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Ways to retain staff

Whether it’s at the highest corporate level, or for the most apparently menial job, it’s important to find ways to retain staff. In a competitive marketplace, though, every business owner faces challenges in this respect.

It doesn’t matter how many employees your company has – whether it’s two or two thousand, you’re faced with the same worries about staff retention. Ways to retain staff come in different forms, each of which contribute to the bigger picture of helping you keep staff in their posts, and keep them performing at their best.

The ways to retain staff become apparent right from the word go, at the recruitment stage. It’s worth spending the time finding the right person for the job in question; this might take a little longer, but it will pay off in the long run. Having the right person in the right role gives you one less thing to worry about, rather than endless (not to mention costly) rounds of interviews and new-team-member inductions. Our sister service Psychometric Analysis can help you identify the person who will be best suited to the job you’re recruiting for.

Of all the ways to retain staff, the most obvious is to make your staff feel valued – if they feel that they’re important to your company and that their input is appreciated, they’ll be more motivated and likely to stay. However lowly a job might seem in the grand scheme of your business, whoever’s doing it must feel that they’re playing an important part in the overall workings of the company, and that their value is recognised higher up the ladder.

Getting feedback from your staff is always a valuable process, not just for answering the question of how to retain staff, but in nurturing a positive working environment. Your staff should always feel that their voices are heard, but don’t leave it there – use their comments to make real, tangible changes that improve your company.

Inevitably, things sometimes go wrong, and implementing a culture of accountability is another of the many ways to retain staff. Getting your team members to take responsibility for their work is a surprisingly effective way to increase productivity as it encourages them to achieve. It also allows you to isolate where things have gone wrong, and to make corresponding adjustments either to your team make-up, or to your company’s procedures.

The jobs market is a highly competitive one, and workers are keen to ensure that they have the right opportunities to grow. Nobody will actively choose a dead-end job, and they certainly won’t stay in post if they feel that your company won’t allow them to develop their skills. One of the overlooked ways to retain staff is to encourage them to spread their wings. Ironically, employees who don’t feel shackled to their desks are more likely to stay there gladly.

The idea of the work-life balance is more important now to workers than ever before, and failing to recognise this is a sure-fire way to alienate your staff. Gone are the days when staff were expected to sell their soul to the company – today, employees want to feel respected as human beings. One of the most powerful ways to retain staff, ironically, is to recognise their non-work lives.

If your staff turnover is higher than you’d like it to be, it’s important to question why you’re having to employ new team members. Some business owners argue that if they’re having to let staff go, surely the staff themselves are at fault? It’s an easy assumption to make; after all, if someone isn’t up to the job, surely they shouldn’t be in the job.

However, it’s worth looking a little deeper. Was the job specification a fair one? Did you employ someone with less experience that you really needed, as a way to save money? Finding effective ways to retain staff is one thing, but you must also be aware of the job opportunity you’re presenting. If you want to keep staff happy, leaving them feeling hoodwinked by the job really isn’t the right way to go about it.

At the end of the day, when it comes to looking after staff, communication is always at the heart of it. Give new team members a clear sense of the role they’ll be taking on; ensure that they feel their ideas are being listened to; reward them when they achieve; support and coach them when they don’t. Of the many ways to retain staff, simply keeping in touch with them is the most important of all.

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