Good staff retention is a crucial component of growing a business. But, it’s something that even large companies with bonus schemes struggle with. Staff come and go, they struggle to recruit the right people and getting anyone to stay is a challenge. One that can have a detrimental effect on the growth and sustainability of a business.
Why is staff retention so important?
Well, there are many benefits in keeping your team the same, and only ever adding to it when you need extra bodies. Firstly, it saves you money. Recruiting staff is hard. You shell out for advertising and recruitment teams. You lose money while the position is open. You spend money on training and new uniform. Then, they leave, and you find yourself doing it again.
This means you’re not making money to your full potential. While you’ve got new, untrained staff or vacant positions, your business isn’t growing as it should. You can’t provide quite the same level of service, and you can’t commit your time to other tasks.
It also means that other members of your team are stretched. They might be working overtime or trying to cover two people’s jobs. They can start to feel stressed out and even become ill. Trying to work like this for too long can lead to them also wanting to leave or having to take time off sick, making your situation worse.
Another positive of good staff retention is to your reputation. If your staff want to stay, if they want to work for you for a long time, it says a lot about your business and you as an employer. It shows the world that you are a good employer, that your business is one that looks after it’s staff and offers them the opportunity to grow and learn. This can help you to attract the very best team members, but it can also massively increase staff morale.
If your team stays the same, relationships get better. Some might develop into firm friendships, and others might remain in the workplace. Your team will know each other. They’ll have a camaraderie. They’ll understand each
Which all sounds fantastic, but it’s not as easy as all that. It can be hard getting staff to stay. Especially if you are a smaller business that can’t afford to offer the most competitive salary or the fanciest perks. So, how do you do it? You find benefits that your staff actually want, instead of just those that you think that you should be offering because everyone else does.
The health of your staff should always be an essential concern. Keeping them healthy keeps them happy and means that they take less time off, and spend less time ill at work. Offering them healthcare benefits shows that you care.
This can mean company health insurance, but it can also mean using a company that offers telehealth, so that your employees can speak to a doctor, from the office, whenever they need to. Other health benefits that you can provide include dental insurance and treatment, and an on-site gym or a gym discount so that they can look after themselves.
For many employees, the chance to take time off to spend with their families is more valuable than a small financial bonus. Many people work long hours, weekends and evenings. They struggle to take time off in school holidays and get very little time with their families. When they are off, they are too tired to enjoy it, and they have that many chores and errands to tackle that they never get any time to relax or have fun.
If you want to keep your staff, give them the time off that they need. Make sure that your rotas are fair. Give everyone their fair share of holidays and weekends off and as a bonus, offer paid half days or late starts when you can. Small things, like an extra afternoon off to Christmas shop, or closing early so that everyone can go for a birthday lunch, can mean the world as they show that you put your people first.
Flexibility shouldn’t be considered a perk or a benefit. A significant percentage of the workforce today need some level of flexibility. Our lives are full, we’ve got commitments and responsibilities, and flexible working is on the top of most peoples list of things that they want from their employer. Yet few employers offer true flexibility.
Obviously, you have a business to run, and your business hours do have a large influence on what you can offer. But, you should try to be as flexible as possible.
One of the main reasons that workers need flexibility is childcare. More women than ever are returning to work after they’ve had children, and more men are keen to spend time at home, taking care of their children.
Flexible working hours are one way to help. But, helping with childcare is another. Many employers today offer childcare vouchers, or tax relief schemes for those needing childcare. If you employ a few parents, an in house creche or nursery could be a perfect solution.
Most staff want to be good at their jobs. They want to do their best, they want to learn, and they want to progress. Offering your team the opportunity to learn, to advance their skills, and learn new ones, is an excellent way to keep them. Even if your company is small, and you can’t offer regular promotions, they’ll appreciate the time that you put into their development.
Giving staff time off is excellent. But, so is trying to find ways to make that time off better. Some companies own villas in other countries, which they allow their staff and their families to use for holidays. You might not be able to afford this, but you could offer your staff and their families days out, or you could host things like family BBQ’s and trips throughout the year. Your team will be happier working something that values their family and includes them in events.
If your business is a store, you might already offer your crew staff discount. But, if this isn’t possible, or as an extra, you could try to negotiate discounts elsewhere. Speak to local restaurants and stores, even hotel chains and holiday companies about some kind of group discount, or even a discount swap. Think about what you could offer them in return. This keeps your staff happy, helps to promote good relationships with nearby businesses and even brings new customers into your business.
Food is a big draw for many people. If your staff work full-time, offering them a free meal, and free drinks, while they work, could save them over £60 every month. Just having a well-stocked kitchen is a great start, but setting up a delivery service with a local restaurant or cafe could work well.
If you run a restaurant or cafe, you might already offer your staff a free meal when they work, but eating the same things every day can get boring. Try to set up a meal swap with a nearby outlet to spice things up a little.
Keeping your staff happy doesn’t need to be difficult, and it can be massively beneficial. Think about who you employ and what they might like to try to tailor your benefits to their needs.