A major problem for employers in today’s tough market is not just recruiting the best staff but making every effort to keep them. Sounds easy, but any employer will tell you that these activities take up the most time and have the biggest impact on results. So how do you go about retaining the best people once you’ve found them?
In addition to investing in staff training, which was covered on our blog last month, taking the time to really understand your employees and what they want from a workplace is a logical start, according to workplace psychology consultancy, OPP.
However, a recent study commissioned by OPP found that many managers within the public sector don’t understand the skills and motivations of their staff – which can lead to poor staff retention.
Worringly, the survey found that 98% of managers claim they “know their people well”, yet only only 28% of healthcare employees agreed with this. This figure was even lower for staff in IT (19%); sales and marketing (18%) and professional services staff (17%) – suggesting an ignorance of the situation by managers.
OPP argue that it’s a situation in which valuable insights, expertise and abilities could be completely ignored, wasting the potential of a huge number of top staff already in place.
After all, an organisation that understands and encourages its employees will benefit from increased productivity and employee satisfaction and retention, which in turn, will positively affect customer satisfaction.
So we’ve put together some simple employee retention ideas that will help ensure you understand your staff and know what they are looking for:
- Communicate. Staff can become anxious about the often nonstop flow of negative information in the news. Communicate frequently and honestly about what is happening at the organisation. More importantly, communicate what each staff member can specifically do to keep the company successful and to take advantage of opportunities
- Enhance your employee feedback process. Use small, open forums or short surveys to ask for employee input on being an effective employer. Ask questions like, “What motivates you to stay with our organisation? What would lure you away? Which of our benefits are most meaningful to you? What could we do differently?”. The information you gather will assist in understanding what your people want and need
- Get to know your individual employees by walking around the organisation, asking questions, and going for lunch or coffee. Be available and personable. Get together to socialise. Do something fun and get to bond with your team
- Give back to employees where you can. If you don’t have extra money to spread around, look for opportunities to give back to employees wherever possible. For example, examine your employee demographics. Do single mothers work for you? Offer flexi–time or subsidised day care. What about working around school schedules?
- Achievements and awards. Look at creative, non-financial ways of motivating employees such as staff awards. Recognising the achievements of your employees will boost team morale, whilst giving everyone in the firm an insight into the achievements of other departments or divisions in the organisation.