The Life Science job market is becoming even more competitive and candidate-driven in 2022. With The Great Resignation already making an impact in the industry, and with 67% of candidates feeling either confident or very confident with finding a new employer, improving your employee retention this year should be a priority.
In this article, we outline 8 things you can do to improve your employee retention in 2022, focusing on what you can do beyond offering a competitive salary and benefits package to stay ahead in the fight for the best talent…
Hire the Right People
If you want your new hires to stay, then you need to make sure you’re bringing the right people onboard. During the interview process, do the following:
- Be upfront with candidates about the role’s expectations
- Ask questions to assess cultural fit, and give candidates the opportunity to meet different employees
- Make your company culture shine on your social media and careers pages to give candidates a clear image of what a career with you would look like
Remember that it’s not all about finding candidates with the best qualifications and experience. You need to make sure your new hires fit in well with your company culture too if you want them to stay.
Improve Your Onboarding Process
To stop new hires leaving early, make sure you have a structured and meaningful onboarding programme in place and stick to it. During the first few weeks of a new hire starting, it’s just as important to focus on integrating them into their team as it is to teach them everything they need to know about the role and company.
An employee’s engagement is at its highest when they start a new role, so having an effective onboarding process will help to maintain this engagement.
Offer Competitive Remuneration and Benefits Packages
Salary will always be one of the most important reasons an employee stays or leaves, with 22% of candidates listing it as the most influential factor. However, it’s not all about offering the highest salary on the market. Your focus should also be on creating a package that directly appeals to the needs of all employees.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen employees place more importance on benefits such as flexible working and health and wellbeing support than in previous years. Being able to adapt your packages alongside evolving needs is key.
Create More Opportunities for Learning and Progression
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of employees’ career development on pause, with 35% of employees feeling concerned that the pandemic has impacted progression opportunities with their current employer. Employees are now looking to see their careers continue to progress and want an environment that allows them to do this.
Create more opportunities for learning and give employees a say in the direction they want their career to move in. Encourage more internal mobility within your organisation, create an environment where employees can talk openly about their evolving interests, and open up more opportunities for shadowing and mentorship to encourage skill sharing.
For every 10 months an employee stays in a position, their chances of resigning increase by 1%. Employees who want to learn and progress are the exact types of people you want on your team, so don’t lose them to organisations with more opportunities for development.
Recognise and Reward Employees
After a particularly tough 2 years which has put many Life Science employees under huge amounts of pressure, now is the time to be looking at how you recognise and reward employees. Having a set recognition scheme in place and keeping performance reviews consistent are key in making sure employees feel heard and valued.
You can improve employee recognition by:
- Giving out monthly/annual rewards
- Encouraging employees to nominate their colleagues for a reward and to thank them for their work
- Broadcasting employee accomplishments in newsletters/town hall meetings
- Ensuring recognition is given at all levels
Ensure Employees aren’t Overworked
According to a recent CIPD survey, 60% of respondents reported that employees in their organisation work outside of their contracted hours to get work done, with 37% having seen employees use allocated time off (e.g., annual leave) to work.
Overworking employees increases the risk of mistakes, burn out, and reduced productivity and motivation. It can also have a detrimental impact on the health of employees, both mentally and physically. Although working extra hours is sometimes necessary, it shouldn’t be made a permanent part of your working culture.
It can be hard for employees to admit that they’re struggling with their work, so take an active role in making sure they’re not being overworked. Look out for employees who are constantly logging off late or not using up their holiday and find ways of supporting them going forward. This can be anything from encouraging everyone to use up their holiday to increasing headcount.
Look After Employee Health and Wellbeing
Employees need more support with their mental and physical wellbeing than ever. In a Randstad survey, out of 35% of respondents who contracted COVID-19, 28% said they didn’t receive any support from their employer. Given that 64% of workers would decline a job offer if the employer didn’t have clear COVID-19 protocols in place, it’s vital for employers to embrace COVID-19 safety measures if returning to the office.
Employees are expecting more empathy from employers in 2022. Here’s what you can do to look after employee health and wellbeing:
- Embrace COVID-19 safety measures (e.g., social distancing and mask-wearing)
- Ensure employees working remotely have a comfortable work set up
- Encourage employees to take part in mental health workshops and improve access to mental health resources
- Offer subsidized private healthcare and access to other out-of-hours services
- Encourage employees to keep fit (e.g., through monthly challenges)
Embrace Remote Working and Improve Flexibility
Now that employees have proven they can do their jobs effectively regardless of where they work, they are now expecting more flexibility moving forwards. 51% of candidates are seeking more flexibility in their working hours, yet only 17% of workers would definitely feel comfortable asking for this.
Employees no longer want to have to fit their life around their job, and instead want a job that fits in with their life and gives them greater control over their work-life balance. Encourage employees to work in the ways that suit them, and that helps them to get the most out of their working hours. Remember that everyone works differently, and so a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to be effective. Listen to your employees’ needs and help them manage their workload in a way that’s most productive for everyone.
Improve Your Talent Attraction…
Remember that everything you implement into your employee retention activities will also help you when attracting new talent and positioning yourself as an employer of choice.
When it comes to keeping employees happy, communication is key. Every piece of feedback you collect from your employees can be put into creating a working environment that benefits everyone, regardless of where and how they work.