The most successful businesses understand their people are their best asset. Companies spend thousands on recruitment strategies aimed at attracting the very best talent into their organisation, but do they give the same amount of thought to how to keep those employees on the payroll?
Staff retention is just as important as staff recruitment. Failure to retain talent can have a negative effect on team morale as well as the obvious financial impact it would cause.
Among the most commonly cited negative reasons for leaving a job are: poor salary and benefits, feeling uncared for or undervalued, a lack of training or development opportunities, dissatisfaction with management, and poor culture.
Here we offer six suggestions for how you can please your most valuable employees so they think twice about finding a job elsewhere.
1. Offer competitive pay and benefits
It may seem obvious but, if you can’t or won’t offer your employees as much as they could get elsewhere, they are likely to leave for another job. Make sure you align pay increases to market value for that position and level of experience; don’t be tempted to use current pay as your guide. You may think that 2% or 3% pay rise is generous but, if it’s still below the going rate, your employee is unlikely to agree.
2. Take employee safety and wellbeing seriously
Having a safe and comfortable environment in which to work is just as important as having the right pay and benefits. Your employees need to feel that you care about their safety and well-being, and are prepared to invest in both. This investment won’t go unrewarded, as research has found that workers who are looked after repay their companies with increased loyalty, productivity and engagement.
3. Offer development opportunities
However much they may like their job, no one wants to feel like they are standing still in their career. Don’t be afraid to provide your employees with opportunities to develop their skills. Rather than encouraging them to leave for a job elsewhere, opportunities for professional development will be seen as a benefit to working at your company. Speak to employees individually about their career goals and create opportunities for them to advance within your company.
4. Keep good managers – and fire bad ones!
The impact of line managers on an employee’s day-to-day experience of doing their job can often be underestimated by those at the top of an organisation, but anyone who has ever worked under an unsupportive or incompetent manager will understand the negative impact this can have. Employees who feel stifled by their manager can become frustrated and look to leave for pastures new. The loss of a good manager can similarly impact morale.
5. Build a positive culture
Employees that support their organisation’s mission and believe it lives its values are much less likely to look elsewhere. Foster a sense of community among your employees by encouraging communication, committing to transparency, minimising politics and recognising individual achievements. Make your workplace somewhere people want to come to work.
And finally, if an employee does choose to leave for pastures new, remember to:
6. Part on good terms
As an employer, you can do everything right – offering good pay and benefits, looking after your employees and providing them with opportunities to stretch and develop – and yet still lose good people. It is important not to take this to heart. Be supportive, stay in touch, and you’ll make it easy for them to come back in the future should they choose to.