Is retention at the top of your agenda for 2015?

A recent survey shows that 1 in 3 staff will be look for a new job in 2015. While this may be a good sign for those looking to hire this year, it also means that staff retention is going to be a challenge and needs to be at the top of your agenda in 2015.

So let’s look at the reasons staff leave and some ideas on how to retain them.

Five main reasons why employees leave

1. It doesn’t feel good around here – This can include any number of issues to do with the corporate culture and the physical working environment.

2. I am not valued and don’t get the support I need to get my job done – Many people don’t feel personally valued. When people don’t feel engaged or appreciated, all the money in the world won’t keep them. People want to do a good job yet can feel constrained to do so because of lack of manager support.

3. Lack of opportunity for advancement – Advancement doesn’t necessarily mean promotion. More often, it means personal and professional growth. People want to be better tomorrow than they are today.

4. Personal growth – Personal growth constitutes a very strong driver in today’s workforce, particularly with the younger generation. People coming out of college often identify training as the primary criterion for choosing their first company. Companies that cut back on their training departments have a lot of catching up to do in order to attract good people.

5. Low compensation or recognition – People want fair pay but contrary to most managers’ beliefs money rarely comes first when deciding whether to stay or go. Employees want opportunities to grow and learn, to advance in their careers and to work on challenging and interesting projects. They want to be recognised and appreciated for their efforts. A certain percentage of people will always chase more income but the majority of workers look at non-monetary reasons first.

So that’s the bad stuff, now lets look at some retention strategies.

Five staff retention strategies

1. Have a clear mission and defined set of values – Having a clear mission and ‘lived’ values will help you attract and retain the right staff who buy into the values. Younger staff want to feel they are part of something exciting that they believe in. Use your values to help your recruitment process and recruit against values as much as you recruit the ability to do the job.

2. Give employees ownership – Has anyone ever enjoyed being micromanaged? People work best (and are happiest) when they have ownership, when they can solve problems their way and express their individuality. This doesn’t mean making everyone equal but ensuring work is delegating when and where it should and can be.

3. Develop your staff – Staff development strategies deal with personal and professional growth. Good employees want to develop new knowledge and skills in order to improve their value in the marketplace and enhance their own self-esteem.

4. Create a healthy working environment – Creating and maintaining a workplace that attracts, retains and nourishes good people is crucial for staff retention. This covers a host of areas such as a safe, pleasant, inspiring work environment to creating clear, logical and consistent operating policies and procedures.

It’s not healthy to work like a dog. Companies with superior retention rates are the ones that recognise that wellness is essential to productivity.

5. Develop creative compensation schemes – Effective compensation schemes stem from one fundamental principle: money alone will not retain most employees. In the old days, companies essentially paid people for their time. Today, more and more companies pay for performance – in every position, not just sales. To retain employees, your compensation plan needs to incorporate this trend.

Smart employers use a variety of hard (monetary) and soft (non-monetary) employee compensation strategies to make it difficult for other companies to steal their people away.

So what is your 2015 staff retention strategy looking like? How high up the management team’s agenda is it?  Want some help?  Get in touch.


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