No business wants to lose its best people. You could be the best employer in the world, but people will still choose to leave for pastures new. And that’s ok – part on good terms, stay in touch, and you never know when your paths might cross again. Maybe they’ll even re-join your business further down the track.
The problem comes when businesses lose people because they aren’t taking care of them as they should, whether that’s financially, physically, psychologically or through lack of opportunities for development and growth. Because the chances are if a member of staff is unhappy, this could fast become widespread throughout the company. A culture of resentment, complaints and uncertainty can grow quickly and before you know it, you’re haemorrhaging staff, losing good people faster than you can replace them.
Recruitment is an expensive business, so no organisation wants to be doing it more than they have to. The most successful businesses understand their people are their best asset, and place just as much emphasis on keeping the staff they already have happy, productive and motivated as they do on attracting new talent into the business.
Here’s our five-step plan to building a loyal workforce that gives you their best.
Step one: Create a culture that makes your employees want to come to work
Positivity breeds positivity, so make your workplace one that people love to work in. Recognise individual achievements, minimise politics, and communicate openly and transparently. Create a mission and a set of values that personifies what you want your business to be, and ensure you live them through everything you do. That way, when people join your company, they know exactly what kind of business they’ll be working for. In turn, you’ll know they support what you want to do and where you want to go.
Step two: Offer competitive pay and benefits
Money isn’t everything, but if you’re paying below the market value for someone’s position and level of experience, you’re risking them leaving for another job where they get paid more. You might be offering 2% or 3% pay rises thinking your generosity will keep your staff happy, but if they are still being paid below the going rate, it doesn’t exactly suggest that you value their contribution to your business success. Be prepared to pay what your employees are worth – or risk losing them to a business that will.
Step three: Look after their safety and wellbeing
Provide a safe, comfortable environment in which to work. This means taking care of your employees’ physical and mental health through everything from implementing staff wellbeing measures, improving mental health awareness and maintaining a diverse, inclusive workplace, to providing high quality training, PPE and workplace safety procedures. Don’t just pay lip-service to these things – go beyond the minimum and really commit to taking care of your people – you’ll be glad you did when productivity and loyalty skyrocket.
Step four: Remove bad management
If you’ve ever worked under an unsupportive or incompetent manager, you’ll know how negatively this can impact your day-to-day experience at work. So, get rid of bad managers. If you see a high turnover of staff in a particular department or team, ask yourself why all those people have wanted to leave – interview the staff as part of their exit process and is there something going on that you’re missing? Conversely, if you have good managers, do everything you can to keep them; they are worth their weight in gold. Make sure they know how much you value them.
Step five: Provide opportunities for development
When you’re thinking about how to keep the staff you already have, it can be tempting to be wary of offering them opportunities for development in case it encourages them to seek a higher-level job elsewhere. But research shows businesses that offer their employees opportunities to grow and develop their skills benefit from increased loyalty. To get the best results, speak to your staff individually about their career goals and actively create opportunities for them to follow their interests and advance within your company.