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5 Tips to Retain Your Best Employees

By Cathy Wever

2 min read

In the current global talent war, retaining good staff is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations. You might have hired your first employees, but keeping them around is the next challenge.

Almost one-third of Australian workers are intending to move jobs in the next two years, so having a proactive strategy to increase and maintain employee engagement is vital to ensuring your high-performing employees don’t get itchy feet.

Here are five key tips for building and maintaining long-term employee satisfaction, which can help your business retain your best employees.

1. Flexible Working Conditions

Flexible working conditions that support work–life balance are a key driver of job satisfaction. The results of a study by Fair Work Australia released in 2015 found that 32% of Australian employees wanted “the flexibility to balance work and non-work commitments.”

In a mobile, digital age, this can mean offering staff work-from-home opportunities, or providing more flexible hours. Women in particular value flexible working arrangements.

2. Effective Managers = Engaged Staff

According to the Global Workforce Study, the biggest threat to staff engagement is ineffective leadership. Results showed that when employees perceived their manager to be ineffective, the majority of staff (56%) were disengaged. Disengaged employees look elsewhere for job satisfaction.

Organisations can take away a strong message that building effective leadership skills among the management ranks is essential to maintaining solid staff retention.

3. Professional Development

We live in a fast-paced digital age. Blink and the next version of an operating system is released, or there is a newer, faster, better way to do a job.

Employees armed with the right tools, technologies and processes to perform at their best will feel empowered in their role. It also makes good business sense to have staff operating at their peak. Organisations that invest in professional development plans, designed in partnership with employees, are likely to see long-term commitment from their staff.

4. Climbing the Ladder

Ensuring employees are engaged in work that is commensurate with their skills and goals is important, but the next step for organisations wanting to retain their high-performing staff is to help them see opportunities for advancement.

Build a vision together with the employee that maps out a clear career path including:

  • Increased responsibility
  • Higher remuneration
  • Greater leadership
  • Key performance goals

Mapping out a career path can mitigate the risk of employees feeling stagnant.

5. Celebrate Success

It’s no surprise that a survey of HR professionals showed 94% or respondents believe positive reinforcement is a far more effective motivational tool than negative feedback. So what does positive reward look like?

Simple suggestions include:

  • Writing a Letter: A good old-fashioned handwritten note that clearly identifies what is being recognised and why
  • Public Praise: Highlight a job well done at a weekly meeting, or create an employee rewards program
  • Celebrate with the Team: If the whole team has worked hard and the results deserve recognition, why not shout them lunch as a reward?

There is no single strategy that will deliver strong staff retention rates, but by listening to employees, finding out what is important to them and offering relevant, meaningful incentives and rewards, your business is already on the right track.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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