Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Carol-Ann Jordan and Jacqueline Belgrave
Our aim is to retain our staff and we are looking at strategies to help us do this. In your opinion what are the best ways to retain staff?
The success of your business is dependent on the productivity and commitment of your employees.
Retaining staff is a process and you are correct in looking at and developing strategies to retain your staff.
This will involve strategic actions aimed at creating the environment in which employees are kept motivated and focused so they elect (choose) to remain employed with and be fully productive for the benefit of your company.
The strategy can play a vital role in retaining key employees and can play a role in attracting the best employees.
Since training and developing the skills of employees can be costly to the company, one of the most cost effective strategies is actually to invest in retaining your most productive employees.
It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee to the same quality/performance standard.
Here are some suggestions that should be included in your strategy:
• Make your employees’ work meaningful
You must find ways to keep the work your employees are doing meaningful and challenging. They will feel motivated by the tasks assigned to them and inspired to do their best possible work.
Research has shown that when your people employed feel valued, they play a significant part in the success of the organisation.
So, keep adjusting roles to fit the talent and strengths of each employee. Endeavour to ensure that this is not done without communication and constant dialogue with the employee.
• Create a policy for internal mobility
Internal mobility is the movement of employees, vertically and laterally, to new career and development opportunities within the same organization.
This includes promotions, creating new positions where possible, mentorships, cross-training, working on additional projects and job shadowing.
With promotions, instead of filling your managerial or supervisory positions externally, create a policy where you ensure these positions are filled internally.
This will require you to keep track of employee development plans and knowing the strengths and capability of your employees.
Most growing businesses will have to create new positions to ensure the viability of the business.
Mentorship and job shadowing opportunities, are beneficial to the employee since they are able to learn new skills, and gain a better understanding of different roles.
The benefit to the organization is that a cadre of persons would have developed who understand the business and who can fill different roles as the business requires.
In addition, creating a reputation as a company that provides employees with opportunities for growth and development will help you attract talented, ambitious candidates from other organisations.
• Hire for longevity
Examine the candidates resume but also look beyond the resume.
In examining the candidates’ resumes you are looking for evidence of “job hopping” i.e., an inconsistent job history. The candidate that has three (3) jobs within a two (2) year timeframe for example, may be difficult to retain as they might be still trying to find where they might be most comfortable.
As a result, hiring that person may be a greater risk – even though it is possible that your company may represent what they are looking for.
In such cases, in the interview you are advised to spend some time probing
to determine what values the candidate shares with your company and how comfortable they are likely to be in your company’s culture.
Once hired your on-boarding (orientation) process should inform them about the job as well as the company; especially how they can succeed in it.
• Demonstrate to employees their value to the organisation
Demonstrating their value to an employee, is not only about offering a fair salary/wage for the job, it is also about them feeling respected in their jobs.
This includes implementing mechanisms to provide feedback, recognition and encouraging creativity.
Simple things like saying thank you, well done to the employees, inquiry what is needed to get the job done and generally demonstrating kindness and thoughtfulness can all aid in indicating to the employee
that you value them.
• Open and effective communication
Internal communication must be effective. With the launch of your internal mobility plan, for example, communicate your strategy to all your employees and help them understand how the process will work.
Make sure everyone knows when new opportunities are available, what to expect, how to apply, next steps, and who
they should go to with any questions that may arise.
Open internal communication helps you to gain insight on how employees feel about the organisation and their colleagues.
They should be encouraged to talk openly about any problems they are experiencing in the organisation.
All this can contribute to an organization’s productivity and overall business performance and should give you a good chance to retain your more qualified and productive employees. We hope this input assists you in developing your retention strategies.
About Lifeline Labour Solutions: Lifeline Labour Solutions is a boutique partnership providing people management solutions to workplace challenges Partners Carol-Ann Jordan and Jacqueline Belgrave are established practitioners with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Employment Relations, Labour Relations and Human Resource Management between them. Email: [email protected] lifelinelabour.com; Tel: 1(246)247-5213