomorrow.

3) Reward achievements with recognition

Even if they’re not the kind of person who actively thrives on recognition, everyone likes having their hard work noticed.

This doesn’t have to be the kind of high-flying hole-in-one type of achievement that everyone can see. If someone with a sales engineer job secures a big new client, that’s great news and certainly deserves some recognition.

But equally, the hard-working maintenance engineer whose tasks are always completed on time or the one person who supported the whole team in the office on that last project should have their quiet dedication recognised too.

Recognition doesn’t have to be a thing either. Of course, it can be. But even a few quiet words to show you’ve noticed their effort can be just what your staff retention levels and team morale ordered.

Don’t let the Great Resignation happen to you

Though the surface benefits all look like they’re for your employees, it’s worth underlining that a happier, trusted team that feels their work is recognised is also a more productive team.

If you want to improve your staff retention levels and avoid engaging in the engineering recruitment process for anything but your business’s future growth, offering some employee benefits like those above is a great and often very cost-effective place to start.

Looking for a replacement to fill a key team role?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and manufacturing recruitment agency. We find the ideal candidates for employers up and down the UK every day.

Tell us what you’re looking for in your new hires now. We’ll talk you through how we’ll go about finding them for you.