Retaining good staff

This is a constant battle for any employer. You have a star employee that you wish to retain, but within most businesses only so much can be offered. 


What I have found is that the younger generation tend to be far more impatient and less prepared to do the time. If they are not happy and the boss doesn't fix it fast, they are gone.


However I find with more mature candidates you sometimes need to coax out of them on how they are feeling, what they want to do next and a good portion know they want change but have no idea what they want to do.


Having a great culture, benefits and recognition can absolutely assist with retention as the warm fuzzy stuff does count and goes a long way. But it will only make a difference to a point. Movement is normally about "boredom" in a role, so providing more challenge in a role is certainly not a quick fix. Its a process of getting to the bottom of everything, and then working back up to a point you have clarity over what they actually want. This can take many meetings and a good chunk of time, however for good staff it is a worthwhile investment.    


I have found over the years of managing a large team that the key is to listen and not judge. Mentally you need to come to a balanced conclusion about if you really are going to be able to offer them what they need. A quick fix will only be a bandaid and will only last for a very short time and then you will be back to this situation again. If this happens then it is quite draining for all,  and it is not healthy for the relationship as frustration will start to set in on both sides.


Having time one on one with key staff is very important. Not only to find out what they are up to in a professional sense but also to have an interest in them personally, but this has to be genuine. I find that if things are happy at home then work flows a lot better so knowing if you can assist with any personal issue can have a huge impact as the pressure comes off and staff know you are there to support them. This is what creates loyalty and leads to more satisfied and contented staff.


Money is not a solution. Money can help, but it is usually a bandaid on a greater issue, which is why counter-offers are rarely successful longterm. Most people we interview, list money as second or third on their  "wish list". Team and culture, company stability, management/leadership all come before the mighty dollar. So as I said previously when you sit with that employee you really don't want to lose, its a long conversation, delving down to the issue(s) and not patching it with a payrise. 


Flexibility is being highlighted more frequently these days.  Especially in main cities where traffic continues to build.  An ideal option from staff is to work irregular hours, work from home and be trusted that they will get on with the job. Not all roles can have this luxury, but if it can be offered, then being proactive and seeing if this would be well received will also keep staff for longer.


At the end of day, open, objective and honest communication on a regular basis will ensure the good ones stay. Paying attention to what they are up to personally and professionally.