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How to retain your best employees

When staff members decide to leave, it can be a huge and expensive inconvenience, especially if you are a small business. Employees can leave for all sorts of reasons, from not getting on with their manager or colleagues to struggling with their workload.

Whatever the reason for their departure, each time an employer replaces a salaried employee, it costs the business an average of six to nine months’ salary. It also causes disruption, impacts morale and productivity. To create a robust and healthy business that can grow and improve, you need to focus on retaining your top employees.

How to prevent your top employees from leaving

Here are some key ways you can avoid having to say goodbye to your talented, experienced and knowledgeable staff:

Hire the right people

Staff retention begins as early as recruitment. After all, if you don’t hire the right people in the first place, it’s likely that they’ll be on borrowed time from day one. When you hire the wrong person for the wrong role, they will soon realise the job isn’t right for them and want to move on. Take a good look at your recruitment process and interview strategy. Do the job adverts match the roles, and are you asking the right questions during the interviews?

Develop an effective onboarding process

Having an effective onboarding process is critical for how new employees integrate not just into the team but the wider organisation. It makes the start of their employment as positive as possible but also helps them get up to speed much more quickly. The onboarding process ensures that they understand their role, the company culture and values more fully which ultimately leads to them becoming productive in their role quickly. Making sure that new employees feel supported and valued right from the start sets the tone for their ongoing employment and leads to greater employee engagement.

Be more flexible

A common reason for an employee to leave their job is down to the lack of flexibility. An increasing number of people are looking for flexible jobs that fit around their lives and offer a good work-life balance. This might help them manage childcare or work in a way that helps them be more productive. Whether it’s the option of working at home or even introducing a flexi-time system, offering flexible working shows your employees you trust and value them and can help to reduce the risk of employee burnout.

Create career development opportunities

When an employee feels satisfied with their job, they are far more likely to want to stay. That’s why encouraging your workforce to develop and progress in their careers is an effective retention strategy. It makes them feel appreciated and that they have something to work towards. Career development can involve courses, training, mentoring, promotion or the chance to work on new projects or initiatives that will enable them to develop new skills.

Build a healthy and respectful working environment

Creating a healthy, positive working environment is crucial in keeping employees connected to your business. Good relationships among colleagues and managers help create a positive working environment that promotes trust and respect. As a result, your workers will be more engaged and productive and less likely to want to leave. Make employee engagement a priority for your business and ensure each member of staff knows exactly how their work impacts the business and feeds into the business’s overall goals. Be sure to celebrate staff wins too, and even allow them to embrace failure too.

Regular review meetings

You shouldn’t just look at your employee turnover figures or wait for annual performance reviews to determine how things are going. Hold regular review meetings with employees to give them the chance to discuss any issues they have before anything can escalate. Employees should also feel empowered to request feedback sessions or discuss any issues when needed without being told to wait six months. A culture that enables staff to be open and values their feedback will avoid underlying tensions that could lead to an employee wanting to leave.

Most leavers decide to move on because they believe they will find better opportunities elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t rather stay working for you. You’ve just not given them enough good reasons to want to. If you want to retain your best employees in a fiercely competitive job market, making them feel valued will go a long way in stopping them from ending up with your competitors.

Offer a good rewards package

It might sound like an obvious solution, but rewarding your employees for their loyalty and contribution to the business can help encourage them to stay. A good rewards package shows your staff you appreciate them and offers an opportunity for appraisal and that there’s a future for them with your company. Rewards can range from salary increases and promotions to training opportunities and staff benefits such as free food and drink, gym concessions and employee discounts.

A great way to reward employees is through incentives and savings programmes. My Staff Shop allows your employees to save money on everyday purchases, holiday packages, cashback incentives and much more, all for just a small fee to the employer. With more than a thousand partners, both nationally and locally, employees can gain discounts on a variety of purchases, from their weekly shop to days out with the family. Get started with My Staff Shop today.

Further advice

If you would like any further information on how HR Solutions can support your business with retaining top talent, or if you wish to sign up to My Staff Shop, please call us on 0844 324 5840 or contact us.

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