here’s how you can improve employee retention.

Bringing in new talent is hugely important to ensure your organization continually moves forward and keeps up with the times. However, it’s just as vital to ensure the existing members of your workforce are happy, engaged and productive.

It could be argued that staff retention should be made an even bigger priority than acquisition, seeing a low rate of employee turnover is highly beneficial not only from a financial perspective, but for the wider health and stability of the business.

With that in mind, here are some of the most effective steps you can take to keep your people onboard for longer…

Carry the candidate experience into the workplace

If your organization wants to stand out in the talent marketplace and make connections with the people you really need, it’s vital to offer a strong candidate experience. This will help you make a strong early impression on job applicants, laying the foundation for positive relationships that can grow and develop over many years.

Crucially, the focus on your relationships with candidates shouldn’t end when you hire someone and they join your workforce. Providing a consistently positive and rewarding experience helps to ensure that employees feel engaged, motivated and driven to achieve positive outcomes throughout their time with you.

This was one of the key themes explored in Randstad Sourceright's 2019 Talent Trends Report. The study noted that, even when someone does depart from the organization, if they leave with good memories, they are more likely to share this with other professionals and contribute to positive perceptions of your employer brand.

Focus on relationships

The employer/employee relationship has never been more important than it is today, particularly for organizations that recognize the clear links between a happy, engaged workforce and business performance.

Anthea Collier, Randstad Sourceright Asia Pacific managing director, pointed out that developing strong, long-term relationships with individuals is simply “a necessity for any talent-centric organization”.

She added: “Whether a company is seeking to build a talent community, increase workplace engagement or create brand ambassadors from alumni, relationship building is key to success.”

One of the fundamental elements of strong employee relationships is communication. Simple policies such as managers always being accessible and visible to their staff, and keeping people up to date with the latest key developments and headlines for the business, will help to ensure people feel connected to their bosses and the organization as a whole.

It’s also important to remember that relationships are two-way. The business should pay attention to the needs, concerns and ambitions of its employees, rather than simply focusing on what people can do for their employer.

Embrace modern career concepts

Concepts like flexibility and agility are becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace. Employees today - particularly the youngest members of the workforce - don’t necessarily look at their careers as a linear progression from one stage to the next on a single path.

Employers can tap into this by offering a wide range of experiences and opportunities for people to learn, experiment and try new things.

The Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report pointed out that careers today “can be viewed as a series of developmental experiences, each offering the opportunity to acquire new skills, perspectives and judgment”.

Respondents to the study identified ‘building the 21st-century career’ as the third most important trend, with nearly half (47 per cent) describing it as ‘very important’. However, only nine per cent of businesses are reportedly ready to meet this goal.

Deloitte said: “Careers in this century may follow an upward arc, with progression and promotion at various times, but they will look nothing like the simple stair-step path of generations ago.”

Take a personal approach

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to keeping employees happy and reducing the risk of people wanting to leave. This is particularly true in today’s diverse and multifaceted world of work, where one person’s job priorities could be completely different to the person working right alongside them.

Randstad’s 2019 Employer Brand Research found that generation Z are most likely to be motivated by good training and millennials are more interested in career progression, while work/life balance is a bigger priority for generation X.

It’s essential to engage with members of your workforce to build up a clear idea of what is most important to them, and how you can help them feel happy, comfortable and fulfilled at work. Simply making the effort to ask these questions and learn more about what matters to your employees could be a valuable first step towards better staff retention.