How to Retain Key Employees image

How to Retain Key Employees

Staff Squared date icon27th September 2019

Tag iconManaging staff

The people you hire shape your business, influence your company culture and are a key factor to your success.

You’ve worked hard and invested valuable time and money to recruit and train them up to be the best at their jobs as possible – but that’s just the beginning (and quite frankly, the easy part). 

Once an employee is on your payroll, the challenge is to keep them happy and engaged to ensure that they want to stay with you.

Why is it so Important to Retain Staff?

There are plenty of reasons why staff retention should be a high priority, but here are just a few to get us started: 

First and foremost, hiring is the most important thing you do: It’s easy to hire new employees if you don’t take it seriously and just hire the first person who hands in a CV, but you’re basically just playing the candidate lottery. While you might end up with the best staff member you’ve ever onboarded, there’s just as much chance that you’ll be stuck with someone who is underqualified, inexperienced and possibly doesn’t have a good work ethic. 

High staff turnover is costly: I’ll jump straight to the point. Losing a staff member is a costly affair, with the average cost of employee turnover being around £11,000 per person based on the average UK salary – so this figure can be much higher depending on an employee’s position within the company. In fact, losing a senior team member can cost your company in the region of £40,000 to a whopping £100,000. 

Productivity suffers: When staff leave, especially if it’s a regular occurrence, the rest of the team can become unhappy or disengaged. This leads to drops in productivity which can, in turn, affect your company culture in a negative way – something you want to avoid if you’d like to keep hold of your other employees and stand a chance of attracting high talent candidates in the future. 

It’s inconvenient: Just think about all the extra work you have to put in to replace an employee after they leave. That’s time taken to post the job add, then you have to go through countless CVs and filter them until you have a shortlist of candidates to interview before you do the actually interviewing. Once you’ve offered the replacement the job, you have to organise their paperwork and start date before onboarding them and then taking them through induction and training. You could have avoided all of that if the original employee didn’t feel the need to leave. 

How do you Make Staff want to Stay?

There a number of reasons as to why employees might leave a company, for example, retirement, relocation or career changes, but there is also an abundance of things that can make them leave unnecessarily. These include:

  • Poor management. 
  • Lack of recognition for the work they do and the contribution they make to the company.
  • Being overworked. 
  • The company culture not being a priority.
  • No growth opportunities. 

It’s easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible to make your employees feel that your company is the place of work for them. 

The obvious answer is to provide a decent salary, good employee benefits and a retirement plan to show your staff they they are looked after financially; but in the society we live in today, people are looking for more than just a good employment packet.

Be upfront and honest about the role you are advertising: Write up job descriptions that are accurate and clearly communicate the targets and responsibilities of the role. To make absolutely sure that there’s no doubt, cover it all again in the interview so that you feel confident the candidate understands the job expectations. 

Make employees feel valued: Most employees know that they are an asset, but feel disheartened and disengage when their employers fail to make them feel as such. Show them that you recognise and appreciate their worth by asking for their input when making decisions that will affect them and keep them in the loop about important events and changes. Also, don’t forget to thank them for their hard work and contributions to your company. 

Support growth: Some people may be comfortable in a job where they can coast by doing the bare minimum, but most have big aspirations. Whether it’s to climb the career ladder all the way to the top or to simply just grow on a personal level, you can help them achieve their goals. Before anything, you will need to spend some time getting to know what they want from their careers – there’s no point in pushing someone in a direction they don’t want to go in as it completely defeats the object. Once you know where they want to go, provide them with the tools and training to get there. 

Feedback to them: Tell your employees how they’re doing so that they can improve. If they’re doing something wrong but aren’t told about it, they will never be able to learn. Likewise, if they are doing a good job, they should be told. This will boost their confidence and help them to be more productive – and it boosts morale too! 

Hire person-centred bosses: The people you put in charge are just as important as the processes you implement to make sure your staff are happy. Hire (or promote from inside the team) managers who recognise and actively praise their staff.

Follow these tips and you are bound to create a much happier working environment that will encourage staff to work harder and do better while helping them to see that your company is their company.

Written by Clarisse Levitan

Lead Customer Support Agent - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.

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