Are high attrition rates causing your company concern? If so, you are not alone. A recent study revealed that 87 percent of employers state that improving employee retention rates within the company is one of their top priorities.

This makes sense. With the average costs of hiring a new employee rising above $4,000 (an amount which rises exponentially for highly skilled workers), companies just cannot survive on the hire-and-replace model. Not only is high attrition costly, but it impedes productivity, lowers employee morale and, ultimately, affects the company's bottom line.

how can you improve employee retention? 

Developing a dynamic employer brand that really resonates with your top employees. Your employer branding allows you to speak directly to your best employees. It allows you to portray a sense of who you are as an employer, what makes you the best company to work for, what it's like to work for your company and how you value your employees.

There are several things you can do right now to start developing a cracking employer brand that helps your employee retention efforts.

perception is everything

Throwing a lackluster employer brand together just so you can say you have one may do more damage than good. Your employees will see right through this and they won't be impressed. The truth is that perception is everything. If your employees perceive your company as an employer entirely different than your employer brand, you will do more to damage the employer-employee relationship than to build it.

Before you even start to develop your employer branding campaign, it is important to get a sense of how your current workforce perceives the company. Conduct employee interviews and exit interviews and use various surveys to better understand your company through the eyes of the employee.

Understanding the divide between how you want to establish your employer brand and employee perception will allow you to bridge this gap to create a concise and accurate employer brand image. Establishing an authentic employer brand will help to build trust and loyalty with your workforce and improve staff retention rates.

accurate EVP

An EVP (Employee Value Proposition) basically explains what an employee gets in exchange for their talents. When developed and activated properly, an EVP is a great way to communicate with your employees what makes you the best company to work for.

Benefits here does not mean medical insurance and paid time off, but rather employee-centric benefits, such as career growth, development, community involvement and leadership, just to name a few. It is important to take a thorough and accurate look at your company from the employees' viewpoint and determine what attributes differentiate you from your competitors.

Be sure that the company can follow through with every promise included in the EVP. The last thing you want to do is to take the time to cultivate a dynamic EVP only to leave your employees frustrated and disappointed. This will have the reverse effect. Rather than improving employee retention rates, you will find your employees heading for the door.

company-wide campaign

Most of today's top business leaders understand that their employees are their most valuable assets. Not only are your employees the backbone of the company and the glue that holds it together, but they also can be your best employer brand ambassadors - if you let them.

First, you must realize that activating an effective employer branding campaign takes more than the HR department. It takes more than marketing. It takes more than senior management. It takes the entire company to be successful.

Using your current workforce to push your employer brand will not only improve the overall success of your brand marketing strategy, but it will build trust with your employees, boost morale, and most importantly drive employee retention rates up.

There are many ways to do this. Allow your employees to express in their own words what it's like to work for the company. Create a day-in-the-life video to use for promotions that follows one employee around for the day. Post stories to social media highlighting your employees volunteering or participating in community events. The most important thing is to let your employees take a valuable role in your brand marketing campaign.

evaluate, evaluate, evaluate

Just as your company continuously works to strengthen the overall company brand, you also must continue to build a strong employer brand. Don't just assume that your current employer brand is portraying your company that way you want it. Instead, test it, evaluate it and adjust your strategies as necessary.

You may even need to adjust your employer brand itself just to make sure it depicts an accurate view of your company. As your company grows, your industry changes and your workforce set new demands, you will need to reevaluate your employer brand to make sure it is still relevant, accurate and effective at retaining your top employees.

When developed and implemented correctly, your employer brand has the power to boost employee engagement, improve workplace morale and most importantly it improves your ability to retain the coveted employees.

For more information and advice on practical steps you can take to engage and keep your people, read Randstad's guide, '7 actionable strategies to boost employee retention'.