Recruiting new staff is a long, expensive process, which is why whenever you lose a member of the team, the repercussions are felt far and wide.
Worse still, if you go through a spate of resignations, the overall morale among those left may take a serious hit, thus threatening productivity and potentially turning the swift exit of a few into a mass exodus.
To build a strong, healthy business that is capable of growth and constant improvement, you need to retain staff. In particular, the top talent you’ve spent years nurturing or significant recruitment funds bringing on board, is a business asset that needs ultimate protection.
In this post, we’re going to dig into eight fantastic ways to retain your best people, therefore if you’re concerned about the ability of the business to hold onto its top talent, this is certainly one to bookmark.
1. Put your best foot forward: hire the right people
There might be a very simple reason you’re regularly losing staff – a reason that might be a little hard to come to terms with.
Are you hiring the right people in the first place?
If you’re failing to get the right people through the door, the likelihood is they’ll always be on borrowed time. The wrong person in the wrong role will quickly get fed up and decide to move on, and it’s often through no fault of their own.
Take a look at your hiring procedures and interview tactics; do they stack up? Are you correctly defining the jobs you advertise and asking the right questions when candidates enter the interview room?
2. Support them from the start: create a great onboarding process
When new hires start, how much close-quartered attention are they given? Do you simply sit them at their desk and leave them to it, or are they properly mentored and gradually introduced to all aspects of the business from the moment they enter the building?
A proper onboarding process will ensure that every employee gets the best possible start when they join the business. It will introduce them to their colleagues, establish business norms and plant the seeds for a relationship that will stand the test of time.
To get started, speak to existing employees and ask how they found the onboarding process. Encourage them to be completely honest and, although the truth might be hard to bear, it’ll help you build a great onboarding process for new starters.
3. Get connected: focus on employee engagement
How connected are your existing employees to the business? Are they made to feel like a vital cog in a much larger machine or has the relevancy of their role been diluted to a point where they feel unable to make a difference?
By focusing on employee engagement, you’ll ensure that every member of staff understands exactly how their role impacts the business and contributes to the wider goals of the organisation.
Celebrate wins, encourage constant improvement and allow people to embrace failure. The business will get nowhere without a culture that embodies these qualities, nor will it be able to reduce staff turnover.
4. It’s the little things that count: offer tangible benefits
A business that offers its employees significant benefits for being members of staff isn’t necessarily one that pays sky-high wages. It’s far more likely to be the one that understands the benefits of providing free, fresh fruit in the kitchen or the option to work flexible hours.
You might not have deep pockets for staff rewards, but that doesn’t matter. Instead, focus on the small stuff – the little things that go a long way when someone enters the office every morning.
Obtaining a PRS licence so that you can play a national radio station in the office, or striking up a deal with the local sandwich shop that results in cheaper sarnies for staff may be all you need to do in order to retain your best people.
5. Put your money where your mouth is: pay as well as you can afford to
As noted above, you don’t have to break the bank in order to retain staff. Most people are more than happy to work for what is considered a ‘good’ wage. That means paying at the very least the going market rate, but stretching a little further if budgets allow.
Keep a close eye on your overheads, by all means, but make sure you pay people as much as you can afford to, based on their performance, experience and time with the company. It won’t go unnoticed and will negate the need for any uncomfortable pay rise discussions.
6. Dispense with favouritism: treat everyone equally
This might sound obvious, but if a business treats every one of its employees as an equal member of the team, it’s far more likely to retain them.
Unfortunately, in the world of work, favouritism can all too easily rear its ugly head. And this often happens innocently or as the result of an increased amount of time a manager might inadvertently spend with one employee.
It’s vital that you avoid this at all costs. By paying attention to every employee and ensuring they’re all treated equally, ‘teacher’s pet’ syndrome will never threaten to disrupt the business.
Managers should be encouraged to regularly check-in with their entire team and acknowledge good work the moment it takes place. Morale, motivation and staff retention will increase tenfold as a result.
7. How’s it going? The importance of regular review meetings
Don’t wait for annual personal review meetings to see how things are going with individual members of staff. Employee satisfaction is an ever-moving target, and if you neglect the importance of dealing with issues as and when they arise, the lasting effects will be far more potent.
The answer lies in having regular review meetings. These could be every week or every day, if you feel its necessary – but they should certainly be far more frequent than once a year.
Equally, employees should feel empowered to reach out and request feedback sessions without being told they’ll need to wait another six months.
Create an open culture that values employee feedback above everything else, and there’ll be no place for underlying tensions to hide.
8. Level up: provide plenty of training opportunities
Staff will feel valued if they can see that the business actively invests in them. Again, that doesn’t mean large wage packets (unless you can afford it) – more the regular provision of great learning opportunities.
In the digital age, such opportunities can arrive in many forms, and the world of training has evolved considerably in recent years, but this is all for the better. Businesses can now provide employee training remotely, or in bite-sized chunks that can be accessed at the pupil’s leisure.
You can’t overtrain someone, nor can you underestimate the value in providing regular, on-going training for employees. After all, why would someone leave a company that clearly has their best interests and personal development at heart?
It’s tempting to blame departing staff members for their decision to leave the business, but most leavers are only doing so because they believe better opportunities exist elsewhere.
Unless there are serious, deep-rooted problems within your business, the likelihood is people want to stay – you’re just not giving them a good enough reason to do so. And, with a fiercely competitive job market offering countless opportunities for anyone looking to switch jobs, your employees need to feel fully valued if you’re to prevent their wandering eye from landing on the doorstep of a competitor.