One overarching goal of internal communication teams is to improve employee retention.
Internal comms teams have many goals. From improving employee morale and wellbeing to reducing sick days and staff turnover (all interlinked). Internal communication teams aim to keep employees happy and operations smooth.
Improving employee retention can have positive impacts on all organisational stakeholders. Therefore, it’s important that internal communications teams are engaging employees in the right ways, improving their morale and making them feel involved.
In this blog, we discuss how internal comms teams can improve employee retention. We’ll take you through some of the top causes of employees leaving and what you can do to mitigate this.
What is employee retention?
Employee retention is defined as an organisation’s ability to prevent employee turnover, or the number of people who leave their job in a certain period, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
Benefits of employee retention:
- Less hiring and/or training costs – It costs a lot to hire. Not quite an arm, or a leg. But regarding time and money it can prove costly. In fact, some sources say on average it can cost up to £3,000 and over 27 days to hire and train a single employee. The time is spent background checks, posting/creating job descriptions, resourcing, interviewing, and finally setting up their work environemnt. In addition to this the employee needs ongoing training and software amongst over costs. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of the oganisation to keep current employees on. Not just in terms of cost, but in employee skill development.
- Increased productivity – Productivity is measured in terms of rate of output. The more productive an employee is the more work high-quality work they are doing. For example, in a content team, an employee writing 6 blogs a week is more productive than an employee writing one. Of course quality needs to be considered too.
- Better work culture – Work culture (or working environment) is percieved as the set of behavioural/procedural norms. This might include policies, ethics, values, attitudes and goals. 62% of employees across various generations would be okay with a pay cut if their employer had a mission in sync with their personal values. As a result, providing a better work enviroment provides a number of benefits including improved productivity, personal growth, and morale.
How your customers benefit from better employee retention:
- Better customer experience (CX) – CX is your customers’ perception of their interaction with your brand. For example, were they able to get all their questions answered, were they satisfied with your service, and do they think you’re worth the moeny? Some organisations hire mystery shoppers to gauge CX from a non biased POV.
- Increased performance – Performance is how an employee fulfills the duties of their role, completes required tasks, and behaves. Performance can be measured by quality and quantity of work, as well as efficiency/productivity. Better performance will result in a better end product for your customers – improving their CX
- Experienced employees – How much practice has an employee had? How skilled up and trained are they? Can they do their job autonomously? The more experience some has, generally means the better performance, and happier customers. If customers have questions, experienced employees will be able to answer them – no matter how complex.
Causes of employee turnover
Reasons for leaving are different from employee to employee. Whether it’s personal or work-related. It’s important to attempt to combat each reason, and support staff as much as possible.
Work-related reasons for employee turnover might be – lack of progression, poor management, or not being listened to.
Personal reasons for employee turnover can involve – mental health, moving home, or life changes.
There are a number of ways internal communications teams can help mitigate these reasons for leaving.
For personal reasons, internal comms can share messages and content regarding schemes that help employees in their personal life. Whether it’s free counselling sessions to aid mental health or home re-location schemes, a little help can go a long way. This content can be shared across emails, newsletters, or on digital screens.
For work-related reasons, encouraging and acting on employee feedback is key. Share surveys with employees and therefore get their thoughts and feelings about the work environment. If Bob is unhappy about their progression opportunities, you can speak to him directly and find out what can be done to turn the situation around. As a result, you can improve Bob’s working life and career progression.
One of the main causes of employee turnover is sick days…
How to improve employee retention: reducing sick days.
Sick days affect employee turnover massively. National Partnership, state that “paid sick days, can reduce turnover by 50%”. They show employees that you care, and also protect other employees from contracting illnesses. Paid sick days can help take the stress off your employees. Therefore, they don’t have to worry about not being able to pay bills.
According to the Direct365 blog, sick days cost the British Economy £100 billion per year (£554 per employee on average). This means 10 employees taking sick days will cost £554 each. That’s £5,540 per year in lost revenue. Therefore, it’s important organisations do what they can to keep employees well.
Effects on employees – Falling behind on work projects. Falling out of the communication loop. Lack of social interaction. If organisations have a poor or non-existent sickness scheme in place, employees may be more likely to leave.
Effects on employers – Can lose a vital team member for a period of time. If an employee comes into work whilst sick they can infect other employees. Pay more to cover temporary staff.
Top causes of employee sickness
Sickness absence in the UK labour market: 2020 – Top reasons for absence included minor illnesses, ‘other conditions’, coronavirus, musculoskeletal problems, as well as mental health.
Top reasons for employee sickness:
- Minor illnesses – colds, sickness, nausea.
- Other – diabetes – infections, skin disorders.
- Musculoskeletal problems – back, neck pain.
- Mental health – stress, anxiety.
Can digital signage help reduce employee sickness?
Employee-facing screens can provide a great channel for increasing awareness of key messages and organisational schemes.
At a glance, employees can look at a screen and take in any important health and safety information. As a result, the can easily keep up to date.
For example, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, screens were extremely popular for deploying up to date (relevant) information. On a daily basis, the latest guidance would change. Traditional comms channels simply couldn’t keep up. If an organisation relied on posters, the advice would quickly become out of date and employees would be using the wrong guidance. With screens, organisations could update advice as and when more guidance came out. This meant that employees would have the best chance of reducing the chance of infection.
For more general health and hygiene advice, screens can be used to display reminders about washing hands, working from home when feeling unwell, and other health schemes. Organisations could also deploy content regarding fitness schemes within the organisations aimed at improving employee health.
Screens could also display tips and tricks for good health. If employees are desk-based, promote correct desk posture – get them a nice chair with lumbar and neck support, a mousepad with wrist support, adjustable monitor stands. Display diagrams on screen on how your workspace should be positioned, for the best posture – to reduce aches and pains. This can help prevent physical injuries before they occur.
Top tips for top posture:
Chairs should have back and armrests. Your eyes should be in line with the top of your monitor, with it tilted backwards. Your legs and forearms should be parallel to the ground – using a footrest if necessary. Also, promote against leg crossing – as it can cause nerve damage, elevated blood pressure, as well as back pain.
How to improve employee retention: reduce employee burnout.
Well-being massively impacts productivity. A Gallup report showed that 76% of employees have admitted experiencing symptoms of job burnout, a further 7% experience it always, and 21% experience it very often. This is because of reasons like poor management, task clarity/workload, motivation, and unfair treatment.
Why is it important? Burnout has mega negative consequences – because its effects compound. Burnout means less productivity. Less productivity can heavily affect organisation performance.
Burnout can also lead to higher staff turnover. As mentioned above, this leads to more time and money spent on training, and onboarding.
If an employee feels more impactful in their role, it makes them more likely to stay on board. On the contrary, if they’re feeling the effects of burnout, they’ll be driven away from the company.
Reducing employee burnout is likely to result in higher productivity, better morale and increased output/creativity.
How to reduce employee burnout:
Ensure employees aren’t overworked. Employees are not robots. Talk to your employees and make sure they can manage their workload. If they have too much on, they are likely to be stressed and unhappy. Similarly, explore task delegation or hire additional staff. As a result, the employee’s workload and stress can be massively reduced.
Use screens to deploy content regarding dealing with employee burnout. For example, it could be tips on how to deal with it, who they can speak to etc. Make sure to include an easy way for employees to follow up and access your offering.
Case study on burnout
Companies were giving employees a week off for mental health, back in 2021.
April 5, 2021, LinkedIn gave its 15,900 full-time employees a paid week off to help them combat burnout. This was designed to encourage workers to unplug and recharge, CNN reported.
Many other companies followed suit – like Hootsuite and Bumble. Many celebrated this on social media. This scheme was brilliant for CSR, brand reputation, and employee wellbeing. As a result, these companies not only had a great PR run, their employees were better off for it.
Employee Job Satisfaction
How to improve employee retention: job satisfaction.
Job satisfaction is a feeling of fulfillment or enjoyment that a person derives from their job.
Benefits of satisfaction include greater efficiency, more commitment, and loyalty. These results are crucial for improving employee retention. Therefore, if they enjoy their job, they’re more likely to stay.
Your company’s mission matters in the case of employee satisfaction. 62% of employees across various generations would be okay with a pay cut if their prospective employer had a mission in sync with their personal values. This doesn’t mean suddenly improving culture and slashing pay. Therefore, this goes to show that company values are crucial.
The Mirror reports that the ‘UK’s largest study of work happiness found over one in three people (36 percent) are unhappy in their jobs‘. We need to start making work a better place to be. As a result, we need to make changes. Not tomorrow, not next month, but today.
How can we improve job satisfaction?
Improving job satisfaction is easy.
Here’s some ideas to improve job satisfaction:
- Flexible working – hours and location
- Freedom for innovation
- Good communication (top-down and bottom-up)
- Support and training
- Career progression opportunities
Employee turnover costs businesses thousands every year. On a blog written by BrightHR, the research states that organisations spend an average of £5,433 on finding a replacement. Now multiply this by the number of employees leaving for new opportunities. Why is it so expensive? You should factor in: hiring costs, training (internal or external). The time taken on advertising, hiring, onboarding, and skilling someone up is astronomical. So what’s the best thing to do to keep them?
If you have a workforce of 200 and 20% (40) leave each year, how much would the company save if they reduced staff turnover KPIs to 5% each year?
5%(10) x £54,330 = Big savings just on finding the replacement! Not to mention the money spent on training etc.
Poor company culture costs the UK economy billions every year. According to WorkplaceInsight, ‘report claims that a third of people (34%) who leave their job, do so because of perceived poor company culture’, they also go on to give scary statistics about the number of employees that distrust their management, and the number of employers who don’t think that company culture is a ‘nice to have’ in their business.
Top tips to improve employee turnover:
In conclusion – get feedback and act on it. The best people to gauge your employee working environment are your employees. Listen to their concerns and let them know what changes you’ve made.
Screen messages – Increase the awareness of company schemes that positively impact, burnout, mental health, fitness, social lives, and career development. Include easy to access QR codes so employees can easily sign up.
Measuring and Monitoring the Retention Data
Measuring and monitoring data on employee turnover (as well as sick days, staff burnout, and satisfaction) can greatly increase the chances of change, and help you to improve employee retention. There’s a saying of ‘what’s measured is managed’, and it’s definitely the case. Monitoring employee retention allows you to spot trends of disengagement, employee morale, and turnover. This means that you can implement small changes and see if they are effective at getting desired results.
For employee turnover, reflect how many people leave voluntarily or involuntary. This can help to determine what the issues are. If voluntary leave is the majority, ask yourself (or them) why they’re leaving. Is it because there’s better career development, better pay, or better culture elsewhere? Are they just leaving due to relocation or poor health? Or did you make the decision to let them go based on performance or motivation?
You could promote career progression and training courses you’re offering to employees via screens. Be open for all kinds of feedback (wage discussions among that), as well as improve company culture (maybe share employee success and promote wellbeing).
You should be tracking sick days, productivity KPIs, and so on.
Voluntary/involuntary leave calculations:
Voluntary leave is calculated by dividing the number of employees who leave in a year (or another time period) by the average number of employees at the organization during the same period. (Same calculation for involuntary leave).
For example, if 15 employees out of a workforce of 200 left in one year, say 2021. Then the turnover rate would be 7.5%. Look out for industry standards and compare yourself to them.
What if the numbers aren’t good? set out steps to improve employee engagement. If firing is due to poor performance, then look at more stringy hiring processes or better training.
Here are some key KPIs on turnover:
= Voluntary departures/average of total employees x 100
Involuntary turnover rate
= Involuntary departures/average of total employees x 100
The average length of employment
= Combined total that all employees have worked at the company for (years) / total number of employees
Cost of turnover
= Sum of salary, software, training, time, etc
Why measure employee retention/turnover?
Employee turnover is expensive! Ask why they leave and it might reflect on the business – e.g. was the workload too much or was it the culture or work hours (flexibility), etc. According to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) research, direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50%-60% of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90% to 200% of annual salary.
According to LinkedIn, the average annual worldwide employee turnover rate is 10.9%. There’s some nice research on the hardest-hit industries for employee turnover. Therefore, businesses must work to improve employee retention.
Utilise ways of how to improve employee retention with digital screens. Help to reduce staff sickness, stressors, and burnout, too. Let’s get in HR’s good books.
After all, it costs more to replace employees over keeping existing ones happy.
If you have any questions about internal communications and improving employee retention with digital screens (for instance), ask one of our experts below.