When considering employee retention strategies, many variables quickly come into play. Though the onboarding process and ongoing professional development opportunities stand out as key areas of focus, there are numerous other strategic initiatives that, if executed well, can greatly impact an organisation’s ability to retain its staff.
In this article, we will outline some of the best methods for optimising employee retention at your company, and how an effective Learning Management System (LMS) can be used for this purpose.
Why is employee retention important?
It’s a valid question to ask: why is employee retention so important? It used to be that a company would just look externally for new hires to fill vacant roles rather than identify a suitable candidate from within. While external searches are still common, low unemployment rates and developing skills shortages have made it more difficult than ever for recruiters to succeed at this. As a result, many workplaces have turned to their existing internal talent to continue prospering. In fact, many would argue that hiring from within is actually more beneficial.
This inward shift can offer many advantages, not just for your company, but also for the workers themselves. Hiring people who are already familiar with, and have bought into the company culture can not only improve overall morale but lead to more consistent and reliable results when undergoing expansion. After all, they won’t require any additional training or induction, while also foregoing to associated costs (job listing, time taken while interviewing, etc.) with hiring a new and external employee.
Furthermore, demonstrating to new hires that employees who are invested in the company culture are the ones most often rewarded with new roles and possibilities is a great way to motivate these newcomers to buy into your approach. It shows employees that loyalty and good performance is rewarded with upward mobility and a clear career trajectory.
You might be surprised, then, to find that many professionals can be dissatisfied with their company’s approach to internal mobility and find it lacking. This, at least, is the result of Deloitte’s Global Human Capital survey, which showed that just 6% of respondents believed that their organisations were excellent at enabling internal talent mobility.
It’s clear that a focus on employee retention is something valued by those at all levels of a company, yet many of them fail to deliver. So what are some of the most effective strategies for increasing employee retention?
Create an environment of continuous learning
Perhaps the most crucial strategy is to provide space for your company’s employees to continually learn. This is an obvious benefit when it comes to the recruiting and onboarding processes for a new employee, as it will help them to understand the company culture better in addition to their own roles and responsibilities. That’s not to mention the fact that recent research has shown how a great onboarding experience can increase the retention of new hires by up to 82%. However, this emphasis on learning can (and should) be effective at each stage of the employee lifecycle, and is best enabled by the continued integration of an LMS.
One of the easiest ways for your company’s employees to develop their skill set is through regular, self-directed use of well-designed eLearning resources. Having an LMS that can provide employees with a roadmap indicating where they’re headed in the company is integral to improving retention. Configuring this LMS so that it can guide and train even senior employees is a great method of demonstrating that your company invests in its talent for the long term, ideally making internal mobility a more appealing prospect. It’s no coincidence that 93% of respondents to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report said that they would stay on at a company if it invested in their career.
It might seem slightly counterintuitive to you to suggest that continuous learning in this manner leads to a happier and more motivated workforce, but it’s the truth. Recent research on the topic found that employees who are able to spend time at work learning are actually 47% less likely to be stressed and 39% more likely to feel productive and successful.
Mix flexibility with consistency
Though it’s undeniably important to show your employees how certain traits can help them progress inside your company, allowing them to be flexible with their work can likewise maintain motivation. If you think that they are capable of it, provide your employees with new challenges and roles, backed up by appropriate eLearning resources.
Being able to provide them with eLearning content is especially useful if you are training and educating employees who aren’t always centrally located. If they are travelling or working remotely, yet can access the same resources as someone in the main company offices, your employees will benefit from the increased accessibility and will likely feel a stronger bond with their co-workers. If they are helping to establish a new branch of your organisation, for example, an LMS can further help to instil company values in this new branch.
Provide incentives & create relationships
Though showcasing potential career progressions for your employees can certainly be a motivating factor, providing them with more immediate incentives can also work, particularly in the short term. Of course, this goes for those who are doing the hiring as well; if they are only given incentives for recruiting from outside of the company, they may be far less likely to promote a deserving candidate internally.
Incentives for employees who reach certain targets, whether it be for sales numbers, an eLearning module completion, or something else entirely, should be tailored as personally as possible to an individual’s wants and needs. By rejecting a generic approach to incentives, employees should see this as recognition of your developing relationship with them rather than just a one-off reward.
The formation of such relationships is essential to keeping an employee on-board and engaged not just with your company’s mission, but with their fellow workers as well. Sharing a common understanding of what they value and what motivates them to perform is the first step toward providing incentives that can build these relationships.
Optimise the employee experience
The employee experience basically encapsulates everything that employees feel, encounter and undergo while working at a particular company. While broad in scope, its importance is undeniable – research from MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research found that employees with a top-quartile employee experience produced twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction and 25% greater profitability than those in the lowest quartile.
A key factor for positive employee experience, according to this research, is the company’s approach to digital services like remote access to work and providing employees with wide-spanning access to internal knowledge. According to MIT’s research, companies that provided a top-quartile employee experience delivered their employees 66% more digital capacity on average than their lowest quartile counterparts.
Providing comprehensive eLearning solutions is a great way to optimise this digital aspect of the employee experience at your company. An engaging LMS will help to empower employees to make the most of their time with your company by giving them an avenue to actively broaden their knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, the in-built ability of an LMS to track and analyse user engagement and progression will deliver insights into how your company’s employees are coping with their role and responsibilities, and what can be done to improve this.
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