Retain, retain, retain


Every week I take a dozen calls from employers who are frustrated about losing their talent in this highly competitive market we’re sitting in right now.  In some cases, we need turnover in our businesses but when it’s unplanned or even worse, unexpected, it can put your business in a risky position.

We’ve been sharing a few tips and techniques with our clients, and I thought it would be great to also share some with our readers! First up – there will be some staff who will leave no matter
what you do.   

If an employee has one foot out the door, chances are they have been thinking about leaving for a while and someone, something, or a better offer made that exit happen faster. Next, there are some staff are actively looking at their options; have been offered another job and quietly start a bidding war with their current employer.  Look, I can’t tell you whether you should or shouldn’t play in that pit, but I would say, if they were worth more when employed by you, why didn’t you pay them more (if you could afford to?). Ask yourself at that very point, what could I have done differently and then go ahead and assess your team and find out whether you have flight risks anywhere else.

My advice here is it isn’t always about money either. For a lot of people an extra $2-$5k extra a year will make a massive difference to their lifestyle, for others, not so much.  For other people, extra leave to spend time with their kids in the school holidays is a huge retainer for them. An extra week’s leave costs you 2% of their salary. Not huge, but highly rewarding for the employee. Some people want to start earlier, leave earlier, work from home on the odd occasion. Let’s face it folks – the “typical workday” of 8-5pm Monday to Friday is fast becoming a dinosaur.  Anymore lock downs and we’ll all be experts at working for home!

Other great retention examples I’ve heard lately include community days off to go and work for a charity that needs it, duvet days (great for my mental health that’s for sure!), good old team celebrations when you get even the smallest wins, out of the box recognition (remember your extroverts love this and your introverts will love it – away from other people!) – by this I mean, just taking 5-10 minutes to warmly and genuinely thanking someone for something they did well.  Hello – I love that sort of praise and so do others!  Mentoring programmes are taking off – this is a great way for an employee to feel truly supported in their development.

Think about wellness offerings like stress management programmes, retirement planning, reimbursement for gym classes and other things you might consider providing to employees?

Summing up I think we all need to take a good hard look at our current teams and take stock.  Run a survey, get some data – how are people feeling, how engaged are they in your workplace?  Are they considering another job right now (you can ask that question!), what would make them stay loyal to you (yep, you can ask that question too!)? Lastly, make sure your managers or anyone else in your team are not compelling great employees to leave. You’ve heard the expression I’m sure “people leave managers, not companies”. 

If you or someone else in your business is the catalyst for people leaving your organisation, now is the time to get some help!


About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource Specialist and Managing Director, Everest People. Waikato and BOP people and culture specialists. www.everestpeople.co.nz