5 Top Employee Retention Strategies

Posted by Bernard Schoeman on 26 June 2024.



Bernard Schoeman

CA(SA), Post Graduate Diploma Accounting, BCom

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Bernard Schoeman

Bernard studied BCom majoring in information systems and accounting at the University of Cape Town and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) in 1997 after completing of his articles with Deloitte & Touche. Bernard has extensive international and local experience having worked for nearly three years with financial institutions in the UK (London) and having audited numerous companies listed on the JSE in South Africa. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

“People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That’s the new talent contract.” (Pamela Stroko, Vice President, HCM Transformation & Thought Leadership at Oracle Corporation)

Any business leader knows that hiring the best team possible is the first step to success, so it stands to reason that keeping them around is just as important. What’s more, finding, hiring and training new employees is an expensive process.

As the world becomes increasingly connected, the battle for top talent has expanded beyond the city you’re based in. On top of this, job apps have made it even easier for your employees to find work elsewhere if they are not entirely happy.

This has all put employee retention in the spotlight. What are employees looking for? What makes them stay? And just what does your business need to do to keep your best staff on your books? These five tips will help regardless of the kind of business you run.

  1. Level up
    For a long time, business management experts recommended employing outside of the company. This advice has now changed completely: Experts now say you should promote your existing staff.

    Your employees want to grow in their careers. Of course they do. While they might be happy now, if there’s no opportunity for advancement they’ll soon start looking elsewhere. A 2018 report found that 93% of employees would have stayed at their jobs longer if those companies had invested in their careers.

  2. Teach a man to fish
    Employees also benefit from personal and professional skills growth. It’s vital to ensure your team is up to date on the latest technologies, but it’s also important to facilitate growth in directions of their own choosing. This doesn’t just benefit them – it also brings new skills into your company.

    By giving your staff time to attend conferences, giving them study leave, or paying for continuing education you are guaranteed to improve your team and keep your employees for the longest possible time.

    You should also consider implementing a mentorship system where newcomers and younger staff are tutored and advised by senior staff members. Studies show that mentorship benefits both the new arrival and the old hand.

  3. Family matters
    Since the pandemic, people have become much more precious about their personal lives. If you acknowledge that your employees have lives beyond the office (fancy that!) you’re far more likely to retain them.

    Flexible working hours, remote offices, and even childcare support are now vital if you hope to keep employees in the long term. If you run a business where remote work isn’t possible, why not consider flexitime, or a shorter work week instead? Removing the stress your employees feel over their families has the added advantage of making them perform better when they are in the office.

  4. Pound of flesh
    Gone are the days where you could forbid employees to talk about their salaries. Income information is freely available, and your employees are constantly checking their earnings against those offered by the competition. Don’t kid yourself: If you aren’t paying a fair wage with good perks, your employees are probably already sending out their CVs.
  5. Pat on the back
    Everybody wants to feel appreciated. Saying “thank you” may not seem like much, but it can make an enormous difference to an employee’s happiness. Some companies set up formal reward systems to recognise and encourage employees. But recognition doesn’t have to be formal to be effective. If it’s heartfelt and real, a little really can go a long way.

Only you can build an environment that encourages employees to stay. But as your accountants we can provide the budgeting and tax advice that makes it a reality.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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