One of the key challenges clients are facing currently as the market gets challenging to attract the right people for their business is holding on to their top performers.
A study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) titled “The Future of Work: What workers want: Winning the war for talent” surveyed 1800 workers and found that 38% were considering leaving their employer in the next 12 months.
So what are the top 7 ways you can retain your top performers and avoid your top performers being another statistic in the great resignation of 2022?
1. Hire the right cultural fit
The leading organisations now don’t just hire for the technical requirements for the role but also look to find employees that fit their culture. Once you’ve established your vision for what you want in your organisational culture it becomes a lot easier to find people who have a shared vision and shared values. People want to work somewhere where they feel they belong and are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Whether you have a family friendly culture, a social “work hard play hard” environment or you have a remote workforce who values flexibility- the answer is to be really clear on that. Understand the person you are hiring and their motivators- do they want a really social environment? Are they looking for complete remote flexibility due to their personal circumstances? Whatever the drivers- know your company culture and find someone who wants what you do too. Then they are more likely to stick.
2. Provide ownership
Nothing kills a career more than micromanagement or needing to control all aspects of someone’s job. The tale is often true that employees leave managers not organisations. Take an honest look at how you manage and the tone you set for your employees. Do you set the parameters and allow your employee to drive the outcome? When something goes wrong, do you have your employees back and support them? Are you allowing them to take ownership of their role without needing to check with you or get through too much red tape? Employees want autonomy and security. Set the path and let them deliver.
3. Create and communicate career pathways
There are all sorts of new creative strategies companies are using to retain staff on track to their next promotion. If you have an ambitious staff member who isn’t quite ready for the next level but is keen to progress then you can build a pathway for them. Set some key deliverables over a 12 month period and link the achievement of those deliverables to their next promotion or incremental salary increase. Make time for your succession planning and communicate with your key individuals openly and honestly about their pathway. If you see them as a future leader in your business start to involve them in leadership discussions now so you can build them into your strategy and let them see your vision for the business too.
4. Improve your onboarding process
Great employee onboarding is all about the details. Making sure the IT equipment is all set up and there are meetings already set to introduce them to key stakeholders goes a long way. Take them out for dinner in their first week casually or lunch to see how they are settling in. Create a little welcome pack with some merchandise and useful equipment for them. Call them before their first day and tell them you are excited for them to join your team and do they have any questions. Make sure you have more prepared for them on the first day then just a bunch of online inductions. First impressions count and set the tone for their onboarding journey.
5. Evaluate your remuneration and benefits policy
Are you communicating your remuneration and benefits to all staff members? If there’s been improvements over the year has that been communicated recently? Take a serious look at 9 day fortnights, 20 days annual leave, extra leave over the Christmas shutdown period, birthday leave, additional parental leave for both parents and explore what else you can offer outside of salary. Better yet, include it in your employee evaluation survey each year and ask your employees what benefits they’d like to see. You may find some great ideas within your business already! If there’s some great discounts available already make sure you do a mailout or see what you can negotiate with your procurement team or supplier relationships to offer even more value to your employees.
6. Recognition and reward
Recognise great performance not just great outcomes. Make sure when you are recognising employees you are doing so across all levels of your business as this breeds a culture of collaboration and teamwork. Working in sales or project-based roles it can be easy to recognise and reward those winning the big projects or the top billers but find creative ways to recognise all employees in your business. Do you have an office manager with exceptional detail who meticulously organises every event? Do you have a salesperson who has a fantastic relationship with their clients and gets rave reviews? Try to spread the love and ensure all your team feels valued and is rewarded for their contribution to the overall business goal. Team lunches, a massage voucher, movie tickets or flowers and chocolates all work – it doesn’t have to be grand to be noticed.
7. Create flexible working arrangements
There are challenges with this one in some roles and recruiting in construction I can certainly understand that but try and see where you can make it possible because it is in high demand post COVID. Can you job share a role where two people can share the role responsibilities? Can you have working from home or early starts and finishes? Can the role be done remotely? Can a contractor do the role if it is a short term need for your business? Consider the flexibility you can offer in whatever sense as a lot of employees are asking for it.
Ultimately some staff are going to leave and that is part of having a business but with the cost of replacing a valued staff member averaging about 20% of their salary to replace them it can be a real hit to the bottom line.
Having an active strategy around hiring and retaining the right staff will allow you to keep your top performers engaged and to hire those that build your culture rather than detracting from it. Great employees build great businesses so putting the focus into looking after yours makes smart business sense too.