How to retain staff – What do your employees want?

It’s getting harder to attract quality candidates to come and work for you. In addition, finding the right staff is a phrase we hear often from our clients. We though this would be a perfect opportunity to give you ideas on how to retain staff.

Are you finding it difficult to attract and retain good quality people?

Do you understand what your employees want?

Earlier this year, research by the job board CV Library showed that that 84% of UK workers were looking for a new job. They also showed that 36% stating that they disliked their current role.

The challenge for you is not just to look at how to retain staff, but to retain them too. The only way to do so is to create an environment that engages, excites and encourages your existing and prospective people.

Here are 4 things that should be on your radar for 2018 and will help you give what your employees want:

Clear leadership and direction

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Study reveals that 46% of UK employees say “leaders who set clear direction” would most benefit their work situation. In times of uncertainty, workers need to be sure that their bosses are strong, supportive and effective enough to navigate their way through.

‘Clear leadership’ can mean different things to different businesses and people.  As an SME business owner, you may not be a natural leader. However, you can recruit other managerial staff with these skills. You can also ensure your people get the direction they need.

I’ve just read Leadership and the  One Minute Manager and this will help give you some useful hints and tips in your business.

Work/life balance

34% of British employees are dealing with anxiety, depression or stress. Over a third of the UK population regularly gets under six hours of sleep per night. Sleep-deprived workers costing the UK economy £40 billion per year in lost productivity.

Stress, a lack of sleep, working too many hours, taking work home and poor eating habits all impact negatively on an employee’s work/life balance. That makes them more likely to quit – or act as if they already have. This creates negativity in your business as this rubs off on other collegues.

You can improve work life balance by doing a few things in your business.  Opportunities to work from home, flexible hours, encouraging exercise (and even offering gym memberships), time management courses, and other courses that promotes wellbeing.

Glassdoor’s 2017 list of the top 20 UK firms for work/life balance is topped by Expedia. This is thanks to “their flexi-time policy and cloud-based technology which allows its employees to work remotely.

Learning and Development 

A third of UK employees are dissatisfied with how their career has progressed to date. Many employees citing poor line management (39%), a lack of effective training (34%), and office politics (34%).

What do you do in your workplace?

Opportunities don’t have to be costly.  I encourage my team to spend at least 2 hours per month on a “learning activity”.  This could be a webinar, reading a book, listening to podcast, watching a Youtube video, attendance at a course, semnar or workshop, or watching a TED talk.

Self-development is hugely important to me. As a business owner it helps me to generate ideas and keep up to date with trends in HR.  This also keeps me up to date with trends affecting my clients.  To enable your team to deliver the service your customers expect, you need to be encouraging learning and development.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Trust in businesses and governments is down. It’s not just the public that can be affected by a company’s focus (or lack thereof) on CSR, though. Boosting CSR can also help improve motivation and engagement in your business.  Why not get involved in things that mean something close to the hearts of your employees?.  I’ve seen good examples in the past where organisations have got invovled with local charities, giving something back. However, it’s important to choose something that means something to their staff.  In addition, this fosters good team spirit, improves morale but also helps you retain and attract good people.

Retaining great staff and saving new hire costs in a competitive market will always be a challenge. In addition, this can often be dictated by the ever-changing shape of the employment market. You can also make a difference by focusing on what employees and candidates really want. To be successful, this change must come from the top. Demonstrating your commitment to employee happiness, rather than paying lip service to current trends.

So, as you plan for 2018, are you doing enough on the people front?. Do you really value what people want?

For more information on how to retain staff, contact us at The HR Booth on 01383 668178 or email us through our website.

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