How to retain your staff in the workplace

Few things are as costly and disruptive as good staff walking out the door. Unfortunately this cannot always be avoided but some reasons are preventable.

  1. High workload/overworked with lack of recognition

Normally the most committed and trusted employee has the highest workload. If they find they are constantly taking on more and more, especially when not being recognised with promotion or salary increases they could possibly look to leave. A good first step in managing your team’s workload is to give them responsibility over their own work and involve them in decision making whenever possible as this can make a difference, making staff a lot happier and more likely to stay. As an employer it is your job to help your staff find balance.

Research indicates that it is not just the amount of work that makes a difference in employee satisfaction and success, but also the extent to which employees have the resources (time, equipment and support) to do the work well.

Acknowledging employees efforts can be a great motivator as even the most selfless people want to be recognised and rewarded for a job well done – It is part of who we are as human beings. When we fail to recognise employees we are not only failing to motivate them but also missing out on the most effective way to reinforce great performance. A word of appreciation is free.

Never assume that your best employee knows that he/she is considered as such as many excellent employees are so focused on their workload that they are unaware of how their employers see them.

A simple thank you at the end of the day can make your best employee want to come back to work the following day.

  1. Offered a better salary

If you are unable to compete when a member of staff is offered a better salary consider offering a competitive benefit package that fits your employees needs such as providing health insurance, gym membership or a small cash incentive for performance – make an effort to customise rewards and recognition to the individual’s needs.

Consider perks such as flexi-time if that fits around their current role as that in itself goes a long way to showing employees that you are willing to accommodate their outside lives.

Even if you do not have the budget for raises or bonuses there are a lot of low cost ways to show your staff you appreciate them – for example free lunch on a Friday or an early finish if business allows – if you help your employees manage their home life they will appreciate it and are more likely to stay.

  1. Lack of career advancement opportunities

No member of staff wants to feel they are not moving forward in some way in the workplace. People need to feel they are growing in their professional lives as they gain new skills and experiences which are classed as advancement; otherwise staff  are more likely to get complacent with nothing to aspire to and look to seek it elsewhere within a new company.

A growth plan needs to be established for each employee and as an employer your job is to understand the career path for all key employees and do whatever you can within your boundaries to help them achieve it.

Employees when ready for promotion look at internal opportunities first as they are already well-integrated into the organisation. If there is little or no scope for movement sometimes staff are likely to consider moving to another company where they can fulfil their ambitions – promote from within whenever possible as employees may stop trying if they see no clear growth plan for themselves within your company.

Always encourage staff to be open about their professional goals. As a Manager if you do not know how your employee would like to grow professionally then you are unable to tailor any opportunities to meet their needs and you then risk losing them.

Hold meetings to establish why employees stay with your company and then look to enhance the factors they identify that keep them coming back every day.

An open door policy is always a good idea to encourage employees to speak openly with their managers without fear of repercussions, enabling minor irritations to be resolved before they escalate into major problems.

Treat retaining your top employees as seriously as you did when you recruited them and never take for granted the members of staff that never complain.

“Train people well enough so they can leave but treat them well enough so they do not want to” – Richard Branson

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