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Why should you focus on retaining employees?

Right now, we are in an extraordinary situation where there is a shortage of labour in Denmark and there is a growing gap between qualified candidates.

However, this is not unique to this era, as recruitment is generally very expensive, which is why many companies choose to focus on retention instead. In fact, depending on the complexity of the job and the number of positions to be filled, hiring skilled workers can cost as much as 33 weeks' pay.

Apart from the many costs associated with recruiting new staff, an increased focus on job satisfaction, which goes hand in hand with staff retention, would be a wise investment. In fact, increasing job satisfaction can boost productivity by as much as 12%, while employees with low job satisfaction are as much as 10% less productive!

As mentioned above, job satisfaction and employee retention go hand in hand. The same goes for your brand as an employer. The stronger your employer brand is, the easier it will be to retain your employees and attract the right candidates when you have vacancies.

There is no doubt that retaining employees is an important focus for HR professionals who are moving to the bottom line. Below, we have compiled some good advice based on theory, research and practical experience that you can use in your work on employee retention: 

1. Focus on Being Sharp for Employer Branding

Your employer brand is the external face of your company. It's not just your logo and colours, but the people who represent you, the positions you take as a company, your treatment of employees and much more. These are all the elements that potential candidates and clients use to assess you as a workplace and employer. Therefore, it is important that you put the effort into creating a brand that is both strong, but that your company can live up to!

Therefore, it is extremely important that your company has clear guidelines on how to act and interact as a company and a company representative. From the treatment of a disgruntled employee to CSR policies, everything counts. So make sure you think through the guidelines for how you will adhere to your employer branding.

2. Reconciliation of Expectations

Expectation matching with your candidates and employees is one of the key words in retention. If you sell the position as more challenging and evolving than it actually is, the new hire will be left with a sense of lack in their life and thus be demotivated. An overqualified candidate is also rarely an advantage! Likewise, if you hire someone who is clearly yawning over a mouthful, the results may not be satisfactory. Of course, this is not set in stone, but it is more often the rule than the exception.

Expectation matching must continue even after the candidate has become an employee. At every opportunity, such as during performance reviews, feedback interviews or meetings with his/her manager, the manager and the employee should agree on expectations. Here, you should assess whether there are challenges that are too complicated or whether there might be room to expand the employee's scope of work a bit.

3. Employee Benefits

To be an attractive workplace with satisfied employees, it is of course also important to have your benefits and employee perquisites in place. Of course, this does not mean that you need the highest bonuses and the most expensive company cars, but with a good pension scheme, health insurance and other benefits, you as a company will give your employees a more secure life.

4. Strengthening Social Interaction: Arrangements and Schemes

We have established that job satisfaction is important. In addition to the concrete benefits and advantages mentioned above, social interaction at work also has its role. Therefore, make sure that employees have the opportunity to interact outside of professional contexts, in the form of Friday bars, team building, activities, sports events, parties or anything that you feel can bring your employees closer together.

5. Gather Feedback

If you do not measure the effect of your various interventions to increase retention, then you do not know if they work. Be sure to gather feedback often and in all parts of the employee journey. The consequence of not collecting feedback is that you have unhappy employees who are potentially not productive, who are on their way out of the business or something else. Continuous pulse testing across departments will therefore give you the insight to know where to intervene. That is why the art of listening to your employees is an extremely important discipline!

6. Give Feedback, Recognition and Praise

Do you know the feeling of having produced something of which you are proud, but that others have taken for granted? The feeling of recognition for something you've done is probably one we all find pleasant. So make sure you praise your employees when they make an effort and generally meet the objectives you have set together. It is easy to take efforts for granted on a busy day, but if you do your best to identify and recognise them, your employees will feel it too.

7. Professional Development, Courses & Training

Courses, webinars, training, seminars, trade fairs and other forms of knowledge sharing and training help your employees feel like they are evolving. At the same time, you will also have a more competent staff, who will not necessarily need to find greener pastures due to the current ones being exhausted for new experiences and professional development.


Learn more about skills development and talent management 

8. Increase Responsibility During Employment

Not everyone wants to be a manager, but most want their responsibilities to increase over time. It is therefore important that you make sure to talk about the internal career opportunities the company has to offer and the development steps you can take already in the recruitment phase. Employees know that there is something to work towards and strive for if they put in the extra effort.

Retention is not always a formulaic art. Everyone is different and motivated by different factors, but if you create a workplace where people feel heard, can develop and have the opportunity to work together, you'll already be a long way towards retaining your employees.