Recruiting the right people is a significant challenge for employers. However, keeping them for the long term can be even harder. Develop a clear employee retention strategy which makes your organisation difficult to desert.
Organisations too often leave it until the exit interview to discover why their people jump ship. But at this point, it’s too late to persuade your star performers to stay. And the chances are it will be too late to prevent others from leaving in their wake. Retaining the people you need to drive productivity should be embedded in every aspect of your approach to your teams and leadership.
It’s no longer enough to offer a competitive salary and benefits package. To future-proof your talent pool and encourage your people to commit to your organisation, they need to:
- Feel that they and their contribution is valued
- Have opportunities to learn and develop
- Have strong and supportive workplace relationships with coworkers and leaders.
People stay where they and their contribution is valued
It might sound obvious, but letting your people know when they are doing a good job is a significant factor in how they feel about their place in your organisation. This is where understanding exactly what motivates your people is highly valuable.
Pinpointing how individuals prefer to be rewarded or recognised, enables HR to work with line managers and senior leaders to best motivate their reports in a manner that is meaningful. A broad brush approach to recognition is rarely taken seriously. We all need to believe that we are seen as individuals, not just part of a herd.
Understanding whether people want their name up in lights, or simply receive a quiet thank you from the right person, could prevent the loss of your most productive people.
People stay where they have the opportunities to learn and develop
Few strong performers will be satisfied with staying in the same role, carrying out the same tasks for years on end. And even those who are content in such roles, will still need to develop new skills as the workplace evolves around them.
For example in the tech sector, we’ve heard it said that the only skill a coder needs is to be able to code. It’s however, an increasingly outdated view which will adversely affect the retention of valuable talent if left unchallenged.
A workplace culture, which focuses on the continual growth and development of its people is one which most of us will be loyal to.
Having the space to try new tasks, without the fear of their reputation being damaged for failing is confidence boosting. A culture of innovation is energising and motivating. While it may not always be feasible to move across different departments or into leadership roles, there are other ways to develop through workplace relationships which are the cornerstone of every workplace environment. By that, we don’t mean raft-building or team drinks as fun as they might be. What really makes the difference is developing greater self and social awareness of the impact we have with each other.
People stay where they have strong and supportive workplace relationships
This is where your investment in development really pays off. It’s one thing to define your organisation’s values, but quite another to implement a plan which makes them a day-to-day reality for the people in your organisation.
It’s these values which set the standard for how your people treat and work with each other. Your values should give confidence to your people that they will have fair leaders who are good examples for their team, and co-workers that they can trust. This creates the conditions for strong positive relationships to flourish, rather than allow blame, toxicity and apathy to set in.
We spend so much of our lives with our co-workers. We need to believe that we can trust each other’s motives and also accommodate each other’s foibles. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be honest with each other – feedback and critique is an essential factor in progression, but it should always be delivered constructively, ethically and humanely.
A workplace with coworkers whose company you enjoy is very difficult to say goodbye top
Don’t leave it until your people exit
Recruiting to replace the leavers you could have retained is a risky and expensive business. Let us help you develop a retention strategy which works towards your organisation’s objectives.
We help organisations of every size and sector, from the start-up to the well-established, to create and optimise their talent retention strategies through positive workplace culture. Talk to our team of expert consultants and coaches to learn how we can do this for you.