It’s no secret that the war for talent is on. Skills shortages in a number of industries combined with higher staff turnover in the wake of Covid-19 are putting pressure on hiring and businesses. To avoid losing your best staff, here are four employee experience moments you need to master to retain your employees.
Free guide: The 10 Pillars Of Employee Experience
Onboarding has always been a critical component of staff retention. As the start of their employee experience journey, it sets the tone of what’s to come, your workplace culture, and when done well, can leave employees feeling supported and eager to work in your business. However, with the pandemic shifting many of us to the remote and hybrid working models, onboarding has had to change too.
When onboarding virtually, consider how you’ll get your new staff member to sign their employment contract and any additional paperwork you require. E-signature providers, such as DocuSign, are fast becoming a popular option, particularly when not all employees have their own printer or scanner. On that note, also consider how you’ll provide any necessary equipment to them, such as a laptop and work phone—even stationary—and whether you’re willing to offer a working from home stipend to help your new staff member set up their home office.
If you’re in a hybrid work environment, make an effort to introduce your new employee to other staff members when they are in the office. If fully online, schedule introductory sessions to help them get to know their fellow colleagues.
Lastly, it is critical that you check in regularly with your new team member and provide clear expectations on the work coming in. Failing to do this can leave your new starter feeling isolated and ignored, which is not a good start to a working relationship.
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2. Training, development, and upskilling
When it comes to employee experience, professional development is high on the list of what employees want from their employers. Research has found that 94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. This is particularly relevant to current times with automation and digital transformation rapidly changing how we work—and what we do for work. Upskilling and reskilling employees whose roles will be displaced by automation and AI is a top priority for learning and development professionals across the world.
Training and development is also critically important for Gen Z employees, of whom 76 per cent believe learning is the key to a successful career. In 2020, LinkedIn Learning found they watched 50 per cent more hours per learning of learning content than they did in 2019.
In addition to offering professional development opportunities, part of your onboarding should also cover training in the systems your business uses, from standard programs such as Microsoft Teams and Outlook to specialised software unique to your industry. Providing a digital training calendar for all employees to participate in is an excellent way to keep employees engaged, learning and mastering new skills, as is mentoring.
3. Career progression
Similar to training and development, providing employees with opportunities to advance their career or move into a new area of interest is an excellent way to keep them on long-term. We’re not talking about the standard salary bump each year but providing a pathway and opportunities for employees to move up in their careers. Results from the 2021 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that employees at companies with internal mobility stay almost two times longer. Moreover, employees who move into new jobs internally are three and a half times more likely to be engaged employees than those who stay in their current jobs.
In short, if you’re not offering career advancement as part of your HR processes, it’s likely that employees will move somewhere else to move up the ladder.
4. Listen, collect and respond to feedback
To gauge the health of your workplace culture, your staff satisfaction and engagement, and their likelihood to leave, it’s vital to regularly survey your employees. There are several employee survey methods you can use to achieve this such as eNPS, Gallup Q12, the employee satisfaction index, or a combination thereof. However, organising and collecting feedback is only half the job—listening to and acting on feedback is just as essential for making your employees feel heard and valued. Moreover, while 73 per cent of employees in Australia and New Zealand have an opportunity to give feedback, only 19 per cent feel their company acts on feedback very well.
Employee satisfaction and retention surveys shouldn’t be a tick-box exercise. If you want your employees to stay longer in your business, you need to understand what their friction points are and actively find ways to address them. You can even involve your employees to find solutions to particular problems. For example, Perceptive’s EX client Salt workshops the top three issues that come out of their employee surveys, allowing staff and leadership to come together to find solutions. Not only does this show the business acknowledging a particular pain point, but it also involves employees in finding a solution, which shows action and increases staff engagement and buy-in for the resolution they arrive at.
These four moments are by no means the only four your business should focus on as part of its employee retention strategy. However, they are key moments in your employee experience that should never be ignored, especially if you want to keep your best talent from moving on.
Learn the 10 critical elements that attract and retain talent, build a positive workplace culture, and keep your employees engaged in our free guide: The 10 Pillars Of Employee Experience.