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How to retain staff and your top talent
When it comes to effective staff retention strategies in Australia, one size does not fit all. The most forward-thinking employers understand that each individual employee has a specific combination of drivers that motivate them, which then impacts whether they invest their talents and energies back into the company.
And many studies have shown that while salary will always be a key factor in staff retention, flexibility and work-life balance are fast becoming significant requirements for today’s workforce.
Taking the time to discover what your employees need to thrive – especially during challenging periods or times of disruption – plays a significant role in retaining your overall workforce and top performers, developing them into the future leaders of your company.
Here are four key tips to help keep your employees motivated, engaged and committed to your business.
1. Empower and enable
For employees to succeed in their role and choose to stay with their employer, a sense of personal ownership in their work is essential. Therefore, micromanaging and other approaches that have negative connotations due to the lack of freedom will not work towards staff retention in today’s world.
It’s become the norm to provide staff with a clear understanding of deliverables and timeframes, and then give them the space to decide how that work gets completed. Be sure to supply employees with the necessary information, training, time and resources needed to get the job done, so that they can focus on producing their best work. Where possible, involve them in decision-making that directly affects their work and the overall direction of the company. As well as demonstrating your respect for their contribution, this also helps employees to own their role and feel connected to the future of the business.
2. Reward and recognise
Regularly recognising and rewarding accomplishments of your workforce is one of the most powerful staff retention strategies around. Boost your employees’ visibility by publicly recognising them at staff meetings or through a business-wide email. Taking the time to say and share a genuine thank you is an easy and effective way to make people feel valued and appreciated for their efforts. Importantly, compensate your employees for their hard work with appropriate monetary rewards (salary increase, bonus, lunch or dinner, gift voucher, team snacks and drinks) or non-monetary incentives (day off, early mark, opportunities for career progression such as leading a new project).
3. Challenge and develop
Opportunities for growth and advancement are key to retaining your top performers. High achievers tend to be life-long learners, so be sure to provide ongoing training and development opportunities to keep their skills up to date and set them up for their next promotion.
Ensure you challenge your staff with new responsibilities and allow them to lead projects where they can be motivated, reengaged and acquire new skills in the process.
A great starting point is to have these conversations regularly with your staff but allow them to lead the conversation. You may have an idea of where you see them growing, however, asking “What responsibilities do you enjoy about your role and where do you see yourself progressing?” means you may uncover some areas that they prefer to progress in, versus an obvious career pathway that others may have taken.
4. Lead and support
The quality of an employee’s relationship with their manager and co-workers are a critical factor in their overall satisfaction at work. As a manager, ensure your expectations are clear, communicate openly and honestly, and keep your promises. Offer frequent feedback and guidance, as well as encourage suggestions and new ideas from everyone in the team. Check in either daily or weekly to ensure workloads are achievable and appropriate. Spend one-on-one time discussing staff progress so they feel like a valued and supported team member.
Importantly, every now and again, take a step back to self-assess and ask if your actions are helping to foster a positive, motivating work environment that also facilitates a culture to socialise and have fun.
As one size does not fit all, you may want to implement an annual anonymous workplace survey to discover areas of improvement and any gaps you can fill that will directly impact staff retention. After all, there’s no point investing in certain initiatives or rewards if it doesn’t genuinely resonate with your workforce.
If you have specific hiring needs, get in touch with a specialist Page Personnel consultant today.