“I had a great salesman/service rep/accounts team, but they left.” It is a common statement – retaining good staff is an ongoing battle and one that can be won with strategic management of matters employees value most.
There is a common belief paying more or offering “incentives” will keep staff loyal, but this is a simplistic view that will not always work. It would be difficult to find an employer who has not paid above the average rate for a key staff member only to see them walk away soon after.
Staff retention is a complex issue – reducing your staff turnover can require careful management of all of the following and more:
- Pay rates
- Flexible arrangements
- Fair and transparent KPIs and regular reviews
- Clear goals and personal development pathways
- Recognition for achievements
- Awareness of current business activities
- Opportunities to “step up”
- Opportunities to see ideas actioned
- Incentives the staff actually want
- Balanced and pleasant work environment
- Clarity on policy and procedure
- Recruitment processes
Recruitment processes, seems an odd one, right? Not so. Recruiting the right staff members can also help with retention rates and is arguably the most important retention strategy available.
That hotshot new appointment may well stay on for years, but their selection could cause rifts in the workplace that see numerous other staff leave, over time. To avoid that particular issue, it is important to recruit with a mind to both ability and the likelihood of the new recruit fitting into the company culture.
Likewise, it is important to ensure your existing staff feel valued, know where they stand, know where the company is heading and that staff benefits are utilised. In many cases, you can simply ask your staff which perks they would like and try to incorporate their preferences into the workplace. It could be as simple as offering a choice of coffee brands in the tea room, or offering flexible start and finish times. A half day off each month the budgets are met may be all the motivation staff need to stay on… but you won’t know unless you ask them.
Offering staff opportunities to take ownership of projects and step up to show their capabilities assists greatly with staff feeling valued as an employee. A genuine recognition of achievements goes a long way too.
When wages, work environment, career development, incentives and communication of work-related matters are all in balance, you have the best chance of maintaining a team of happy and retained staff.
A professional HR firm, such as JP Smith, can help you get the balance right and ensure more effective staff retention for your business.