Smart Group - Electric Xmas
Emirates Old Trafford
The Meetings Show

Top 5 employee retention tips


Gareth Hoyle, Managing Director of Marketing Signals shares his top tips for employee retention. All quotes by Gareth.

Over the past couple of years, work has changed for businesses across the globe. This change, at times, hindered the ability to keep employees satisfied and to want to stay employed within their company. This phenomenon of so many people leaving their jobs after the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns became an ongoing economic trend coined, “the great resignation”.

HR leaders and Managing Directors need now more than ever to create strategies to positively impact employee retention and to avoid the ramifications of a high staff turnover. At Marketing Signals, we’ve implemented a range of methods that have retained top talent, improved morale and established an engaged company all while working remotely. Here’s how we do it:

Four day working week

The business transitioned to a four-day-week nearly three months ago. The catalyst for the move came from the rise in cost of living, which led to an employee asking for a change in working hours due to rising childcare costs. This new model of work focuses on quality not quantity and revolutionises the future of work. We already measured our teams based on output, not attendance, prior to moving to a four-day-week, and continue to work flexi-time with our daily hours. This move has given my team the freedom to enjoy life, while improving their wellbeing. A good work/life balance is the key to a happy and healthy workforce which leads to loyalty, ultimately helping our business grow.

Flexible working policy

Our flexible working policy means everyone can take some time out when they need to, and this applies to myself too. I always encourage my employees to go for a walk and stretch their legs. Although our mantra is “work from anywhere”, most of the team work from home which can start to take its toll on your mental health if you don’t take regular breaks, so I’m happy for my team to close their laptops whenever they need to. Whether it’s to go for a walk, pick the kids up, take a long lunch or just switch off.

Doing this helps improve my employees’ wellbeing and work/life balance by making sure that everyone is taking the time they need to relax out of hours. It actually improves motivation too, as employees feel more refreshed and well-rested at work.

Communication is key

When working predominantly from home, it’s important to remember to keep in touch. Being present also helps you to create a workplace culture built on openness and collaboration, which is essential in any remote or in-person office.

While being present in day-to-day meetings reminds your team that you’re there, make sure you’re having dedicated check-ins with your colleagues too. This will help make sure you’re able to provide support if needed. This could take the form of a one-on-one video call or simply be a monthly review with smaller groups. Having a meeting that’s designed for giving feedback can make employees more likely to contribute honestly without feeling like they’re wasting time. It can also be great for a brainstorming session!

Be an open and transparent

We have an open door policy so all employees can come to me and chat about anything whether it’s work-related or personal, and it will be treated in confidence. It’s imperative that senior members of staff ensure that they’re not an absent manager. For some businesses there might be a lack of face-to-face contact, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop a formal structure that makes regular contact a priority. Ensuring every individual at each location has what they need to be successful, whilst making yourself available when they need additional support is vital. This will ultimately help keep employees autonomous and ensure they feel supported and heard, which is essential for employee retention.

Encourage socialising with weekly quizzes

Encouraging your team to chat with one another outside of work hours can boost morale and help build better relationships. Whether it’s a virtual quiz or a video call with some drinks, I think it’s important for my team to feel like they know each other outside of the workplace. We all take part in a weekly quiz with a leaderboard, which helps build a sense of community within the team despite working remotely and helps us get to know each other a little better. Those taking part in the quiz donate money at the start of the year and at the end, the money is all donated to Mind, the mental health charity.

But it’s not just social events that can improve our wellbeing. After the weekend, we all make sure we’re catching up on calls to ask how it went to develop a more personal connection and make sure we’re not always focused on work. While it’s not always possible or practical to build small-talk into meetings, make sure you’re seizing the chances you have to make sure everyone is ok.

Read about how the four day working week changed a young dad’s life