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Studies from organisations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) calculate that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs the employer an average of six to nine months’ salary.

More worryingly, other research predicts that losing a salaried employee can cost an employer as much as twice their annual salary, especially for high-earning or executive-level employees.

Why do employees leave?

The most common reasons include:

  • Lack of recognition or opportunity to progress
  • Unsupportive managers
  • Overwork and stress
  • Being offered more money and benefits elsewhere.

How do I ensure that employees stay?

It’s very rare these days for employees to work for one employer for their whole career. However, there are certain things you can do to make sure staff stay with you as long as possible and you do everything you can to retain them.

Employee recognition

The start of a new year is a great time to implement new and exciting initiatives to make your employees feel valued and incentivised. These don’t always have to be monetary –  they can be something as simple as ensuring your managers acknowledge employees’ work.

It’s also an excellent time for managers to re-evaluate each individual’s ambitions and devise a plan for the year ahead to help them achieve their goals.

Management training

Ensuring your managers receive training so that they know what to do when difficult situations arise means they will be better equipped to support your workforce. You should also ensure that your managers know who they can go to for support if they are unsure.

Monitoring mental health

The most recent figures from the Centre for Mental Health show that mental health problems across the UK’s workforce cost employers almost £35bn. And the figure is rising – a hike of £9bn on the previous ten years.

The stark reality for employers is that this equates to £1,300 for every employee working in the UK.

Most people will suffer from impaired mental health from time to time, and when that happens, it’s essential that your employee feels that they have someone in the workplace who they trust to offer them support and guidance.

You should review your current support model, making sure that employees have someone to talk to in confidence if things get tough such as an internal mental health ‘first aider’, or an external confidential helpline.

As an employee’s performance or attendance may suffer due to poor mental health, it’s essential that you catch it early.

Make sure salaries and benefits keep pace

The start of the year is also a good prompt to review the salary and benefits packages that you offer to each of your employees to evaluate how competitive they are against similar employers in your area and sector, then look to bring them in line if they are not.

None of this advice is rocket science – just good practice. But after the break, it’s an ideal time to reflect upon how well your current approach to employee retention is working and refresh and tweak some of the key areas which keep your staff happier for longer.

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