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September 10

High turnover rate: labour shortage or poor employee retention?

In Quebec, there are fewer and fewer candidates available compared to the number of vacant positions.

No doubt about it: we are in a labour shortage. But is that a sufficient reason to justify higher and higher turnover rates?

In 2020, the Order of Human Resources Advisors’ HR Barometer indicated an average rate of 24% in Quebec. 

This means that, on average, each company loses 1 in 4 employees per year!

The workforce shortage can explain the difficulty of recruiting the right people and the competitiveness between employers. But that doesn't justify such a high leaving rate. 

What if we paid more attention to our employees?




7 ways to increase your employee retention rate

Rather than thinking about the number of people leaving the company, we could pay more attention to those who remain.

It is easier to spend to retain customers than employees. Yet, these are relationships that have the potential to last much longer!

In this article, you will find several tips and observations from Fanny Larocque, President and Headhunter for Agence Charlie. She tells us:

“In recruitment and even in HR, in 2021, we are talking about our employees as internal customers. What if we started by giving as much importance to our internal client as to our external client?"

Think about it. 

Your employees are at the heart of your activities and your organizational growth. They own and develop internal expertise. They bring the corporate culture to life and give it a purpose.

And if they are happy, they will be your best ambassadors to recruit new talents!

Here are 7 ways to mobilize your team and increase your employee retention rate.

1. Develop intrapreneurship among your employees

An intrapreneur is an individual who could be an entrepreneur but prefers to have a job and salary security. You can recognize them as intrapreneurs thanks to their visionary, creative and innovative profile. 

However, intrapreneurship must be part of the corporate culture for these people to flourish fully.

A development program that builds on agility, innovation, and leadership skills would be an excellent place to start! 

Intrapreneurs often have a very positive influence on their work environment since they are motivated and motivating. By investing in their enthusiasm, you could create a wave movement that will significantly impact your team.

Fanny Larocque adds: 

“When we wonder how to find an intrapreneur profile in our recruitment of new employees, we can immediately think of atypical profiles. 

These are types of people who do not have specific experience in your positions, either vertical experience in your industry or its growth. Still, a combination of skills crossed that can add value to your team.”

2. Take the pulse regularly to identify dissatisfaction

Many voluntary redundancies are caused by dissatisfaction at work, which often could have been avoided.

  • Are your employees satisfied with the management methods in place?
  • Do they lack motivation?
  • Would they like more recognition?

You can't guess the answers to these questions without asking your employees directly. You can do this with an anonymous survey, during one-on-one meetings or through your managers. 

By quickly identifying the pain points, it will be much easier to take action and improve the working atmosphere.

3. Invest in your organizational culture

What makes your employees love their jobs? 

Organizational culture plays a vital role in employees' sense of belonging to their employer. If it's not yet defined, you should document and bring your internal culture to life.

If you do so, involve your employees in the process. 

It might be a good idea to set aside a budget to fund some team activities, but leave the organization in the team’s hands!

Fanny Larocque illustrates this concept well:

“Your company is your body, but your culture is your heart. It is the one that brings your business to life from the inside, the one that attracts, retains and engages your team.”


4. Revise the working conditions (and not just the salary!)

Remuneration goes well beyond salary compensation.

As you review the working conditions of your employees, think about what you could do to improve their quality of life. It can be both at work and home!

To inspire you a little, here are 10 suggestions:
  • Possibility of working remotely 
  • Flexible hours
  • Bank of parental leave
  • Paid parking space or public transport
  • Loan of goods or equipment (car, cell phone, laptop, etc.)
  • Unlimited meals, snacks or coffee 
  • Reimbursement of sports activities
  • Time blocks and budget dedicated to continuous training
  • Participation in a significant event in their industry
  • Travel opportunities

Please note: not everyone has the same needs. 

So think about assessing which social benefits will have the most impact on your team. Again, a survey can help you find the correct information!

5. Create a better onboarding program

If your employees leave in the first few months of hiring, maybe your onboarding process needs a review. 

Why recruit the best candidates if you do not offer all the successful conditions for them to flourish in your company?

What is needed is to build an onboarding program that allows you to manage your resources better. This includes everything they can do before starting, in the first few weeks and the following months.

The integration of an employee lasts much more than 7 days - it can go up to 90 days and even more!

Fanny Larocque explains to us that onboarding is the final element in the recruitment process:

“It is often from week 6 and 7 after starting a new position that the 'honeymoon' ends. This is why having a program spread over 12 weeks makes it possible to train, structure, support and retain a new employee. 

Having meetings, follow-ups, listening to others and correcting irritants from the start allows prevention instead of cure.”

To have the best possible process, involve your recent recruits. Together, you can build a program that will make your new candidates fall in love with the team.

6. Welcoming and training young talents

Have you ever considered recruiting interns or young graduates?

We often think that we have to find the best experts to complete our teams, but young people have a lot to offer.

In addition to being freshly trained, they are often natural sponges eager to learn and grow. With the proper supervision and the space to grow, they can even become innovation vectors for the company.

Their overwhelming motivation can ripple through the rest of the staff. This breath of fresh air generally positively impacts mood, engagement, and happiness at work.

In short, consequences that will promote employee retention!

7. Hire the right people for the right positions

Recruiting too quickly can come with a lot of risks. 

Before taking action, you should always know:
  • What are the minimum skills needed to meet current needs?
  • What working conditions and career development opportunities are you able to offer?
  • What are personality traits essential to maintain team cohesion?

By asking yourself these questions in advance, you will better prepare your job posting and your recruitment process. 

For Fanny Larocque, a recruitment process has 6 key steps: 

“One of the first steps, the one that is essential to any recruitment, is understanding the need. Before even posting your position, sit down with the position's direct supervisor and the team to validate the skills, tasks and requirements you have to fill. 

Next, determine what type of personality could complement your team. Moreover, it is very likely that after a global pandemic, your job has somewhat changed, as well as your business needs. 

Subsequently, you can establish the 3 musts you need for this position. In the end, we strongly recommend that you create 1 or 2 personas for this position. 

When you meet people and recruit, you will hire the right resources according to your needs, and you will be less emotional about hiring someone who does not fit or who will not complete your team well. 

You are going to be able to hire the right person for the right job."

And that directly contributes to making your employees happier, more satisfied and more efficient.

Lower your turnover rate now!

You don't have to wait for the announcement of an upcoming employee departure to put one of these tips into practice.

If you invest sincerely in the well-being of your team, it should be easy to improve your employee retention rate!

Try to understand why those who stay do so. Find out why those who left did so. And above all, do what is necessary to ensure that the next recruits stay.

With that, you should already be on your way to creating a work environment that no one will want to leave!


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Marie-Hélène Couette

Digital Strategist at Didacte. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Marie-Hélène Couette has managed numerous business development, marketing and event projects in Quebec and on an international level. Through training and content creation, she wants to help entrepreneurs succeed and live from their passion.