How to retain your best people without having to increase salaries


How to retain your best people without having to increase salaries

Posted 20 October 2022

The ‘Great resignation’, ‘quiet quitting’, ‘record low unemployment’, and ‘the cost of living’ have dominated the hiring manager lexicon over recent months. As real wages continue to fall behind inflation, employers are under increasing pressure to increase the salaries of their people.

But what if this isn’t an option – what can businesses do to keep the talent they already have and still position themselves as an employer of choice?

Recruiting great talent has never been easy. Competition between businesses for the best people has always been intense and never more so than now. Indeed, the latest unemployment figures are the lowest for almost 50 years. This is great for the economy but not so for employers because candidates can effectively cherry-pick the roles they want.

However, to win the war for talent employers have a number of other weapons in their armoury that can be just as effective at attracting and retaining talent as offering a salary increase.

So, before you start to fear a talent exodus from your business because you are not in a position to boost your employee wages, stay calm. Here are three of the most powerful and effective ways that businesses can overcome the salary demands of employees and continue to be the employer of choice they have worked so hard to become:

Improve career progression opportunities

There is an imbalance between the number of people who make a sideways step when they move to another employer and those who do so to advance their career – the latter is by far the most common scenario. Salary will always be of primary concern for employees, but the desire to progress in their role is a very close second.

Identify those within your teams who have the potential to continue rising up the ladder and create the opportunities for them to realise their potential through training and mentoring schemes. Employees who are given a goal to work towards are more productive, motivated, and satisfied in their work.

How flexible are you really?

Hybrid working is here to stay, as is the desire among employees for greater flexibility in their work. Yet many employers continue to demand that their people work traditional set hours (such as 9-5) even when working remotely. That seems a rather dated working practice, and certainly doesn’t enamor employers to those workers with childcare commitments and other personal obligations.

Consider providing your people with the opportunity to work outside core business hours, compressed working weeks (such as a four-day week), part-time hours, or job share. Allowing for greater flexible working options has been shown to boost employee satisfaction and loyalty to their employer – without the need to boost their salary in the process.

Offer more time off

This may sound counter intuitive but giving your teams additional annual leave has a huge impact on how you are perceived as an employer of choice. The importance of having a good work-life balance cannot be understated. Nor can the growing number of employees who each year experience work-related stress.

By increasing the holiday allocation for your employees, the business can benefit by seeing a boost in staff wellbeing, fewer instances of absenteeism, and a healthier approach to work in that people who are rest also report being more productive and motivated. A proverbial ‘win-win’, we think!

Managing the question of salary is not always easy, so if you need some support on how best to tackle this tricky question then give us a call. White Horse has been helping businesses throughout the area since 1988 with their hiring needs and challenges. We’re here for you, too.

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