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Staff retention

Employment is currently very high and all good employers are keen to hold on to their best performing staff. Prioritising staff retention helps boost morale in the workforce, resulting in increased productivity and job satisfaction. It can also improve customer satisfaction and enhance a company’s reputation. Ignoring a high turnover rate can be costly – in recruitment costs, lost productivity and reduced ability to hire.  

Understanding the reasons employees leave their jobs is the first step towards improving staff retention. In our experience the main reasons are: poor salary/benefits, a lack of training and development opportunities, dissatisfaction with management and a lack of flexibility. Conducting exit interviews with departing staff will give you a clear picture of why they are leaving.

Our advice is to recruit well, get your employee onboard effectively, communicate clearly, offer decent remuneration, training and development opportunities and try to be flexible.

Getting your recruitment process right is vital. Hiring the wrong person can cost a business enormously. We published some advice on improving the recruitment experience in February – click here to read.

Once you’ve hired the right person carry out effective "onboarding" – ensure your new employee understands the job and what is expected every day, show them around the office, introduce them to everyone and make them feel a valued part of the organisation from their first day.

Communicate clearly with everyone – hold regular effective appraisals and make sure employees have a way to express dissatisfaction if they have any. Make sure all employees understand the company reporting structure and which person they can turn to if they have any concerns.

Although salary is not thought to be the biggest problem in holding on to staff it is clearly important so make sure what you are paying measures up to your competitors and industry standards. Operate a decent benefit scheme if you can – employees value things like extra holiday, bonuses, social events and community contributions. Good employees want to progress in their careers so offer as many training and development opportunities as possible. Investing in your staff and showing a clear career path within the company will make them more likely to stay.

Be flexible – many people appreciate the opportunity to work from home sometimes or to move to part-time hours and reflect that in loyalty to the business.

Making a few simple changes to improve staff retention will show your employees that they are valued. Happy staff will stay longer and do a better job for your business.

Posted on Monday Apr 9