will they stay forever? The new rules of staff retention for 2017

will they stay forever? The new rules of staff retention for 2017
The employment landscape isn’t what it used to be.

There was a time when employers could be certain that employees would be content and permanent, but now you can’t be as confident.

In fact, according to the Randstad Workmonitor & Mobility Index for 2017 (quarter 2), 71% of New Zealanders think that a job for life has become extinct.

While only 6% of Kiwis are actively looking for jobs and 18% are looking around a bit, the remaining 76% are “passively” jobseeking. This means, if the right opportunity came along a New Zealand employee would more than likely accept the offer. A better offer could include more attractive salary and benefits, a better work atmosphere and more career progression opportunities.  

In the tech work scape the need for skills is greater, and so retaining the best employees is even more important. Tech employers need to consider how they attract the best talent and keep it. 

Here are a few strategies to keep your workforce happy: 

review compensation packages more regularly

Whilst a number of managers will find it difficult to change salaries outside the pay review cycle due to organizational structure, it pays to review your staff’s pay and benefits around about every 6 months, instead of the traditional 12.  The reality these days is that your employees have many more options, in general, and they are much more aware of their market worth. By staying ahead of the salary conversation you maintain as much control as possible of the situation, and can better react when staff are considering a move.  As the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research reports, the number one attribute IT employees look for in a New Zealand employer is an attractive salary and benefits.  Sometimes you don’t even need to amend salaries before the 12 month anniversary, but rather make it clear to employees how they are tracking, and ensure they understand the milestones they need to achieve in order to receive a salary increase.  Keep them focused on the rewards to come. 

Another option for keeping employees content in 2017 is giving a boost to the benefits you already offer. Better healthcare, more personal days, and longer holiday time are just a few perks that may keep your top talent on payroll next year. 

offer non-monetary, supplemental benefits

While the traditional route of putting more money into the hands of your employees is a tried and true method of employee retention, there are numerous other ways of both attracting and retaining your workforce that don’t directly involve monetary incentive.

The first, and maybe the most important, is offering flexible scheduling options. Interestingly, the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research revealed that IT profiles value flexibility and career progression over the New Zealand overall results of pleasant work atmosphere and training.

While the workforce of a few decades ago may not have been able to even imagine flexible scheduling, it’s becoming increasingly common in today’s employment landscape. Part of the reason is the ever-improving technology that makes it possible to perform the same quality of work from your home as if you were at the office, making telecommuting a viable and appealing option for employees. 

Offering your workforce a flexible schedule is another way of adding a bit of malleability and freedom for employees. Whether it be a three-day workweek or being open to longer hours one day to compensate for time off later due to an emergency, reducing the rigidity of your company’s work schedule will show your workforce that you value their happiness outside of the office as well.

While a flexible schedule might be the most sought-after non-monetary benefit a company can offer today, we know that IT employees are also interested in career progression. Perhaps consider spending time with each employee to create a professional development plan with them and offer advice and constructive feedback on how they can reach their career goals. 

Be as transparent as you can about the career progression offerings you have within your business, and the areas where you are likely to grow your business. It’s a good idea to manage expectation when it comes to career progression in order to keep staff happy and “in the know”.

offer employees a stake

The 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research revealed that IT profiles would rather work for a large multinational company, an indication that IT workers presume higher salaries, benefits and job security are primarily achievable from larger companies. Small to medium sized businesses need to be creative in order to attract the best talent and find ways to standout above and beyond larger companies.

Smaller companies could offer a stake in the business (shares) or greater transparency in how the company is run, giving them an edge over larger businesses who have less flexibility in what they can offer their staff.   

change the way you work

The final category of ways to boost your employee retention rates is by fundamentally changing how you and your employees work on a day to day basis.

Altering the office atmosphere and encouraging a healthier work routine, for example, is one way to help your workforce feel more comfortable while on the job. This can mean increasing break times, offering free coffee or loosening up your work attire stipulations. Some offices have even brought in office pets to keep stress levels down and employee engagement up!

You may also want to invest in new management methods as well. Offering frequent performance review schedules will give employees a more immediate means of feedback that can improve performance, and may also help them feel more attached to their results.
Posted: Monday, 24 July 2017 - 12:00 PM