Workplace Retention: 10 Tips to Retain Valuable Talent

Employee turnover is a huge expense for any business. According to Gallup, “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary.” A worker that makes $40,000 a year could cost a business up to $80,000 to replace. With the high cost of turnover, anything you can do to improve workplace retention is well worth the investment.

Use our top 10 tips to keep your employees delighted by their place of employment for many years to come.

1. Assist Personal and Career Goals

Help your employees reach their goals. What steps can you as an employer take to help them reach those goals? Ask your employees about their own personal and professional goals and communicate with them regularly about their progress as well as what they want to accomplish next. Encourage your employees every step of the way and celebrate each small success as a team.

2. Provide a Way Up

Don’t let your employees feel stagnant in their work. To keep employee interest, ensure you are clear about how they can advance in your company. Be as transparent as possible about your advancement process. How and when can an employee advance? What steps do they need to take to get there? As an employer, do what you can to help your employees move up in your own business so that they’re not looking for opportunities elsewhere.

3. Pay Above Industry Standards

Although monetary compensation isn’t everything, it does count for something. People want to be paid fairly and they will know if they’re not being paid what they’re worth. At a minimum, make sure you are hitting industry averages to illustrate to employees that you value their work.

You can view salaries by job title in Australia using Pay Scale’s Job Index. The resource gives AU average salaries as well as hourly rates for hundreds of different jobs.

4. Invest in Healthy Lifestyles

Workplace health and safety is vital to retaining top talent. Demonstrate to your employees and community that your company has more on its mind than just the bottom line. Employees don’t want to stay with a business that doesn’t respect or nurture their wellbeing, and a workforce that’s healthy is to the benefit of the employer as much as it is to the employee.

  • Reward healthy lifestyles and improvements to employee health.
  • Allow and encourage standing or walking meetings.
  • Limit sedentary behaviour by encouraging breaks and lunches away from desks.
  • Invest in standing desks for offices.
  • Implement health and wellness programs that educate employees on the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.

WHA offers a variety of workplace and corporate health services to help you optimise the health and wellbeing of your team. Our health and wellness programs are designed based on leading industry data and are tailored to meet the specific needs of your organisation.

5. Invest in Mental Health

According to a study by HeadsUp.org, “1 in 5 (21%) Australians have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy.” That statistic more than doubles to 46% when employees feel like their work environment itself is mentally unhealthy.

Talent won’t stay with your company if it’s taking an overwhelming toll on their mental health. Promote an understanding work environment, one that encourages, enables, and facilitates mental wellness. Empower your employees to seek the help they need, and reap the benefits of a workforce that is healthy, productive, and motivated.

6. Provide Routine Health Checks

Provide routine health checks for your employees. Health assessments can identify workplace injuries or illness, as well as signs of mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Employees have a better opportunity to combat and manage health issues when they are detected early. If a health issue is found, it can be addressed immediately.

The symptoms of aging and the accompanying adverse health effects are only going to become more widespread as the Australian workforce continues to age. 15% of Australians are 65 or older. Experts expect that percentage to increase by at least 5% within 20 years.

Help your employees manage their health and general wellness throughout their long employment with you. Ongoing employee health checks make it clear to your employees and their families that the physical and mental health of your workforce will always be valued and prioritized.

💡 Learn more in [The Importance of Employee Health Checks](https://wha.net.au/news/importance-employee-health-checks.

WHA offers comprehensive medical assessments using a proprietary software that manages the entire medical from booking to processing to delivering your results. Learn more about our employment medical services available at our facilities across Australia and New Zealand, or on-site for your convenience.

7. Team Building Activities

Establish a team dynamic that people want to be a part of. Prioritizing team building can help your business boost morale, increase collaboration, and improve engagement in the workplace.

Businesses can encourage team building through:

  • Learning opportunities. (Ask your team what skills they’d like to learn. Learning opportunities don’t need to be directly connected to the work. Try a yoga session, photography class, or art lesson.)
  • Catered team meals. (Food brings people together!)
  • Celebrating success. (Have some fun. Consider a cake, party, meal out, or other celebration the entire team can share in.)

When employees feel like they are part of a cohesive team, they won’t want to give that up so easily.

8. Thorough Onboarding Process

An onboarding process ensures everyone is on the same page from day one. It’s a chance to ask questions and a chance to get to know other team members.

Let your employees ease into their new position. Starting a new job is intimidating because there’s so much to take in all at once. A thorough onboarding process gives new employees the opportunity to learn what’s expected of them and how your company operates.

9. Prioritise Work-Life Balance

It’s good for your employees to love their work, but it’s not so good if work is all they have time for. 2018 research reveals 2.4 million Aussies fail to take leave for over a year, and many of those individuals experienced burnout as a result of not taking enough leave.

Burnout can come at a significant cost to employers. When employees experience burnout, they can become unmotivated and are more likely to make mistakes on the job. This can turn into a lack of enthusiasm for their work and may get them thinking about other opportunities.

💡 Signs of Fatigue in the Workplace: How to Prevent and Manage Symptoms.

Establish a work environment that values a balance between work and play. Mandatory vacation can ensure everyone receives the break they deserve. Ensure your business supports time off and that your office culture makes that possible. Just because employees are allowed vacation days doesn't mean they will feel comfortable taking them, especially if they see those working around them not taking time off.

Review your vacation and overtime policies to make sure they promote and encourage a balance between your employees’ work and home life.

10. Offer Flexibility and Remote Opportunities

A Hays survey found 73% of Australian employees value flexible working, ranking above career progression opportunities (72%), ongoing learning & development (59%), and more than 20 days’ annual leave (28%).

A flexible work environment is fast becoming the top concern among Australians when it comes to their career. By breaking free of the mundane 9-5 work culture, you demonstrate to your employees that your business is one to stick with.

You can give your employees more flexibility by offering:

  • Extended lunch breaks
  • Work-from-home Fridays
  • Flexible hours
  • Allocated time off for physical activity
  • Yearly or monthly “no questions asked” mental health days

The ability to work from home one or two days a week can make a significant difference in the life of an employee who has a particularly long commute, or one who is caring for an elderly loved one or infant. Flexible hours and the option to work remotely adds balance to your employees’ personal lives and shows that you trust your team. It’s a sign of mutual respect and could be the deciding factor for an employee who is choosing between staying with your company or finding more flexible employment elsewhere.

Workforce Health Assessors offers comprehensive pre-employment, pre-placement, and periodic medical assessments tailored to the needs of your business. We organise, perform, and report on all health assessments and medicals to help you determine the suitability of candidates for your business and mitigate risks in the workplace. Our tests are carefully designed and vary depending on the specifications of the role a candidate will fill. Learn more about our pre-employment medical services, ongoing employee health checks and other health assessment services.

Continue Supporting Your Workforce

Whether you struggle to fill positions or you’re looking to boost the quality of your applicants, use our Top 10 Tips to Attract the Best Talent.

The high cost of workplace turnover can negatively affect your business. Before you make a decision, read our 10 Things to Consider in Your Next Hire.