Four ways employee wellbeing can improve retention

An employee’s state of mind impacts his or her capacity to perform tasks, produce quality work and achieve desired outcomes. Research suggests that happier people are 12 percent more productive, thereby positively impacting their performance and enhancing engagement. This win-win business scenario lies at the heart of how engaged employees accelerate business growth, whilst employers retain high-performing talent.




Unfortunately, reality attests to the rarity of this ideal scenario. A 2017 report by the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) found that one in ten employees voluntarily left their jobs, indicating the notable attrition rate affecting Australian businesses. These figures varied by state and industry. New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded a higher attrition rate at 10.8 percent, whilst organisations operating within the IT, Business and Finance industries experienced the highest employee turnover rates.

The National Salary Survey 2017 pegged the average cost to rehire an employee at AUD$23,753. This means Australian businesses are losing hundreds and thousands of dollars each year in rehiring costs.


Keep wellbeing at the core

The concerning outcomes of the IML’s report were factors attributed to high attrition rates. Employees leaving organisations to seek new opportunities and challenges elsewhere topped the list of reasons for exiting an organisation. This signals a disconnect between an employee’s career aspirations and the limited opportunities for professional growth and progression available at their employer.

Whilst this is only one aspect of improving overall employee wellbeing, it is recommended that businesses approach their retention strategy with a mission to cultivate happy and productive workplaces.

Get it right with onboarding

An engaging and compliant onboarding process is a critical first step. An onboarding process that equips and empowers employees correlates to increased productivity in the initial days. It’s also an excellent opportunity for companies to nurture a sense of wellbeing from day one.

An open, transparent and seamless onboarding experience provides new employees with insight into the business, its people, policies & procedures and overall company culture. Employers can leverage their onboarding process to understand the career aspirations and working styles of new employees, whilst providing essential tools to optimise their performance.

Advanced digital onboarding platforms offer powerful capabilities for businesses to customise their onboarding experience, automate the end-to-end process and eliminate hours of paperwork that manual onboarding entails.

Track career goals

As technology disrupts the status quo and creates new opportunities, job functions and the skills required to perform them continue to evolve. Employees who feel stagnated in their roles tend to look elsewhere in order to seek avenues where they can fast-track career growth. It becomes essential, therefore, for employers to have open conversations with employees in relation to their career goals and aspirations at every step.

Identifying gaps between an employee’s current role and his/her career objectives helps employers to be strategic about their approach to retaining staff through upskilling, retraining or re-assigning high-calibre team members within the organisation.

Create a culture of learning and development

The rapidly changing digital landscape accounts for the departure of high-performing organisations from the standard mode of offering training and development at intervals. Instead, they are shifting their approach by making learning and development programs proactive, ongoing and accessible, complemented by open and transparent performance review and feedback mechanisms.

The Deloitte Millennial Survey report found that while more than 44 percent of Millennials were in leadership positions, most believed they received little to no development opportunities. Millennials also felt sidelined, with only “28% believing that their organisation was taking full advantage of their skills”.

Unlike legacy systems, cloud-based HRIS platforms with end-to-end capabilities – such as Flare HR – enable organisations to implement seamless training and development modules for their employees. This allows employers to simplify, yet personalise, performance reviews; whilst providing transparent feedback, and identifying ongoing training needs.

Secure financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing is intrinsically linked to an employee’s overall feelings of security, happiness and dignity. Perceived insufficiency in financial rewards lead to higher attrition rates; thereby, increasing staff turnover and hiring outlays. So, it’s imperative for businesses to identify how they can enhance their employees’ financial wellbeing.

Financial education related to various components of their salary and rewards package – including superannuation, insurance and benefits – is an invaluable offering employers can deliver to their staff. In turn, employees can see how their organisations contribute to their long-term savings and rewards; thereby, positively impacting their wellbeing and quality of life.

Another approach to improving the financial wellbeing of employees is to offer rewards and discounts tailored to employee preferences. This adds value to their salary package, whilst delivering the further benefit of increased employee satisfaction.

Move beyond employee wellbeing to employee evangelism

A happy and productive workplace nurtures employees into lifelong ambassadors for your organisation. Not only will they be inclined to continue and grow in their role, but to also recommend the organisation to other high-calibre professionals within their network.

Recommended resource: We’ve put together a complimentary guide for you on “Employee Benefits: Talent magnet or Necessary cost?“; prepared by CEB’s International HRD Forum and Flare HR.


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