Effective strategies for employee retention in a competitive job market

Effective strategies for employee retention in a competitive job market
Effective strategies for employee retention in a competitive job market

posted 18 Jul 23

While the number of people resigning this year has fallen compared to 2022, experts predict ‘The Great Resignation 2.0’ is set for Q3 of 2023.

We know employee retention is on the mind of many businesses. But it’s important to recognise that there are several reasons why a worker might hand in their notice. Recent research we conducted found the top three causes of job dissatisfaction to be:

  • Salary expectations not being met (52%)
  • Minimal career growth (44%)
  • A lack of flexible working (32%)

We look at how focusing on these three areas could boost employee engagement within your business.

Offer competitive salaries

Our Professional Services Salary Guide 2023 revealed that 77% of people are looking for a pay rise this year. Therefore, one key way to retain top talent is to ensure you are offering attractive earnings.

How do you do this?  

Determine your median salary

Take your employee wages and place them on a scale (ascending or descending). Look at the people in the middle of your business (i.e., the median) and compare your findings to the data published by ONS to see whether you are above or below the UK median salary.

Monitor your local market and competition

If your workers feel competitors or another business nearby pays more, they may jump ship. Measure your median salary against other local companies and your competition to see how you compare. Ensure wages match or exceed what they’re offering to remain competitive.

Benchmark your salaries

It also pays off to examine salaries as a whole; this is especially important with the rise of remote working, as employees may not always be based near your business premises. Look at specific or in-demand roles across your industry and other sectors and specialisms to get a fuller picture of what compensation certain professionals might expect.

Professional Services Salary Guide 2023

Professional Services Salary Guide 2023

Access insights

Check out our Professional Services Salary Guide for the latest salaries and trends.

Provide growth and development opportunities

If your team feels there are ample opportunities to develop their skills and grow within your company, this can go a long way to reducing turnover. To promote internal development, you could:

  • Provide your people with clearly defined career paths with SMART goals to enable them to reach both their personal development and your business goals.
  • Create a mentorship programme where workers can benefit from support and guidance from more senior colleagues - not only does this upskill your junior members of staff, but it can also be extremely rewarding for mentors, which may help improve job satisfaction and, in turn, employee retention
  • Offer an annual allowance for everyone to undertake their choice of training opportunities or to attend workshops.

Promote a positive work-life balance

Three quarters (74%) of employees within Professional Services told us they would take a lower paid job if it provided a better work-life balance.

A study by Remote found businesses in the UK and US offering hybrid or remote work have higher employee retention rates. The payroll firm estimates turnover will be 39.9% for hybrid positions and 39.3% for remote roles in 2023, compared to 43.7% for office jobs.

While flexible working has become synonymous with working from home since the Covid-19 pandemic, it can also look like:

  • Flexitime
  • Part-time work
  • Staggered hours
  • Job shares
  • Compressed hours
  • Annualised hours

Flexible working is just one way to give your employees more work-life balance, other ways include:

  • Having regular 1-2-1s or check-ins to assess and realign their workload to avoid burnout and unnecessary overtime
  • Making sure they take their full break allowance
  • Providing extended break times or lunch hours
  • Encouraging them to use their annual leave throughout the year, rather than saving it up
  • Offering above the minimum holiday entitlement
  • Implementing communication cut-off times, so they don’t send or receive emails/messages after hours
  • Early finishes on Fridays or late starts on Mondays
  • Creating walking, cycling, running, book or other active/interest clubs that they can join
  • Volunteer days where they can help a charity of their choosing for a day

Work-life balance means different things to different people. We recommend you conduct a survey to find out what your staff would find most helpful for their wellbeing, as well as their lifestyle, career and personal development. You can then use this insight to drive your employee engagement and retention strategies.

At Search, our recruitment solutions are designed to help attract and retain top talent. If you’re looking to grow your team, get in touch.