Successful organisations understand the importance of having good employee retention strategies in place, as well as having viable candidate attraction strategies. Staff who are dissatisfied in their current role or who are perhaps unhappy with the company and its environment, are more likely to explore external opportunities. In a candidate short market, the last thing you would want is to lose your top performers or even worse, for them to go to a competitor. The cost of keeping your current staff engaged is far less than that of hiring and training a new one, as well as the knock on effects to their co-workers’ productivity and morale.
Whilst having some staff turnover is expected, it is key for organisations to keep these rates minimal. Understanding the main reasons staff leave is imperative and this data can be collected via channels such as staff engagement and values surveys as well as exit interviews and suggestion boxes / feedback forums.
Based on my experience, as an Accounting Recruiter in Melbourne, remuneration does not tend to be the main driver for candidates but it can still have an impact in the decision making process. This is particularly the case when the opportunity presented ‘ticks other boxes’ regardless of whether they are happy in their role or not. With this in mind, aligning salaries to the market, as a minimum, may have a significant impact on retention.
Key ways to retain your top performer include:
- Create the right culture – Align your values and mission to the environment you want to create. People work best once clear expectations have been set and these are accountable. Everyone should be treated the same and avoid a ‘flavour of the month’ mentality. Hire the right employees for the environment, as one poor hire can have a toxic effect on your culture.
- Work-life balance – Every successful organisation will offer an element of flexibility. If you expect your staff member to attend a phone hookup at 10pm at night, or to work longer hours during month end for example, then give them something back. It can be the difference of someone feeling appreciated or undervalued.
- Offer training and development – It is crucial that training and development is available for everyone; not only new starters or when employees step up into leadership. In order for top performers to thrive, it is essential that they be supported throughout their career in order to perform at their best. Training does not always have to come at a massive expense; there are many seminars available to fit within any organisation’s budget. A mentoring program is also another cost effective way of engaging staff.
- Create clear pathways for growth and advancement – Understanding your employees’ desire for growth and development is vital, most people expect a defined career path. Conducting regular reviews will provide you with a clear definition of their aspirations and will allow you to provide clarity about the opportunities available to them and how to advance. Map it out for them. Provide staff with opportunities to develop new skills and to take on additional responsibilities in their current position or cross train and offer rotation; this will position them for future advancement within the organisation.
- Reward success - Everyone wants to feel appreciated and for their hard work to be recognised. Recognition is not always expressed through monetary gain, for most, the culture where successes are communicated publically not only drives performance and reinforces positive behaviour, but gives an employee a sense of self-worth and value and builds loyalty.
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