Staff retention is a huge issue for almost any company – there are few things more important than keeping valued members of the team.
Conversely, losing key members of staff and suffering from low employee retention rates can be hugely damaging. Knowledge is lost, time is spent recruiting new arrivals and those coming in then naturally take time to become fully embedded.
In this post, we will look at why staff retention matters and then how offering workplace benefits can help stem the loss of key talent.

Why Staff Retention Matters

 Getting high quality new recruits is a challenge, once they have been identified and brought into the team it is important they stay. 
Just think what happens if staff retention is low. A key member of the team leaves, they have to be replaced. There is time spent writing a job spec, sorting through applications and then interviewing candidates – maybe interviewing them more than once.
After working a period of notice elsewhere, the new arrival then comes in, however talented and knowledgable they are it will take some time for them to get fully up to speed with practices at your place of work. 
Let’s say after a year they are truly embedded and doing superb work. The, six months later, they start getting itchy feet, there isn’t enough to keep then where they are.
They leave, the process is repeated.
That is just one employee, imagine it repeated across many employees, impacting whole departments and the overall business.
Of course, there will always be some turnover of staff and bringing fresh faces in might not be a negative. However, the company needs a degree of control, rapid staff turnover and low retention are problems that have a huge impact on overall productivity.
The exit of an experienced member of staff costs much more than you might think, there is the money that went into their training and development, money that will now have to be re-spent on someone else. A study by BenefitNews found that the cost of an experienced employee leaving was 33% of their salary – senior employees going costs tens of thousands of pounds.
There is also a real danger that poor employee retention rates suggest an overall level of dissatisfaction either with the work, a lack of sense of purpose, or the work environment.
Employees who enjoy the team they work in and feel there work is important are unlikely to leave, if they are leaving it suggests that this sense of purpose and being part of a team don’t exist.
Staff retention looks at the heart of an organisation – is it still somewhere that people want to work. Worse still, is it somewhere that people are actively looking to leave?
It might have once been that staff loyalty could almost be taken for granted; those days are long past. Employees, as has been shown in many surveys, want more than simply a salary in return for their time at work. They want a job with purpose and work that is both rewarding to do and for an employer they feel values them.
In this modern working environment, with employees wanting more from their work and employers no longer able to just assume staff loyalty more is required of employers. They need to work harder to get employees to stay but, if they can achieve this, the benefits of increased loyalty are huge.

The Benefits of Benefits

There are many ways to make staff feel valued. Salary certainly helps, so too do words of thanks and appreciation – especially when given genuinely for a specific reason.
Sharing in a common goal is important to many employees, ‘buying in’ to what the business is trying to achieve and seeing their role as important within this. A culture whereby every role is seen as important, that the overall goals would not be achieved without everyone’s input plays into this shared focus.
However, on a personal level, employees like to feel that their employer values them and rewards them beyond simply paying their wages. They want an employer who makes their life that bit easier.
This is where workplace benefits can have a huge role to play, these benefits demonstrate a commitment to the employee, they also help staff members both save money and often time. Benefits can also create an extra bond to the company, a link that will be painful to snap.
Even if an employee does not use a single benefit, the fact that they exist sends a positive message. 
They might not take advantage of reduced price gym membership, or a cycle to work scheme, or a discount club for High Street purchases or dining club to save on meals but they will still be aware they exist. The emails and information send a positive message – the company has arranged this benefit for you.
There should also be few, if any employees who are not using benefits. A suite of benefits is likely to include items that have something for everyone.
For working parents, a workplace nursery scheme can save them thousands of pounds. This partnership with a high quality local nursery sees nursery payments come out as a salary sacrifice, saving many thousands of pounds on tax and N.I. 
A parent gets the same great nursery care, only at greatly reduced cost. This benefit also makes it easier for parents to return to work, a key consideration – that whatever they earn is simply spent on childcare – is tackled.
Everyone has to get to work some how. Car parking schemes can be set up to provide a guarantee parking osage at reduced cost. A healthier option is a cycle to work scheme, this enabling the cost of a bike to be spread out and taken as a salary sacrifice.
Car leasing is also available as an employee benefit, again making it easy for people to find a great car and helping to keep the cost down.
Lifestyle benefits such as Dining Club, Discount Club and gym membership help employees save on things they would be looking to buy in any case. The gym discount scheme might be a reduced rate, again as a salary sacrifice, at a superb local facility. If several employees take advantage of this benefit it also helps boost team building – the gym becoming somewhere employees can socialise too.
A modern employer can provide a holiday exchange scheme, this allows employees to either buy or sell a week’s holiday per year. Employees who do not need the full allocation can sell a week, thus working an extra week and getting paid for their time.
Others might choose to buy a week’s holiday, this potentially helping with childcare over the summer holiday. Again, this is a benefit that does not negatively impact the employer (quite the opposite typically as it encourages people to plan holiday leave earlier) yet is of potentially huge benefit to an employee.
Mental health and staff wellbeing can be addressed through an Employee Assistance Programme. 
This is a 24/7 confidential resource employees can use to talk through any issues tat might be impacting their mental health and ability to work. Many employees find that this benefit shows that the employer cares for their wellbeing, they take a pastoral role rather than just seeing staff as people to turn up, work, clock off and get paid.
Can workplace benefits alone tackle all staff retention issues? Perhaps not. however, they are a key strategy in helping create a happy, fulfilled workforce and that in turn leads to greater staff retention. Oh, it also helps encourage quality new recruits too.

Setting Up Benefits

For the business, setting up workplace benefits should not be an administrative burden; it also should not be costly. Many of the benefits in fact lead to savings and reductions in N.I.
At Enjoy Benefits, we have many years experience setting up suites of benefits for a huge range of employers, working with them to create a benefits hub that best suits their employees.
The benefits are easy to manage and maintain, while you would also have a named personal account manager at Enjoy Benefits on hand at all times to answer any queries.
If you would like an informal conversation , please contact us by calling 0800 088 7315 or use our Contact Form.