It used to be the case, that when people embarked on a career, they could expect to remain with the same company for many years; most of us will know of people who retired after thirty years service or more, and collected a gold watch or some another token of recognition. However, gold watches are in short supply these days, and employees are more likely to receive a good luck card and a book token after a whip around from their colleagues! So, is it such bad thing that staff move on after relatively short periods of employment? Some staff turnover is desirable and to be expected, but how do you avoid unnecessary staff turnover?
Staff Retention Starts Before Hiring Employees
At the outset it is important to attract the right staff, therefore adverts and job descriptions should be accurate and realistic. Doing this will enable you to match the skills, knowledge and personality profile you need. Just because a person is highly qualified, it does not mean that they are the best person for the job.
Once the person is in place then they will need to feel welcomed. By taking time to give an effective induction will allow them to know what is required of them and to understand how the company operates. Setting objectives lets people know that they are achieving their goals, and allows employers to measure achievements and identify areas where further training or information is needed.
Open up opportunities for development where people want to learn more skills. This shows that you want to invest in them and their future with the company. However, never force people into developmental roles if they want to remain in their current position.
Longer Term Staff Retention
Allow employees to have their say through regular appraisals, staff surveys and grievance procedures, as well as through consultative bodies. When staff feel secure and stable in a fair and consistent working environment, and know that they can speak up without fear of retribution, their morale will be greatly boosted.
Adopting flexible working hours is another huge morale booster, especially when employees have caring commitments, such as young children or elderly parents. Being sympathetic to these needs will make you an attractive company to work for and help you to retain staff.
External factors too can have an impact upon staff turnover so protect your business from head hunters and others seeking to poach your staff. Keep internal e-mail addresses confidential, and train telephonists to spot calls from agents and avoid giving them information.
Conducting exit interviews will enable you to find out why people are leaving, in order to help with retention next time. Also, measuring turnover will allow you to identify trends and problem areas.
The secret to staff retention is to understand and meet the needs of employees whilst fulfilling the requirement of the company. There are no quick fix solutions to staff retention, but the costs associated with activities listed above are insignificant when compared with the cost of staff turnover, a conservative estimate of which is c£5,000 per employee.
If you would like to know more about cost effective recruitment and retention please contact Heather today at firstname.lastname@example.org.