Having strong staff retention figures is one of the most important areas of any business. Your staff are the bread and butter of your company so investing in keeping them happy, productive and motivated within their roles is essential to keep your business efficient, lucrative and moving in the right direction.
By investing in our workforce and creating the right work environment we can learn how to better hold onto our staff and prevent people from getting itchy feet and want to jump ship to competitors.
Here are our top strategies specifically focused on ways to make sure you keep your employment retention rates high and ensure your workforce are happy and content within your company.
It all starts with the Hiring Process
Before you can even think about how to make sure your staff stay put you need to learn how to make sure you’re bringing the correct people in in the first place. The interview process in companies is an imperative part of making sure you are building a homogenous and conscientious work force. Not only are you looking for the best that you can find, but you’re also looking for the best placements and most importantly the best fit for your company.
It’s all very well being wowed by shining CV’s and seeing impressive brands under a candidate’s belt, but it’s more important to look for individuals who fit well into the culture of your company. When going through the hiring process think about the candidates who best reflect the values of your company. The people that seem to understand the direction your company is going in and the individuals who seem genuinely excited to be a part of the future growth and development of your firm.
Choosing the ‘shinier’ and more impressive candidates is always the temptation. But think about whether your company is going to be the right environment for them, or whether perhaps they will jump ship later on down the road if the partnership is lacking what they’re looking for in their career. You’re looking for a natural fit, that is going to lead to a mutually beneficial and fruitful working relationship.
Power to the People
Empowering your staff is one of the best ways you can make your team feel both challenged and valued. Allowing staff to feel like a pioneer in their field and an expert in their area will make them feel that they have autonomy in their role and the opportunity to make a difference in the company. Giving them ownership of their part of the company rather than nervously micro-managing them will make them feel like an important and integral part of the team, thus keeping them motivated.
Investing in internal, and if necessary, external training is key to ensuring your staff is on top of their game and allowing them to feel that the company supports their career development and skill set.
Structuring training programmes with individuals and collective teams will bring staff satisfaction due to the fact that they are being invested in and will keep your business fresh, responsive and competent.
Treat your Team
Regularly rewarding your staff is an important strategy to remind staff that they are in a supportive and satisfying work environment. This can be everything from promoting wellness in your company with daily fresh fruit or free yoga classes or gym tickets. Or maybe small business can take their teams out the last friday of the month for a slap-up pub lunch. Little perks like this can make a big difference to morale and the general atmosphere in your office.
Thinking a little bigger, team-building outings and activities are a great way to bring teams together to get to know each other, let their hair down and do something a little different. Organising team-building exercises such as an escape room activity or maybe an evenings cookery class or cocktail making workshop will gently nudge your teams to get to know each other better and build closer working relationships.
Encouraging employees to communicate with you is an important method in understanding internal perspective on the state of your business. However building an environment where staff feel safe to offer their honest opinion, the good the bad and the ugly, has to feel safe and confidential, for obvious reasons. Therefore creating an anonymous communication outlet where employees can communicate any manner of concerns, is the best way to go about this. Negative feedback must be viewed as constructive criticism and important food for thought when considering how to improve and develop your company.
Cross Your I’s and Dot your T’s
Making sure you’re doing everything properly and getting things right can be a complicated and time consuming road for any company. But it’s essential to make sure you’re creating a safe and protected environment for your staff. As they can soon disappear if they don’t feel like their wellbeing and interests are being properly looked after. Protecting your business and team, should anything go wrong, makes sure you and your staff are covered and looked after.
This can be a headache however, particularly for many small business owners that perhaps don’t have their own HR department. In cases where you’re unsure or a little lost in areas such as health and safety, legal areas or occupational health and wellbeing make sure you look around for a specialised firm to help you. Shop around for companies, such as Ellis Whittam, that specialise in the ‘in’s and out’s’ of companies to make sure everything is legally compliant and you and your staff are protected.
Offer Support Wherever Possible
Projecting an environment where employees can come to you and talk through anything from their day to day frustrations through to their career aspirations is key to creating a caring and understanding work culture. If staff feel like you are addressing their concerns, building on their strengths and pushing growth within their department they will feel both committed to your company and satisfied in their role.
The term transparency can bring up feelings of nervousness as many business owners feel that part of being a boss is to protect the staff from anything that’s going wrong within a company. This couldn’t be further from the truth however as transparency offers the opportunity to be frank about any issues and therefore opens up strategies on how to improve them. Being transparent with your staff not only can increase employee loyalty it can also allow you to throw issues out to your team so you don’t need to deal with them on your own.
Resist the Urge to Micro-Manage
This is not always easy as it’s natural to want to know what everyone is up to and how everything’s going. But there are ways and means of doing this, and constantly looking over people’s shoulders is not the way to go about it. Going back to the first point, if you’ve hired bright and motivated individuals they shouldn’t need to be chased and hounded in order to do their jobs properly.
Teams that are micromanaged will eventually be afraid to take risks or try anything new within their role which is not in the interest of your business at all. You want to encourage staff to think innovatively and be bold in proposing courageous new strategies. Some will work, some won’t. But we all know that we often learn more from our mistakes that from our victories so it’s an important process for your business and for your employees.
Finding ways to increase employment retention is a continual process. Valuing staff and offering a supportive and challenging environment takes time. However when it’s done right it will be one of the most important things you can do for the strength and growth of your business.