6 common retention issues and how to tackle them

6 common retention issues and how to tackle them
Every business is different, but many businesses face the same common issues when it comes to keeping people. From managing the first week of a new starter to promoting a productive work-life balance for employees, here are six common retention issues and how to tackle them…

1. Refine recruitment and induction processes – Take two months to tell a new recruit they’ve got the job and you could tarnish your company’s brand image. Equally, if their induction is disjointed, you risk jeopardising their tenure with your business, as research shows that a large percentage of people decide during their first week whether they’re going to stay for the long-term. The best way to ensure happiness and longevity is to begin your new starter’s journey with a plan for their arrival and what they’re going to do during their first few days and weeks.

- Set yourself targets for communication with potential employees after you have interviewed to keep them interested throughout the employment process. This could be as simple as a quick email every couple of days to keep them updated on the process and when an outcome is likely.

- Create an induction checklist to plan the structure of a new starter’s first day and who’s responsible for running the induction (also known as an induction process). This should include what do they need to know about your company (background, context, values, vision), who’s who in the company, office work times/hours, health and safety etc. Most new starter’s will go through the same process , so you only have to create it once! 

- Bring in the team on the first day - whether you are an office of 100 people or 10, a new starter needs to feel welcomed. Be sure to involve your team in the process and give your new starter a warm welcome.

2. Career path clarity – Everybody wants to know they are advancing in their career and moving forward. Even if your business has a very flat structure, people can still be moved sideways or given opportunities to upskill. Create career maps, which shows options for an employee to progress their career or options for secondments or even projects they can be involved in which will give them exposure to new areas in the business. Job descriptions for every employee that are regularly reviewed are essential for creating clarity.

- Create a detailed job description - you may not be able to assure a career path for everyone working at your company, but a great way to give them career clarity is to create an in-depth job description and talk them through their roles and responsibilities over their first few days and how their contribution affects the business. Assess these periodically as in a small businesses, job descriptions needs to be flexible to ensure the needs of the business is being met.

- Discuss your expectations - what would you hope the employee would achieve by the end of the month, year, or during their contract? Be clear and concise with them, as well as understanding their expectations.  

- Create a career map - if you have time and the scope, a career map can be a great way to work in training, upskilling and promotions into the mindset of a new employee, giving them potential to grow in your company.

3. Management effectiveness – Management has a great deal to do with culture. Rather than micro-managing, staff are more effective when they are empowered to complete work independently, knowing that management is there to support them when needed.

- Training - be sure to offer your new starter some form of training. This could be something they research themselves externally or an internal training program that keeps staff at the forefront of new ideas and progress. It could also be as simple as shadowing a more experienced employee to learn how things are done.

- Follow up on induction efforts - it isn’t enough just to induct a new starter (see point 1), make time to follow their progress and check how they are settling in, particularly in the first few weeks of employment.

4. Work-life balance – According to our research, 62% of staff say they stay at a job because it offers a good work-life balance, compared to 42% who stay for the competitive salary. Rather than acknowledging hours devoted to work, celebrate efficient performance. This behaviour must be modelled by the senior management team before others will feel they can stop striving for the highest number of hours spent in the office. Look into the reasons people are working overtime and develop processes to address their efficiency.

- Implement creative and social activities to engage employees and indulge in some fun, showing that you recognise their efforts but that it isn’t all about work.

- Meet with employees who are staying late to understand the issues behind their imbalance. Perhaps they need more help/time from the management team or revision of their job description.

4. Job flexibility – Rated higher than salary as a reason to stay with an employer, offering flexible work arrangements proves to employees that the business cares about them on a personal level. Put flexible working hours in place that make it simple and acceptable for parents to leave work to attend their children’s school productions, for example. Analyse the benefits (including reduced office space costs) of allowing people to work from home, or elsewhere, when appropriate or necessary.

- Take advantage of technology and allow employees to work remotely when they need to. This can open up your business to remote work and save on overheads.

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stablish flexible working hours from the beginning - employees appreciate independence in the workplace and autonomy over their own hours.

5. Salary check – Don’t assume that because you offered a staff member a competitive salary when they came on board that it's still competitive now. Conduct market analysis every year, at the very least, in order to ensure your people are being remunerated at a good level.

Posted: Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 8:00 AM