Recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming process, perhaps followed by a training period, and possibly a few weeks where you have to employ temporary staff. All of this can be a drain on employers’ time and resources. Good staff are hard to come by, so it’s vital that you or your human resources team recruit well, and then do your best to retain good employees.
Here are my Top 10 Tips for Staff Retention:
- Recruit sensibly and fairly. Be honest about the job description and the skills/experience required to perform the role. Unrealistic promises and expectations will just lead to disappointment and a high staff turnover.
- Communicate with your staff. Ask for their views and suggestions and listen to what they say – much of which may be valid and useful to your organisation.
- Where feasible, offer training and career progression.
- Try to offer a variety of work to create job enrichment and satisfaction. Take a good look at the job descriptions and see how you can improve them so that each employee can learn new skills, enjoy a variety of tasks and remain interested. Routine has its place, but variety is the spice of life.
- Be appreciative. Yes, you are paying your staff for their services, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate what they do. So long as they perform to your satisfaction – or above-expected levels – then they are making a valid contribution to your business, thereby making your life easier. Be sure to let them know that you appreciate their efforts.
- Operate a comprehensive Performance Appraisal process, where performance is regularly assessed in a constructive manner, and where staff can offer honest feedback. This should include plans for improvement and further training/supervision if deemed necessary.
- NEVER criticise or humiliate a member of staff in front of others. Not only could it land you in an Employment Tribunal, it’s simply unfair. If there are performance or behaviour issues, address them in private, and in line with your company’s Disciplinary Procedure.
- Put in place a Grievance Procedure (you should already have one) and use this constructively to address a problem. Try to nip minor grievances in the bud, informally, before they escalate.
- Always conduct exit interviews. Staff may be reluctant to tell you about their grievances while they are still employed, but they will very likely open up once they have formally resigned.
- If high staff turnover is predominantly from one department or one particular function, then it is particularly important to establish the cause of this. It could be that the problem actually lies with a line manager or other member of staff, in which case you need to deal with this – even if the line manager is you!
As an employer and manager, it’s vital that you are open to change. If the existing conditions, management, work practices or job content are causing low staff morale and a high staff turnover, be prepared to change your practices.
Never underestimate the importance of having a happy team. It has a positive knock-on effect on morale, performance, attendance and output. Everyone’s a winner! There are, of course, many more ways in which you can retain staff, but these 10 should start you on the right course.