How to increase employee retention rate without breaking the bank

December 30, 2020


Did you know that Singapore and Malaysia are the top 2 countries in Asia with the highest turnover rate? Around 46% of Singaporeans and 38% of Malaysians are expected to leave their jobs in a year, according to a survey by Workday

With such a high turnover rate, the HR and organization owners are turning every stone in every corner to find out what exactly triggered their employees to leave. 

In exit interviews, your employees might say “better opportunity elsewhere” or “feel underappreciated” or “lack of management support”. 

Their answers can give you a clue on where to start fixing the low employee retention rate, but, there is another way to look at the problem.

What if you start reinforcing the reasons that made your employees stay? If your employees have strong reasons to stay, it’s highly unlikely they will even consider leaving the company, unless for good reasons. 

What you’re about to learn are 5 major reasons why employees stay and what you can do to reinforce each reason.

What is a healthy employee retention rate?

Before we get to the meat, let’s find out if you’re on a healthy employee retention rate or not. 

First of all, what is a healthy employee retention rate? You might think it’s 100%, meaning all employees stayed throughout the organisation’s lifetime. It’s actually unhealthy because new talents are not coming in to bring new changes, leading your organisation to stagnation.

In general, 90% of employee retention rate is considered healthy, meaning 1 in 10 people leaving your company is a good thing. But any lower than 70% is unhealthy for the organisation.

So, what is your organisation’s retention rate? Use the formula below:

(# of employees who stayed for the whole time period / # of employees at the start of the time period) x 100 = retention rate

Example: A resort has 80 employees on January 1. On December 31, 4 of their maintenance staff were let go and replaced.

(76/80) x 100 = 95% retention rate

If your retention rate is lower than 70% and you want to increase it to 90%, read on to find out what you can do about it.

5 reasons why employees stay and how to retain them

1) Clear onboarding process

According to a TinyPulse survey, 23% of employees are more likely to stay if their managers clearly explain their roles and responsibilities right from the start. Employees who are left hanging to figure out their own day-to-day tasks and questioning whether they’re meeting your expectations could feel demotivated easily and experience multiple miscommunication issues with their managers. 

What can you do?

Find out which employee didn’t have a complete onboarding process and arrange one-to-one meetings with their managers to reset job roles, expectations, and outcomes.

Review and improve your existing onboarding process. Be sure to include clear job roles and responsibilities, outcome expected, company culture, logistical guides, and expectations.

2) High trust culture

Chances are, millennials comprise 75% of your workforce already. This means, having a high trust culture in your company is a key factor in retaining millennials. In fact, millennials are 22x more likely to work and stay in a company with a high trust culture.

What is a high trust culture?

It’s a company environment where employees feel safe, not pressured into doing things they don’t want to do, management is transparent, and they feel trusted to carry out their tasks.

What can you do?

Creating a high trust culture is a time-consuming effort but rewarding at the end. You can refer to the 7 steps below as your guide:

  1. Define your company's purpose and connect people to it.
  2. Trust and empower employees to do their job.
  3. Give employees a voice.
  4. Showcase the customer.
  5. Make your workplace a community.
  6. Recognise employees' contributions.
  7. Make "giving back" part of your brand.

3) Managers who appreciate & support

Have you heard of the adage: Employees leave bosses, not jobs? 

Turns out the adage still holds true to this day. Around 70% of employees voluntarily left their jobs because of their managers. 

On the other side of the coin, employees are 5x more likely to stay when their managers acknowledge them for good work. And they’re 8x more likely to stay when their managers help them manage their workload consistently, though many claimed their managers failed to do so.

What can you do?

Train and encourage your managers to:

  • Acknowledge and appreciate their subordinate’s work and positive behaviours
  • Manage their subordinate’s workload consistently (e.g, delegate appropriate levels of tasks, give sufficient time, or provide support and guidance).

4) Better benefits package

What benefits you offer is more important than you think. 

More than half of US employees said whether or not they like their health benefits is a key factor in deciding to stay in their current jobs. And great benefits packages encourage 25% of employees to remain in their jobs. 

The data reminded us of a key factor in employee retention: competitive benefits package. 

But which benefit can help you increase the employee retention rate the most?

Ranked from most effective:

  1. Salary boost
  2. More comprehensive health benefits
  3. Retirement benefits
  4. Transportation allowances
  5. Education and training
  6. Customised benefits (find out how to create personalised benefits plan here)

What can you do?

Improvise your existing benefits package (monetary and non-monetary) or get a free consultation from our Benefits Specialists on how you can improve your benefits package to attract and retain more employees.

5) Flexible and remote work

A company that ties its employees with time-and-location chains will have a 25% higher turnover rate than those who support flexible and remote work. 

This is because employees want to avoid the commute, save time, and they found working remotely increases their productivity and focus. Not to mention, remote workers are 29% happier than their on-site counterparts. Organisations that hire remote workers also spend 33% less time than hiring on-site workers. 

In short, by enabling flexible and remote working as an option for your employees, you save hiring time, enjoy increased productivity, and make your employees happy. It’s a win-win for all. 

What can you do?

There are a few steps you need to take to make your business fully remote. If you’re sceptical, select a group of employees, test remote working with them, and evaluate them closely. Slowly test and improvise and expand the number of employees along the way.

Summing it up

Fixing the problems that are causing your employees to leave is not the only way to improve low employee retention rate. Looking at what makes them stay is also a great way to retain and attract more employees. 

The things you can do today to improve your employee retention rate are:

  1. Create and execute a clear onboarding process for everyone
  2. Enable flexible and remote work as an option
  3. Train and encourage managers to appreciate and manage their subordinate’s workload consistently
  4. Offering better benefits packages customised for every employee
  5. Having a high trust culture in the company

If you’re unsure how to make use of your existing benefits to retain more employees, get a free consultation from our Benefits Specialists.

About Mednefits:

Mednefits helps businesses take care of their employees with its automated, affordable, and accessible employee benefits platform. Request to join Mednefits for free to help process and track claims in real-time, while controlling costs.

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