Five Tips on How to Retain Your Best Employees

BlogHR Advice Posted: Tuesday 13th March 2018 by

For any business, large or small, implementing a plan to retain your best employees should be high on the priority list. Your employees are often the driving force of your business: they look after your customers, they sell your products, and the very best ones ensure that your company remains operational and profitable.

According to an ACAS study, the true cost of replacing an employee can amount to more than £30,000. This takes into account loss of productivity in the time it takes to hire and train (approximately 28 weeks), advertising costs, and HR and management time.

Although succession planning should be embedded into the very fabric of your business, employee retention – right here and now – will help to prevent your top-performing staff from wandering off and joining your competition.

Here are our top tips on how to retain your best employees and safeguard the future of your business.

Offer a competitive package

It may seem obvious but your staff need compensating for their work. We’re not just talking about a decent salary, either. Although, of course, a competitive wage aligned with, or even above, the industry average is a great start.

As the world changes around us, many employees want more from their jobs than just a pay cheque at the end of the month. Think about what your staff will really value and what benefits your business can introduce to reinforce the loyalty of your workforce.

      Flexible working time for employees with child care or elder care obligations

      The ability to work from home for those with longer commutes or external commitments

      An extra day’s holiday entitlement for birthdays or long-service

      Health insurance/life insurance benefits

      Subsidised or fully funded training/education/qualifications

      Subsidised gym memberships

      Casual Fridays

All of these things (and more) can go a long way to show your staff that you can accommodate their lives outside of work and will help to retain your best employees.

Promote from within

There is nothing worse than starting a job, or being a year or two in, before realising that you have nowhere to go. Dampening career progression opportunities for your employees is one way to ensure they have one foot in the door of someone else’s interview room.  

Offer your employees a clear path for advancement and encourage them to take on new opportunities. Implementing a training plan, or providing access to further education, industry qualifications or even degree-level study could be just the retention ticket for your more motivated employees.

Create an open-door management culture

As the old saying goes, ‘negativity breeds contempt’. Increasingly, employees will not stay long in a business that has a negative or uncooperative working culture. Stamp out negativity in your workplace before it spreads and encourage your management team to adopt an open-door policy.

If your managers are visible ‘on the shop floor’ and accessible to every employee, no matter their status or seniority, you will create a more open culture where employees feel comfortable in expressing their views.

Set out your expectations

If your employees don’t know what you expect of them, you can’t blame them for their mistakes.

We’ve blogged before about the importance of an updated employee handbook, and ensuring your HR policies and procedures are still working for you. In a concerted effort to retain your best employees, and with the regular (and often confusing) changes to employment law, it is more important than ever to communicate your working practices to your wider workforce.

Laying down the procedures and guideline to how you expect your employees to behave will also help you with future performance management, and disciplinary and grievance decisions.

Hire an HR professional

Not every small or medium-sized business has the budget of larger organisations to keep on the right side of ever-changing legislation. If your business is not in the position to afford full-time HR support, then it’s an excellent idea to hire an expert on a part-time or ad-hoc basis to ensure your company is consistently compliant. This means your best employees can focus on their own areas of specialism and not get involved in areas of the business where they may not be suited. 

Human Results offer an interim HR manager and director-level service, as well as HR expertise on a retained basis. This means that you don’t need a full-time resource on site and you can dip in and out when specific expertise is required.

If you need support to retain your best employees, implement a succession plan, or support with your employee engagement initiatives, contact our expert team in confidence.

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