High staff turnover essentially means companies are forced to duplicate their time, money and resources. HR researchers predict that in 2018, the UK turnover rate would have reached 18%, which is over one million more leavers compared to 2012! It is then not surprising to learn that the topic of employee retention is high on the agenda of business owners.
From Fortune’s 500 to your local businesses, all of the best companies appreciate that the people behind their brand are the reason for their success.
To keep employees, you have to keep them happy, one way or another. I cannot place enough emphasis on the importance of effective communication when creating a work environment that people enjoy. As a manager, you should be willing to listen to the opinions of your employees. Encourage them to speak up, and when they do, value what they say.
Remember, you should be worried when employees turn silent, not when they vocally challenge the status quo. Communication is such an undervalued management tool, and yet, neglecting it is one of the quickest ways to push people out of a company.
I recently heard of a solicitors firm who have initiated a mentor scheme. The scheme involves employees being paired up with senior management. It appears to be a simple programme but I can only imagine the positive impact it has – not only is it likely to facilitate an openness to raise concerns, but it also helps eradicate the hierarchy that so often invites isolation.
Holding regular reviews is another great way to check in with employees. Regardless of how busy things get in our office, we do not compromise with our weekly one-on-one’s. One on one sessions are beneficial for a number of reasons; you can uncover how employees are progressing in their job role and also find out how they are feeling. Are they happy? The only way to know the answer is by asking specific questions and giving them the freedom to respond without fear of reprimand.
Reviews will prevent those unfortunate moments where an employee hands in their resignation when their boss had no idea whatsoever that they were even contemplating leaving.
Feedback from employee reviews can advice you on what training and development programmes to implement; hopefully they will combat any issues that have been raised. Such an investment in your people will produce great benefits for your company.
A discussion about employee retention would not be complete without mentioning financial incentives; after all, the majority of people work because they have to. First and foremost, it is important that you pay your staff a salary that reflects the work they do (have a look at what you competitors pay to get an idea of what is considered ‘fair’ in your industry). From here, you may decide to design financial incentives.
On the flip side, you hear of employees who leave their job in favour of one that pays less. These individuals are looking for something that money cannot buy; they are looking for job fulfillment. So what does your company offer that is different to other employers?
The topic of staff retention comes full circle, leading back to recruitment. Prevention is always better than having to find a cure and the hiring process is your opportunity to critically analyse the suitability of your candidates. This should include you asking questions about their long term goals, their reason for wanting to join the company, and their expectations!
Although you will never be able to stop everyone from leaving the company, you do have the ability to manage the number of people who decide to stay simply because they like what they are doing, and most importantly, where they are doing it.
If you would like to discuss your company’s recruitment or HR, please give us a call on 01245 409 839