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Human resources

Effective employee retention strategies – what to prioritise

Effective employee retention strategies – what to prioritise
Sabah Rafiq

By Sabah Rafiq

23 Jan 2023

It’s no secret that in 2023 the job market is competitive, not just amongst employees, but employers too. There may always be a company with ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ promises, which means the pressure is on to retain your best talent.

According to June 2022 employment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), unemployment continues to decrease (3.8%) while job vacancies between March and May 2022 reached a record high of 1.3 million.

Companies with a high turnover issue will also notice a negative financial impact due to cost of hiring and training, not to mention the tasking effect it has on current employees who may have to pick up extra tasks in the interim period, potentially leading to burnout.

So what can businesses do to ensure they retain their employees?

There are four ‘bullet-proof’ strategies that businesses should action, which will encourage a happy and healthy work place, making you a desirable employer. It’s important now more than ever that businesses employ progressive ways to address employment shortages, for example:

  • focusing on well-being, both physical and mental
  • encouraging flexible working
  • investing in skills, development and internal mobility
  • evaluating employee value proposition


Communication is key between management, HR and senior members of the team, when ensuring each employees wellbeing. There has to initially be a level of trust created to make employees want to come to you with their issues.

Fostering a positive firm attitude to wellbeing can be done through committees and internal groups, as well as external resources such as private health care, therapy sessions.

At Gerald Edelman, we partner with Work Life Well to provide all employees with a health and wellbeing academy that has resources and online classes for bettering physical and mental wellbeing. The team at Work Life Well also host monthly workshops on a different topic, sharing their expert knowledge and advice.

Acknowledging that both mental and physical wellbeing are valid.

Flexible Working

Post-pandemic workplaces have had to adapt to a more flexible working approach, which has arguably made working as a whole, more ‘human’.

It’s important to acknowledge that not all employees can be or want to be in the office five days a week – and that is okay!

Trusting your employees to do the job you hired them to do is a huge factor in this, which is why hybrid working is desirable.

Within this bracket also falls flexible working hours, which recognises the strain parents and carers may feel.

A work-life balance should be the norm, not a benefit.

Investing in your employees

The development and career progression you offer your employees will ultimately lead to a long and prosperous career. The excitement of learning new skills keeps the role fun and dynamic.

Providing opportunities for your employees to attend courses, conferences and seminars, as well as access to mentoring from senior to partner level colleagues, ensures the business stays progressive and industry leading. All the while feeding the original passion of the employee and motivating them within their role.

Investing in your employees also sets a clear trajectory for promotions, pay increases and responsibilities, along with regular discussions about progression.

Graduate schemes, such as traineeships, also help to bridge the talent gap, not only can they enable businesses to attract great talent from untapped pools, they also offer great benefits for both employers and employees, which translates into long-term talent retention.

Evaluating the employee value proposition

Recruitment managers should remember that employees are now looking at an array of elements beyond their salaries when it comes to selecting an employer, so the entire employee value proposition should be considered when advertising for employees, not just the pay cheque.

This can include:

  • Employment perks such as discounts, private health care, unmatched pension contribution
  • Cost of living crisis support
  • Employee retention bonus
  • Generous holiday allowance
  • Mentoring program
  • Regular team social activities

As well as focusing your strategy around why employees may choose to leave, it is equally as important to reflect on why employees may choose to stay.

There are certain things out of your control as an employer, like LinkedIn head hunters poaching your finest talent, but it’s the relationships, the company culture and the appreciation for every member of the team that will ultimately sway their decision to stay.

Transparency is key for this, getting a deeper understanding of your employee’s needs by asking questions like ‘what barriers can I remove for you, to help you achieve your goals’ or ‘what new thing do you want to learn that will excite you and help you grow?’

NatWest Mentor

Mentor’s specialist employment law and HR consultants are able to help and support every facet of a recruitment and retention process. This might include training, advice, or providing documents.

To learn more about our partnership with NatWest Mentor, click here.

To learn more about employee retention, the key challenges and how to solve them, download our upcoming eBook that will be released 25 January.


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