When you’ve invested considerable time, effort, and money into recruiting, training, and paying staff, it can be immensely frustrating to see them quit for a better offer elsewhere. Staff retention is the art and science of holding onto your valuable team and avoiding the cost of rehiring, which doesn’t just consist of the immediate cost implications.
Why is staff retention so important?
When staff leaves your business, you have a whole raft of costs affecting your bottom line, and some of the most significant may not be easily quantifiable. There are the costs of advertising for, interviewing and training new members of staff, which aren’t simply expenses like placing a job ad in your trade publication, but the impact on your existing staff of having to spend time training and assisting new recruits.
You could well lose sales if your new hire doesn’t know enough or hasn’t developed the skills to close a deal, and if you lose a productive member of staff, they’re taking with them all the knowledge and skills that would have brought increased profitability to the business in both the short and long term. It’s not easy to put a figure on such losses, but they could be considerable.
What’s the secret of staff retention?
If you’re assuming staff retention is all about paying the highest wages, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that’s very far from the case. There’s been a great deal of research over the years into what makes staff want to stay in their job, and although pay is an important factor, it’s generally not the deciding one. Providing you’re paying a decent remuneration; staff won’t leave just for higher pay in most cases.
Far more important to staff is how much they enjoy their work and whether they feel appreciated for what they do. Most people want to feel that the work they do has value, that it’s making a contribution, and that that contribution is acknowledged by the people around them – especially the boss. One of the best tactics in your efforts to retain staff is simply to value them, tell them when they’ve done a good job, and support them if they’re struggling for any reason.
Many businesses have found that employee benefits schemes work very well as a way of keeping hold of staff. For example, by providing additional health benefits, insurances, pension provision, and sickness cover. You may not relish the prospect of administering such a scheme, but you can outsource your scheme with benefits administration from TriNet. Using a specialist service to manage employee benefits relieves you of the time and effort of trying to handle it yourself, and ensures you get the best value for money.
You can also aid retention by investing in staff training. Enabling staff to attend training courses, work towards relevant qualifications, and advance their knowledge is not only beneficial to the business from the point of view that staff gain skills that help them perform their jobs more productively; you’re also showing them that you value them and believe in them, which for most employees is more rewarding than anything else.