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Analysis of staff retention; a five step plan

By James Bessant, 8th November 2016

In a recent blog, we looked at the true costs of poor employee retention. Before looking to implement wider, employee retention strategies, it is crucial to analyse the current state of play within the organisation. 

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Without knowing the business challenges which impact retention, you cannot guarantee that anything you implement will actually add value.

Creating a simple five step analysis plan

Following this straightforward planwill give you an outline to use when looking to analyse the current retention challenges within your entire organisation however its is just as suitable if you wish to focus within a segmented team or division.

 

1. Assess the overall business to ascertain staff turnover levels

  • Knowing these figures gives you a benchmark to work from across the whole business
  • Analyse over a consistent period; every 12 months over 3 years is a good timeframe

How to calculate staff turnover

  • Decide on the period you will assess for (typically annual but can be any length of time)
  • Find out the average number of employees within the business during this period
    • Eg. 120 staff at beginning & 136 staff at end (over 12 month assessed period)
    • 120 + 136 / 2 = 128 (average staff size)
  • To calculate the staff turnover of the business, you now divide the amount of leavers by the average staff size
    • Eg. 24 leavers in 12 month / 128 staff = 18.75% staff turnover

2. Segment every department / division and then assess each specific team’s current turnover levels

  • This is critical; without assessing each department, you cannot address retention issues which are specific to an isolated group within the business
    • Every team is different and an organisation could be stable around the 10% mark in all departments except one which hits 40%
    • Having this information allows for a targeted retention strategy specific to the team which is having problems
    • It also allows deeper analysis to be conducted to assess why other teams are stable but this one is not

3. Analyse who are the top performers within each department

  • How long have they worked within the organisation?
  • Identify why they have been committed to the organisation?
  • What has their career path looked like so far?
    • Your aim with this task is to know the strengths and weaknesses of a team and to assess who are key members of staff within your retention strategy
    • A great retention plan will motivate those who are succeeding to want to commit to the business on a longer-term basis but will also inspire under-performers to want to improve their own performance to show their value to the organisation

4. Critically analyse old employee exit interviews (start conducting these if they are not being done)

  • What specific issues did they highlight in their reasons for leaving the company?
  • Have these issues been addressed since that meeting?
    • Ex-employees leave a trail of information to glean from; if you are serious about improving retention levels, knowing and then acting on their feedback can have a significant impact to your existing team

5. Create an anonymous employee satisfaction survey and aim to get feedback from all departments

  • This task is designed to get to know how all your current employees are feeling
  • It should be anonymous to allow employees to give feedback with confidence so as not to impact their current standing in the organisation
    • Simple surveys can be created for free using services such as SurveyMonkey
    • Most importantly, do not take the feedback to heart; negative comments are almost more useful than positive ones when assessing employee satisfaction. If you do not know the issues you currently have, how are you supposed to resolve them?
    • Collate survey feedback to create a master list of ‘areas to improve’. Even working through this list before implementing wider-reaching retention strategies will immediately improve your work culture, which in turn will drive down long-term recruitment costs.

Where are you now?

If you have conducted this five step plan, you will now have all the following information:

  • Your overall staff turnover levels
  • Departmental staff turnover levels
  • A hierarchy of performance on a divisional level
  • A list of historical business issues highlighted by your old employees
  • Critical feedback from your existing team (positive and negative)

This data is invaluable in assessing many areas within your organisation. From the overall business culture to specific team issues, you will now be able start identifying why you are losing key employees which is driving up your total recruitment spend. With this information, you are now ready to start creating an employee retention strategy which can be focused on a micro (departmental) or macro (companywide) scale.

Download our latest eBook on 9 key areas to focus on to significantly improve your employee retention levels.

Tags: assign James Bessant, employer advice, employee retention, Employer,

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