Retain, Retain, Retain – Can you afford not to?

by | Oct 13, 2010 | Employers Tips

THE secret to retaining valued staff has less to do with money and is more about creating a culture people enjoy being a part of.

Multi-ethnic group portrait

In the candidate market we were told “Business owners can’t afford to underestimate this. “As the skills shortage worsens and ‘flighty’ Gen Y workers dominate the employment landscape, business culture is going to be invaluable for retention and attraction of staff.”

The last couple of years the cards have turned and right now we have the employer market, however retaining your Staff has not changed as a matter of fact is ever so more crucial in economically unstable environment, especially your key personnel.

Finding and keeping good people is always a major concern for employers. And if you are not trying to retain staff you currently have � why are you employing them in the first place?

Being Employer of Choice is a term being heard more often as organisations compete for the human talent. While being employer of choice might not be your main driving force, it doesn’t make sense to ignore the needs of employees. I am sure that no-one likes to be labels as the employer to avoid.

How do you make your business to retain your current employees and attract any potential employees?

As most of us have been employees at some time it shouldn’t be too hard to work out what people still in that position might want.


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Try rating your organisation against some of the basic needs that are listed below.

  • Do your people know where their Company is heading? People like to be on a winning team, one that is going somewhere. Do you have a vision, goals and plans? Have you communicated these to your people? Help them get excited and help them feel it’s worthwhile working with you.
  • Do people know what is expected of them? How can they succeed in your eyes if they are not sure what you want? Is this written down with clear unambiguous measures? How many people would watch football if no one kept the score?
  • Do all employees understand what they can and can’t do to comply with the law and Company policies? People need to know the guidelines within which they operate and they want to be on a professional team that has these � for your protection and theirs. These don’t have to be onerous but you must ensure you protect all your people and give them room to move.
  • Were all your people selected for what they can bring to the organisation? Was a rigorous process used to ensure you got the best. They need to know they are on a team that is careful in its selection.
  • Do you provide all the training and development necessary to do the job? From the start of orientation on day one through to preparing them for their next job, employees want to be welcomed, made to feel wanted and be given the best chance of success in their job. This does not necessarily mean expensive training courses but a planned program using existing people and information to bring new people up to speed quickly and allow them to grow and develop to take on new challenges.
  • Do they get enough feedback on their performance to know how they are doing and continually improve? Do they get recognition when they do well? Is immediate action taken when they don’t? Employees need regular reviews and appropriate support and they will respond to it. The lack of it will guarantee below par performance.
  • Do your people understand how their pay is arrived at and think it is fair? They don’t have to be the best paid but they need to be paid fairly and want to know that pay decisions are based on some rational criteria.
  • Do you have plans for developing people for future roles? While some people are prepared to stay in the same job there are others who want to know they have a future and that you will provide opportunities for them. If not, why stay?
  • Are your employees made feel they are part of a team? Having a strong team environment bring enormous benefits to any organisations. Well structured teams is like well oiled machine that reaches the goals with precision, effectiveness and efficiency. Reaching success through a team effort is exhilarating and enthusiastic as well as increases motivation and productivity.

happy-employeesIf you answered positively to these points you probably have a reasonably satisfied workforce with a good chance they will stay with you and help you achieve the success of your organisation.
If not, what can be done? The good news is – plenty � and it is neither hard nor expensive. Many managers do some of it, some of the time. The answer is to have processes in place which provide for all these employee needs but also are self sustaining. To do this means having your management team committed to making it work. Not working towards putting these processes in place is short changing your employees. It can be done and there are companies that do it well � they may be your competition.

Systematically going through the points listed above and working on a process that delivers the right result will bring dividends. The cost of losing good employees is far greater than the cost of fixing the problem.

Author: Vlasta Eriksson – Employment Agency Cairns Signature Staff

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