Staff retention is an important factor in the continuing success of your business; keeping the best people for the job ensures the smooth running day to day, and lowers costs long-term.
Poor staff retention can mean more time and money spent on recruitment, employees tend to feel less secure and have lower morale in a workplace where colleagues frequently change, and it can lead to a lack of expertise and specialist knowledge.
So, if your staff are frequently moving to pastures new, then it’s perhaps time to consider why this is the case, and look at ways to avoid it in the future.
1. Build a Retention Strategy
Those companies where staff retention is high have one main thing in common – they all have a retention policy at the heart of their business.
Employee welfare, happiness and satisfaction is held in high regard, and helps keep the focus on ensuring they feel valued, nurtured, challenged and rewarded.
If you don’t have a retention policy in place already then it is worth considering reviewing this.
Retention policies don’t have to be expensive, and definitely aren’t only for huge corporations, even small businesses can create simple plans using techniques that include the following elements:
• Celebrating failures, alongside achievements, with monthly ‘celebration assemblies’ where staff can come together to celebrate their achievements and discuss what they’ve learnt from their failures. Encouraging staff to take risks, by not shaming their failures, will instil a sense of security and safety which promotes work satisfaction
• Work/home balance is tricky to get right. When we’re at work we can’t complete all those day-to-day chores that pile up at home so many companies choose to give an extra half-day monthly holiday to staff, offer a free monthly home cleaning service, or allow an early finish on Friday to facilitate the completion of these chores. This encourages a greater work/home balance which in turn nurtures wellbeing and makes staff feel valued.
• Team building exercises, that actually take place within working hours, can help with low morale, conflict resolution and encourage a balanced state of mind. Try adding a ‘Teamwork Tuesday’ into the working week where employees are encouraged to take a morning break for half an hour in order to play games or complete team exercises such as, scavenger hunts, the mine field, blind drawing, office yoga, and so on, which can all be performed in less than half an hour, either indoors or outside and require limited equipment.
A good staff retention strategy doesn’t have to cost the earth but is in place to ensure that staff feel appreciated, understood, and rewarded for their efforts.
2. Training, Job Satisfaction and Staff Retention
Job satisfaction is another aspect to consider in staff retention. However, being satisfied in your job isn’t just about how much you’re are being paid or which company car you have.
Satisfaction is the fulfilment of one’s expectation or needs, and the ensuing pleasure that is derived from this, so simply getting paid at the end of each month isn’t usually enough to encourage staff satisfaction.
Consider creating staff packages that encourage training and continued professional development opportunities, alongside competitive pay, as this motivates high achievers, challenges and rewards employees, offers the chance for progression, and teaches transferable skills, all while ensuring your staff are up-to-date with technology, and job-specific skills such as, finance and compliance.
Training can be offered either as ‘classroom’ based or e-learning courses, which then can either be completed during work hours or in an employee’s own time, so that individuals can work at their own pace when possible.
Training also offers a wider scope for promotion within a firm, so be sure to have clear targets and progression paths for all employees so they can focus on their targets within the firm rather than looking elsewhere for greater success.
It is a good idea to use a professional training company that offers structured, accredited courses so that staff can see your investment in them and gain recognition for their efforts.
3. Communication, Empathy and Cultural Awareness
Today’s global workforces require different management skills than previously utilised. Leaders must be able to communicate effectively, understand cultural differences, and empathise with employees if they wish to encourage a high staff retention.
Communication is critical in understanding what drives motivation, how individuals or multicultural teams are progressing, what staff feel is lacking from the workplace, what issues or problems have been encountered, or why employees are choosing to leave.
If those in management positions are not effective at communicating required objectives, how can their colleagues understand or achieve these?
Training management to understand the importance of good communication, by encouraging regular 1-2-1 meetings, feedback opportunities, and operating an open company culture where collective creativity and collective responsibility is valued and supported, will ensure employees feel they are considered, valued and respected.
Remember, sometimes all it takes is a word of praise or a sincere ‘thank you’ at the end of a tough day to make someone feel appreciated and ready to do it all again the next day with renewed drive and enthusiasm!