7 Secrets to Retaining Your Best Employees

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By Rebecca D’Souza

Sourcing the right talent for your business is one of the biggest challenges facing business owners and directors today. Employees must possess the right mindset, fit into the office culture and have a drive to work towards the company’s goals. However, the battle does not end once the chosen candidate has signed their contract and done their first tea round. Retaining your best employees is an ongoing challenge and one that is best tackled consciously with a strategy in mind.

David Rozee, Managing Director of Triark Pumps, a distributor of Sandpiper Pumps, believes companies should place more resource into looking after their best workers.  He says: “It is cheaper to keep your good employees than to find new talent and train them, particularly in a technical industry like diaphragm pumps.  If your company is growing, it is important to make sure your best staff are coming on the journey too and are being rewarded for their input. If your employees go the extra mile then you, as the business owner, should be prepared to do the same for them”.

Not just about the money, but the money helps

Keeping hold of your best members of staff isn’t just about paying them more money. However, the value of a good salary must not be underestimated. Particularly talented members of the team should be rewarded for their high standards of work. It is always worth paying a little extra to keep hold of your key members. Regular Salary reviews are a great way to ensure staff feel they are remunerated appropriately for their work. By aligning salaries with the overall company development as well as personal indicators, you will start to build a culture where everyone works for the good of the company, in the knowledge that they will be personally rewarded.

Company and employee future

It is vital to show employees that their future (with the business) and the company’s future are linked. When an employee can see that their future, the professional goals and targets they have, are not separate from, but are instead a part of the company’s future they will not only want to stay with you, they will also want to do their best for you. Along with regular salary reviews, hold twice yearly goal reviews with you staff, understand where they want to be and demonstrate how the company can facilitate this. In doing so, you will be building a company culture to be proud of.

Offshore stockbroking firm, Ramsey Crookall, does this well.  The family-owned business has an award-winning team of staff with many of them serving the company for over 25 years.  In the 1980s, there was a bomb scare in the financial centre of Douglas and surrounding offices were evacuated with firemen insisting that people leave the buildings. However, it was a particularly busy trading day in the Dealing Room and the dealers refused to leave the site and continued delivering service to the clients. The bomb scare proved to be a hoax but this is an example of fierce employee loyalty.

Exercise and wellbeing

Over recent years, studies have shown that when staff are given the chance to exercise productivity increases and staff members even get on better with each other. Famously the Googleplex Campus is so well equipped with gyms, healthy eating options and even a laundrette that staff members often don’t even need to leave. Other companies such as Clif Bar have used their healthy image to foster a healthy culture, with onsite gyms and climbing walls. These options may be beyond your budget, but small changes can still make a big difference, offering a group gym discount, holding regular office fitness challenges or even just allowing staff extra time to pursue healthy activities will all help to keep staff healthy and on your payroll.

Flexible working

Technologies relentless progress hasn’t yet led to any significant decrease in the number of hours we all work. However, retaining staff is also about letting them go, go home that is. Giving your employees the chance to work from home, even occasionally or where possible offering flexible office hours will make your staff feel they are being treated like adults. Trusting your employees to get the job done during the hours that best suit them may feel like a big step but you will be in good company.  Virgin offer flexible working to their employees and are advocates of the benefits it has for both staff and company. Even offering shorter days on Fridays or occasional opportunities to work remotely can be enough keep your staff feeling trusted and, therefore, less likely to be looking elsewhere for a job.

 

Employee benefits

Keeping hold of your best members of staff is all about offering a great overall package. A great salary, flexible working, health and fitness incentives and discounts and a commitment to your staff’s futures all add to this package. Take some time to think about what other benefits you could add to make it as attractive as possible. Depending on your budget and business these could take many different forms. Is it possible to offer company cars to those members of staff who travel for work? Could you offer money towards train travel, or child care? You could even sign up to a cycle to work scheme.

 

Take staff development seriously

Your best employees will not want to stay in a job if they do not feel there are opportunities for development and promotion. Studies have shown that promotion opportunities are a vital factor when it comes to job satisfaction. Taking staff development seriously will let your employees know that they are valued and the company wants them to grow. Staff development can be tied into the regular goal and salary reviews. By understanding what your staff members goals are you will be able to steer employee and company on the same path. It is important to look at staff development both in terms of possible promotion and personal development. Helping your staff move up the ladder and develop their skills will help to retain those top performers.

 

Office philanthropy

Finally, it is always good to look beyond the company, it feels good to do good. Giving your employees the chance, during work hours to fundraise for or help at a local charity will show that you care about the bigger picture. Companywide fundraising is even better. Allowing staff to take the lead with this is worthwhile. A new charity can be picked each quarter and a number of events organised by the staff. Your best employees will be team players and these activities will only add to their overall job satisfaction.

 

By ensuring that employees are generously paid, feel as though they are part of and vital to the company’s future, encouraged to keep fit and healthy, given flexibility in their work, rewarded with benefits and incentives, given every opportunity to develop personally and even encouraged to donate some time to good causes; you will have built a successful employee retention strategy. Moreover, you may well have developed a family atmosphere that your successful people will never want to leave.

 

About the Author

Rebecca D’Souza is a freelance writer covering all aspects of business, including online marketing and PR.