Five actionable staff retention strategies

There’s an art to people management and there is a fine balance that needs to be found when trying to engage employees and keep them challenged

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Robert Half 

Push employees too hard and they’ll become over-stressed and under productive; don’t push them enough and they’ll resign in search of a more exciting role.

The war for talent has impacted most UK industries; those few highly qualified candidates on the market are inundated with offers while organisations struggle to find a good fit for open roles. 

Research for the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide shows that 53% of organisations find it challenging to source candidates with the right skills. This is supported by findings from PwC which suggest that CEOs are worried that the talent deficit will impact growth plans and digital transformation projects for the coming year.

There are several ways that this war for talent can be won: strong employer branding, blended workforces, competitive benefits and remuneration packages, faster hiring times and—most notably—a solid staff retention strategy.

Here are five of the best retention strategies that will support initiatives to keep top performing staff within your organisation, while increasing their productivity.

Check your remuneration package is competitive and review your salary benchmarks

A competitive remuneration package isn’t just for attracting new talent to your ranks; it’s also imperative in keeping your most valuable top performers. Using a report like the Salary Guide from Robert Half can give you a full picture of the hiring landscape in your region, industry and for each job role, so you have something to benchmark your offer against.

Along with a competitive remuneration package, knowing what the salary benchmarks are within your region and industry can go a long way to helping retain top performing staff. Check the 2019 Salary Guide to see what others in your industry are paying to make sure you don’t lose staff to better paying positions with another organisation.

Promote a good work-life balance

Workplace stress is more of an issue than it’s ever been. Staff often feel ‘always on’ and are unable to escape workplace communications outside of the office. A Robert Half study into happiness at work, It’s Time We All Work Happy™: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees has shown that the complex juggling act of home and work can easily lead to stress and disengagement. You can encourage balance by leading through example; leaving on time, taking breaks, refraining from sending work emails out of hours and by using annual leave allocations. Our research also shows increased agile working and ‘hot-desking’ are part of future planning for several UK organisations (29%), with a view to helping support employee work-life balance.

Empower staff with targets, training and development

One of the biggest take-away points from the Salary Guide is the impact of training on staff satisfaction. Employees have revealed that they seek development and growth opportunities within their careers, and actively welcome them from employers.We’ve found that professionals occupying more skilled roles are happier (71%) and more interested (77%) in their work; so, staff training and development isn’t just good for them, it benefits the company, too.

Start the new year by sitting down with your staff and fleshing out a career development plan which factors-in the long and short-term goals of the organisation in tandem with their personal career goals. Use a report like the Robert Half Salary Guide to pin down the emerging skills for each role in the coming year; you can use this to help employees set manageable targets for each quarter, which include training and development programmes.

Create a positive workplace culture

Workplace culture is one of the lesser-known factors which impact staff retention. You can help improve a work environment and culture by ensuring you work with a skilled recruitment agency, to appoint professionals who are the right fit for your company culture. One bad hire can destroy the entire team dynamic, so ensuring that you have the right cultural fit is becoming just as important as finding an employee with the right technical skills.

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