Staff retention is an issue all companies have to deal with, as losing key workers is both expensive and disruptive. There are ways to reduce the number of employees who leave and not all of them will break the bank.
The main reason to organise staff retention schemes is financial. Recruiting and training new workers is expensive if you do it properly and, with money tight for most businesses, will be a cost you want to avoid until you are in a position to expand.
One mistake many managers make when estimating the cost of employee churn and what level is acceptable is to focus only on direct outlays. The sum of money you spend on advertising vacant positions, agency fees, time spent interviewing applicants and training those you take on is likely to be considerable each year.
However, this is not the full story, as it does not take into account other factors associated with losing high-quality staff. The operation of a key department in your organisation may well be seriously disrupted if you lose someone with specialist skills and experience of how it runs.
If top performers from your sales or account management teams depart, the impact is likely to be particularly damaging. You will lose the personal relationships they have built up with clients, which is something that may persuade some customers to look again at what your rivals have to offer.
There are a number of different programmes you can implement to help improve staff retention and motivate your employees. Good schemes should focus on engendering loyalty, building team spirit and giving people goals to work towards.
Before you can choose the most suitable one for your business, you need to establish why people are leaving. A good way to do this is to carry out a confidential survey to discover what employees like and dislike about working for the company.
You won't be able to deal with all the issues, as finances will prevent you handing out company-wide pay rises and giving everyone extra holidays. However, you should be able to address problems such as poor communication, unhelpful managers and unrealistic workloads.
Once you have done this, you can look at implementing a rewards scheme to improve employer-employee relationships and persuade good workers that they do not need to look for a new job. To be really effective, programmes should be accompanied by proper communication, a clear appraisal system and measures that deal with genuine issues raised by staff.