Struggling to keep staff? Brace yourself, we’re heading for that time of year again! It’s a fact, January sees up to a 40% increase in people searching on-line for a new job. Why do they start to look?
Because something is lacking in their current job.
So what can you do to keep staff?
The five most common reasons people look to move jobs are
- Job stability – People’s needs are changing. What people are looking for now is to work for an organisation that has a plan. They want an organisation that seems to know where it’s going and offers some job stability
- Money – it’s not rocket science, as unemployment falls, people can afford to be pickier about where they work. They can hold out for more money. If they’re working somewhere where they’ve not had a pay rise for the last couple of years watch out. As the economy picks up people expect to receive better pay.
- Respect – have you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? If not, find out about it, it really is true! It’s another blindingly obvious fact. If people feel that they’re earning enough to satisfy their basic needs, keep a roof over their heads etc, the next thing they want is to feel valued. Employees want to be recognised for the contribution they have made. That doesn’t mean they necessarily want to be paid more. Nor does it necessarily mean they want to be made Employee of the Month but they do want to be recognised as making a contribution.
- Health Benefits – the NHS is under pressure. People are waiting longer for appointments to deal with painful conditions that affect their quality of life. People are looking for workplace health benefits that will help them.
- Work Life Balance – at one time more sought after by females. Now work life balance initiatives are sought after by an even split between the genders. It’s not that people want to work less. They want to work differently to help them balance the demands of work and personal lives and improve their overall quality of life.
So, what can you do to keep staff?
Review how you work and make some simple changes, many of them won’t even cost you money!
- Communicating your plans for the business with staff on a regular basis is helpful. Tell them what the business targets are and how they fit into the grand plan.
- Set individual targets designed to help achieve the organisations target. Each employee wants to see how what they are doing fits into the grand plan.
- Involve staff in coming up with new ways of saving money/increasing productivity/developing new products. Have a look at what Dan Pink shows can be achieved by freeing up staff to think more creatively about what they do at work.
- Hold regular one to one meetings. Reviewing individual performance against targets and making the effort to recognise good performance when it’s been delivered can only help in the bid to keep staff.
- Make cash plans available to staff that contribute to the cost of physiotherapy, subsidises the cost of dental treatment, new glasses etc. They don’t have to cost the organisation anything, other than the time to set them up. They offer great benefits to staff. If an employee can claim back £450 of expenditure a year for an outlay of £120 that’s additional money in the employee’s pocket because they work in your organisation.
- Consider introducing salary sacrifice schemes. Helping employees manage costs such as their child care will be valued by some employees. Child care vouchers take money out of gross wages, generating cost savings to both the employee and employer.
- If an employee has done something significant make the effort to thank them. A personal letter of thanks that the employee can show to family and friends (the very people that often egg them on to change their job) is a simple but highly effective move to keep staff.
- Maximise PR for company achievements. Articles in local media and awards won are all ways of improving the image of your organisation in the local community. It shows that you are an organisation that’s going places/achieving things. This kind of external recognition of what the organisation does can have real impact on the pride that people feel about working for your organisation. They become proud to be associated with you and therefore more likely to stay longer.
- Can you be more flexible in the working patters that you offer people? Do they have to work 9-5 or is it only imperative that they are on site between 10 and 3 as core time but they can choose whether they then work 10 – 6 or 8 – 4? Could you accommodate them working four long days instead of 5 ordinary days (compressed hours)?
- Conduct an annual staff survey (anonymous responses give you the best data). Asking staff how they feel about working in your organisation is important. Do they know what you expect of them, how do they feel that the organisation communicates them, what would they like the organisation to do differently?
Why bother about keeping staff?
You are always going to have some staff who want to move on to pastures new but it makes business sense to keep staff that you’ve invested a lot of time, money and effort in getting them to be a productive member of your team. Why would you want to just hand over that investment you’ve made to a competitor without a fight? It’s never easy to keep staff, it takes effort but it doesn’t always have to cost money.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565 332 or email us to discuss how we may help you.