This is now the time for employees to make their move.

They have worked in poor environments, received low pay rises and put up with pressures and high levels of stress during the recession. As the markets are picking up retention of employees should now become the focus for organisations, particularly as the competition for talent continues to heat up. Although a moderate level of employee turnover can be good for an organisation, we all need to have a strategy in place to retain the high performers that give us that competitive edge.

Organisations need to be proactive and start finding out why their people are leaving in order to formulate policies and structures to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve. Otherwise, employee turnover will continue to rise which comes at a significant cost. This cost if often underestimated because there are many hidden costs of employee turnover which organisations do not take into account. These include:

  • The time spent in recruiting – including the time spent by senior management interviewing candidates
  • Time and budget spent in training and developing new employees
  • Costs associated with overworked employees making up for missing team members
  • Impact on the morale of remaining employees

So what can we do?

Are you paying your employees the right salaries? If so, are you able to back this up with tangible data? Organisations need to start understanding and using market data rather than relying on their ‘gut feeling’ when making pay decisions. Even if the data validates what you already know it gives your managers peace of mind when making pay decisions or when those decisions are challenged.

Although it is important to get the pay right there is a lot more you need to do to stop your employees from leaving. Contrary to popular belief, most employees do not leave their job in search of more money. Although pay is an important element of employee retention there are several other factors that have a significant impact on employee turnover. These include:

While it’s good to have market data, it’s more important to have your own data and know what your people are looking for. Look at your employee feedback processes as this information will enable you to concentrate on maintaining what you do well and improve on things that you are not doing so well. Start investing in things that are important to your employees and stop investing in other areas that are ineffective or unimportant to them.

You want to create an open and fair environment but at the same time it’s important that you find ways to recognise and reward your top performers. Celebrate your achievements and provide immediate feedback on work well done and make it personal. Ultimately it comes down to the managers in your organisations. After all, we all want to work with a leader who appreciates our efforts and takes the time to develop and inspire us.

Get in touch with us at to discuss your reward and retention challenges.

Read more about setting a winning retention strategy –

Creating a sense of purpose

Gen Z at work: Purpose over pay

3 Top tops to reduce turnover