Home Business Insights & Advice Keeping the best talent on board during tough times

Keeping the best talent on board during tough times

by John Saunders
14th Sep 22 3:18 pm

There is little doubt that, one way or the other, the next year and potentially beyond will be challenging for businesses and for employees. Not every story will be the same – some companies always seem to break the mould during recessions and periods of slow growth – but most businesses currently in operation across the UK will be thinking right now about how they navigate the period that lies in wait.

It is standard to expect that during financially difficult times, there will be increased austerity. Yet more and more in recent years, we have heard a counter-argument to that; that while austerity approaches save a business money, they are injurious to growth in the longer term. One reason for this is that when you tighten purse strings, you can end up driving away the best talent in your company. These are the people who will help you bounce back from any financial hit that the economy delivers, and it is essential to keep them. So it’s worth following the tips below on employee wellbeing to ensure the stars of your show stick around.

Be creative with compensation

 During the toughest of times, it can be hard to offer the kind of remuneration that your employees want and deserve. That can be difficult because while you want to keep from overspending, it is vital to acknowledge that your employees have to keep their books balanced too – and pay stagnation during a time of cost inflation can drive them to seek employment elsewhere. It is essential to explore every avenue to keep your best people on board: consider increased commission, expanding your work-from-home provision, and employee benefits programs which can cut their costs in a meaningful way.

Prioritise job satisfaction

 If you’ve run out of road when it comes to what you can pay your best people, you then have to consider how you can make it as rewarding as possible for them to come to work every day. This means considering your workplace culture, whether that’s digital or in-person. It becomes all the more important to include your star players in decision-making at a higher level; while ceding control is anathema to a lot of business owners and managers, your main employees are the ones who are “on the ground” and hearing from customers more regularly. Their input can be hugely beneficial in boosting business; not only that, but if it falls on deaf ears they might take it elsewhere.

Maximise opportunities

 When your job is to run a business, it is easy to get tunnel vision. When there is a specific challenge on the horizon, it is easy to think of everything in terms of how it affects that challenge. That’s entirely natural, and is also why you need fresh eyes on that horizon, picking out opportunities rather than challenges. Enlisting the services of a new business agency in London will give you the chance to hear a fresh perspective; seeing every crisis as an opportunity may be toxic positivity, but looking for alternative solutions is both realistic and effective.

Be honest and transparent

 Employees talk. And if you implement policies that stop them talking about work in the workplace, they’ll talk outside it – and then the gloves will really come off. So when you’re trying to handle a difficult spell, there is nothing to be gained by closing ranks. This is when you need to be open. It’s not going to be news to your employees that costs are rising right now – even people who don’t usually watch the news or read the papers have heard of the crisis.

So make plans to withstand the tough spell, and include your employees in those plans. Regardless of the threat of losing them to other employers, changing jobs in a crisis is scary and hard; if you can foster a comfortable, encouraging environment where ideas are exchanged in a positive way, you stand the best chance of keeping them around.

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