Unimissable advice for retaining your best employees
The struggle to find the right talent for your business never ends. You business will live and die by the quality of your employees so finding the right ones is a constantly fought battle. But the triumph of hiring superstar employees isn’t the end. Next it’s the fight to retain them.
How do you stop your employees from getting itchy feet and moving on? According to a recent survey by Mindjet, 27% of those employees surveyed are enjoying their job less, the same amount feel more stressed and somewhat unsurprisingly, 15% are looking for new jobs.
But keeping your employees doesn’t have to feel like herding cats. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop people leaving but there are a number of ways you can ensure that your office is an environment that talent wants to stay in.
Here are our eight ways to encourage your top talent to stay with you and your business
1. Make them feel valued
Valued staff are generally happy staff which can not only encourage them to stay, but make them more productive. When they are doing a good job for you and driving your business forward, let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.
The occasional gesture or simply a word in someone’s ear can make the world of difference and they will want to keep giving their best to the business.
2. Match your managers with the right teams
If you see that an employee is struggling to get along with their manager, get to the root of the problem and look to potentially moving the manager or employee around.
“The person that someone reports to is crucial. People often buy into an individual as much as they buy in to an organisation,” says Barney Ely, director of Hays Human Resources, the recruiting experts.
“By the same token, if a manager is leaving, make sure you speak to their deputies and reassure them that they will continue to have fantastic management to discourage them from following.”
3. Offer flexible benefits
The same set of benefits will not suit every employee. Why not offer flexibility in the bonus structure they receive rather than the one-hat-fits-all policy.
“Giving employees a choice in how they are rewarded can make a big difference,” says Ely. “For example one year someone might want to have extra holidays, the next gym membership or something different.”
4. Identify career paths
Employees, especially those of Generation Y like to see how their future will develop at a company.
“Organisations also need to ensure that career paths and opportunities are clear to everyone: not only must organisations manage expectations honestly, but they must also make clear where opportunities exist and how personal and business aspirations must be aligned for an individual to progress,” says Naysan Firoozmand, managing consultant at ASK Europe plc.
“And while few people will step capably into new roles from the outset, organisations must also be ready to support new appointees, especially where new responsibilities need to be taken on board.
“Consider who the person will need to work with, the environment they will be entering and the help that they may need to live up to new expectations – it is easier than most organisations realise to set people up to fail. And people who feel as if they are failing – or being failed – are not likely to stay.”
5. Offer training and development
Understanding a career trajectory within a business is one thing, but many employees also want to see what else they will gain from staying in a role.
“Very often money is not the key thing for staff, an opportunity to meet their ambition can be more important therefore investment in them such as training and development is essential,” says Ely.
6. Create a favourable company brand
A big reason for someone to stay with an organisation is knowing that it has a purpose that resonates with employees. Does the company have a social conscience?
“Employer brand is important to staff, are they proud when they walk somewhere with the company folder or do they tuck it away?” asks Ely.
“I’ve heard a lot of people ask about the social purpose of an organisation over the last year, do they talk about the support the offer to charity?”
7. Make sure people are in the right roles
Moving talent around a company can seem like a good idea but it has to be managed properly.
“Organisations often assume their high potential people are interchangeable: they have been identified as having potential and so will be able to fit into any given role,” says Sophy Pern, Ashridge Business School Consultant.
“In a high proportion of cases, talented individuals turn out not to be as successful in practice as they are appear on paper. When this happens, organisations tend to try and ‘trade in’ the failed talent for a new shinier version. A more helpful approach would be to identify exactly what type of role and conditions are likely to create a successful team, rather than trying to shoe-horn people into roles that are not suited to their strengths and capabilities.”
8. Have set rules around flexible and remote working
Flexible working has become a large part of what organisations offer their employees. This kind of mobile working has come to be expected by many employees so if it is not an option, make sure employees understand why otherwise it could become an issue.
“If people aren’t given a reason why remote working isn’t offered, they can see it as a trust issue which can lead to dissatisfaction down the line,” says Ely.
“There must be rules around this kind of access rather than it be given out on an ad hoc basis otherwise people will not understand if they are not granted remote or flexible working.”
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