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Retaining your staff. The Human Resources Cheat-Sheet

Staff Retention Blog

We’ve all been there. Losing that key member of staff who has been instrumental to your company’s success.

Attracting the right staff has always been a foundation stone of HR and recruitment priority, but in a highly competitive labor market, retaining them should receive equal focus and attention.

Did you know that losing that employee can end up costing you more than double their salary, and that it can take as long as two years for productivity levels to recover? If a company has a high staff turnover the reality is that your companies bottom-line suffers.

How should you respond?

1. Start by starting
A staff retention plan should underpin your talent acquisition strategy. Why should you spend time, money, and manpower finding people, if you don’t intend on doing everything possible to keep them for as long as possible?

During the hiring process, follow the basics by sourcing candidates who have the right skill-set and experience, but perhaps more importantly, make sure to focus on the prospective employee’s attitude. Make sure that their expectations align with your work culture and strategic vision.

Finally, never make promises that you can’t keep. Don’t be vague about the job expectations or the specifics of the position. If you hire someone, and the job isn’t as described, their good-will towards your company will be quickly eroded.

2. Onboarding
First impressions count.

Your new hires attitude to your company is directly linked to their experience during the first few weeks. As such, focus on the onboarding process and do everything in your power to make them feel welcomed. Basics such as not immediately directing them to their desk, arranging formal and informal introductions to their fellow colleagues, and setting up a buddy system will have a direct and positive impact on their thoughts and assumptions of their new workplace.

3. You get what you pay for
Traditionally, money is a prime motivator for employee movement.

If you don’t offer a competitive salary package, you’re at an immediate disadvantage in attracting the best talent. More importantly, employees do expect salary reviews and need to know that the possibility of a pay rise is something to work towards.

The best way to manage this is to be totally transparent in terms of how you manage employee renumeration. Create a culture of an open dialogue, fixed KPIs and make sure that you have regular performance appraisals. A quarterly review, or even monthly progress meetings could be seen as overkill, but it further aligns employees and emphasises company goals.

4. Benefits
Being allowed to bring your dog to work, free lunches and a pool table in the office are all examples of soft benefits that are easy to implement. Retain talent blog

However, more importantly having meaningful benefits that employee’s both need and want (health insurance, maternity and paternity packages, performance bonuses, workplace flexibility etc) will greatly help employee retention levels.

5. Investment
Investing in your employees will help them grow.

Offering employees subsidised, or even free access to education and training shows that you care for their personal development and not just what they can do for your organization. Consider introducing things like paid study leave or paying for classes that will further their expertise. It will be beneficial for the business in the long run.

6. Communication
Communication should go both ways. Ensuring that employees feel respected and listened to is vitally important. By listening and understanding, employees will feel that they have the capacity and tools to do their job properly. This approach also prevents tension, resentment and exasperation. It leads to increased levels of employee satisfaction and, critically, satisfied employees are less likely to leave.

Finally, if one of your star employees does give you notice, it may still not be too late to get them to stay. Sit down with them. Talk to them about why they’re leaving and see if there’s anything that you can do to change their minds. Maybe money isn’t the reason they’re leaving, so talk to them and find out. You might just be able to fix it.

Aisling Riordan
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