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Seven staff retention strategies

GoCardless
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Last editedApr 20222 min read

Your employees are one of the most valuable assets your business has. They are the people who drive income, maintain cash flow and deliver the goods or services your customers demand. That’s why successful employee retention strategies form such a vital aspect of running your business. With a constant turnover of unhappy employees, your business will face a raft of extra costs including:

  • the cost of advertising for new employees

  • the costs of the recruitment process, such as the time spent interviewing candidates

  • the cost of training a new employee

  • the disruption to day to day operations caused by losing an existing employee

The objectives of employee retention strategies

You can avoid all of these costs and disruptions by focusing on employee retention strategies which help to build consistency of things like customer service throughout your organisation. In simple terms, a happy workforce made up of people who aren’t spending time looking for opportunities elsewhere will be a productive and efficient workforce, dedicated to doing the best for your business. 

Successful employee retention strategies explained

1. Pay

It may seem obvious, but many people who change jobs do so because they feel they should be paid more. Make sure you have a firm grasp of what the industry standards for the people in your workplace are and that you are not paying below them. It’s too easy to regard employee salaries as simply an expense – it’s better to think of them as an investment. By paying competitive wages you’ll attract and retain the very best talent, rather than wasting money on the recruitment and training process, as detailed above.

2. Hiring

One of the simplest employee retention strategies is to make sure you employ the right people in the first place. If more employees than you like are leaving your business then work through your recruitment process to make sure the problem doesn’t lie there. Are you always clear and transparent when it comes to describing your expectations and the duties a job carries with it? Poor communication could lead to poor recruitment, with new employees only really understanding everything a job entails when they start – and then deciding it’s not really what they were looking for.   

3. Environment

Salary makes a big difference, but even the most generous remuneration won’t make up for a poor working environment. If you create an environment in which every employee is treated fairly and with respect, they are more likely to look forward to coming to work. The following could help to create this environment:

4. Soft skills

Make sure any line managers have the people management skills needed to work with employees, and the ability to offer leadership through things such as stress and crisis management.

5. Work/life balance

Make sure that employees understand the necessity of creating a healthy work/life balance, and that the demands placed on them don’t make this impossible. You shouldn’t present employees with the sort of deadlines or workload that result in them neglecting personal and family life, or their own health and well-being. 

6. Reward on merit

Create a transparent, credit-based system for rewarding employees to ensure that nobody receives preferential treatment. If the idea that some employees are recipients of favouritism spreads through a workplace, it can be hugely damaging to employee morale. 

7. Employee development

Make sure that your employees have opportunities to develop and enhance their own skill set rather than making them feel trapped within their existing position. You could do this through workshops, access to training programmes and even time off to study. Another good tactic is to recruit from within where possible, so that current employees understand that promotion is always a possibility.  

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more staff retention strategies for small- to medium-sized businesses, get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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