Employee retention – how good is yours?

How long should you expect employees to stay?

With the cost of recruitment sitting anywhere between £2,000-£7,250 per hire (median average – CIPD Resourcing & Talent Planning Survey 2015), the subject of how long someone should stay with your business is a really topical one – what is ‘average’ tenure and how long should you expect people to stay?

Retention statistics

In the US, The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the average time someone stays with a company is 4.6 years, and the latest AGR research suggests UK Graduates stay on average, 2.5 years after the end of their Graduate programme. According to the latest Deloitte Millennial survey, 1 in 4 Millenials would quit within the next year if an opportunity to do something else arose, rising to 44% within the next two years.

How to improve employee retention?

We already know that young people joining the workforce now, appear not to have the long-term career focus and company loyalty that previous generations have had, so is there anything organisations can do to increase tenure rates? (Aside from ensuring they remain competitive in the salary stakes that is).

We recommend open discussion about long-term plans

– being forewarned is being forearmed as the saying goes. During the recruitment process find out how long your new employee wants to stay in the role and work with them to make the best use of the time they spend with you. If you know from the get-go, that they are looking for progression after 12 months, then you can plan for this and enable it where possible, rather than keeping them in a role they’re unhappy with which will ultimately mean they leave.

Enabling ‘talk before you walk’ sessions as standard,

– you can normalise conversations about people’s intentions to leave. All too often people hand in their notice without mentioning anything to their employer about what it is that’s making them unhappy – when often you could have prevented it.

Implement retention interviews as standard

– if someone is having a wobble in the early few months you can pick this up really quickly through a retention interview and deal with it before it leads to them exiting. Also, by repeating retention interviews at the 6-9 month mark you can check in that their expectations continue to be met, and if not find out why not.

Continually managing expectations – is key suggests the AGR, along with frequent career path discussions. It’s also interesting to note from their research that longevity in post is increased where someone has worked for the organisation previously (eg. has completed an internship).


So tell us – how good is your employee retention?

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