Staff Retention: How to keep your talent engaged

People are the lifeblood of businesses across every industry, which makes the task of hanging on to top employees a long-term priority for all.

Despite this, there are still plenty of organisations out there that treat their employees like they’re ten a penny. All too often this is down to a combination of bad habits, a focus on short-term gains and thinking that talented staff can always be replaced, regardless of their contribution to company success.

Wrong.

Smart companies recognise the need to keep their people psychologically committed, healthy and engaged with their work as far as they possibly can. More than that, they understand the waste of time and money that comes hand in hand with high levels of staff turnover.

 

The price of a ‘revolving door’ policy

According to a national study led by Oxford Economics, it costs a whopping £30,000 for the average employer to replace a long-term member of staff. The bulk of this cost is explained by the loss in productivity while a new recruit is getting up to full speed with everything – which can take up to 28 weeks.

Left unchecked, it’s easy to see how high levels of employee turnover can destroy the bottom line of any organisation and put a sizeable dent in their annual performance. It also impacts heavily on the people who do decide to stick around, often causing a domino effect so that other team members start to reconsider their own happiness within a particular team.

So, how can we prevent this from happening?

Getting your internal culture right

Businesses with low levels of staff turnover understand that their competitive edge stems from a strong internal culture, one that puts employee health and wellbeing before short-term profit.

Of course, culture at work will differ from business to business and there is no silver bullet solution to the challenge. What we can do is pick out those key elements that help to keep staff engaged with their work from the moment they step into the office each morning. Here are a few of the most important…

Management and communication. Poor management is one of the main reasons why employees feel the need to weigh up their options and look for another job. Great managers don’t dictate or micromanage; they encourage autonomy among staff, align individual ambition with the goals of the company and help people to work in a way that will maximise their performance.

Resources. Every job role comes with a specific set of resources that an employee relies on to fulfil their responsibilities. This covers everything from specialist training and equipment to Post-It notes and staples! Without continual access to these essentials, it’s easy for a person to become frustrated and chronically stressed out.

Job security. If you do not instil confidence in your staff that their position is safe, they will naturally feel the need to look for a more secure role elsewhere. There may be times when restructure is unavoidable; even still, it remains vital to keep staff up to speed at all times rather than left guessing in the dark.

Staff relationships. Social health is often overlooked as a driver of employee wellbeing, but it’s essential when you consider that many long-term friendships are formed with the people we work with. Managers can help to promote stronger relationships between staff by encouraging regular workplace social events. Even something as small as organising a office cookout on a Friday can work wonders for joint morale.

Making work meaningful

Life in the digital age has made talent retention harder than ever before. Talented employees can now be targeted directly on social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. All it takes is a quick message to entice a person into going for an interview, even if they weren’t actively looking for a job at the time.

That’s why it’s so important to maintain open channels of communication between staff and their line managers. Every employee must feel able to discuss their plans for progression or additional training whenever they need to. By keeping work varied and meaningful, people will continue to feel that there is a strong sense of purpose when undertaking their responsibilities at work. They’ll also want to stick around for longer.

Looking to improve long-term retention among your staff? Give us a quick call on 0161 883 1149 to talk through your needs.