How do I… keep my best people?

How do I… keep my best people?

Keeping employees engaged and loyal can aid business growth, performance and internal stability, as well as reinforce a positive company image. Peter Tuvey from Fleximize explains some strategies that work.

A retention strategy is a fundamental component of business success. However, it’s still something that many business owners overlook.

Well-calculated hiring decisions are essential for employee engagement. It’s important that candidates don’t just have an impressive CV, but that they also fit the existing company culture. This can prevent issues such as low job satisfaction, poor work quality and high staff turnover.

If a staff member does not share your company’s visions, values or even sense of humour, they are unlikely to stay in your organisation for long. As such, if you don’t invest time into your recruitment process, you’ll find yourself hiring for the same position a few months down the line.

The first point to consider when establishing an ethos for your business is the values and behaviours that you personally want to underpin it. Put yourselves in the shoes of a candidate and ask yourself what you’d be looking for from the company. Once you realise what makes your company attractive, you can create a business that people want to build a career at.

An open, helpful and cooperative culture, where your employees have the confidence to ask advice, will make all the difference. If your employees stay late to help a colleague or feel confident approaching management directly with an issue, you’ll know you’ve created a desirable company culture – and succeeded in terms of your retention strategy.

Recognizing and appreciating staff achievements is also paramount when creating the optimum work environment. Even small gestures, such as saying “thank you” in person or via email, or making positive comments on recent performance, will help motivate staff and make them feel valued.

In my experience, regular breaks promote fresher minds and greater focus, problem-solving and creative thinking, so try setting up a dedicated breakroom, and prohibit employees from eating at their desks.

By offering staff the chance to excel, develop and grow within your company, you will reduce turnover and reinforce commitments to long-term working relationships. Some seven out of ten people say training and development opportunities influence their decision to stay at a company. Development days, monthly reviews, workshops and training programs can all help to unlock employee potential and improve skills.

Honest and transparent communication is one of the greatest contributors to staff engagement and satisfaction. Ensure channels of communication between individuals and departments are open, and keep staff informed on any corporate changes. This will foster strong relationships and ensure staff feel valued and included.

Likewise, when dealing with staff complaints, address them attentively and in full. Portray your appreciation for their courage and honesty, and emphasise the company’s goal of working as a team. The best thing about this communication technique is that it won’t cost you anything; it just needs effort and commitment from you and your management team.

Most importantly, if you notice a member of staff looking stressed, remind them that you’re there to help, consider offering them flexible working, telecommuting or extra holidays when needed. You will see an uplift in productivity once they are given the right amount of breathing space.