8 Staff Retention Strategies for a Happy Work Environment
As an employer, you’ve likely struggled with staff turnover in the past – likely resulting from a poor work environment or lack of communication. Perhaps you’ve now put processes in place, but they don’t seem to be effectively improving staff happiness and productivity may be on the decline.
Staff retention is a hot topic for many business owners, as the time and money you’ve placed into training new employees are usually substantial. For it to be worth your investment, you’ll likely require the staff to stay with your business for a few years.
If you want to create a happier work environment where your employees feel supported and productivity is high, follow these 8 staff retention strategies:
1. Offering Salary Packaging & Novated Leasing
If you want to provide your employees with benefits for hard work, you should consider offering salary packaging options. This is an agreement between an employer and employee which results in the employee’s remuneration package including both a cash salary and non-cash benefits.
The way that this benefits an employee is that the non-cash benefits (such as a vehicle) will be paid for before income tax is applied. This means that employees will not pay tax on the purchase of their vehicle. This comes at no financial cost to an employer and usually only requires a small amount of your time to set up.
This is usually offered through a novated lease in which all costs associated with the vehicle is deducted from your employee’s before-tax income. Offering this as an option to employees will show your appreciation for their work and help you to retain valuable staff.
2. Work/Life Flexibility
It’s important to remember people aren’t machines. It’s unreasonable to expect 100% output from employees every second of every day. Constant stressful or physically demanding work with no reprieve will reduce staff morale and lower job satisfaction – with may cause rifts between management and staff.
Staff have a life outside of work. Sometimes, they might require a day off to go to the dentist, get a haircut, do some daytime shopping – be flexible and work with them to allow them this time. This will boost employee satisfaction which will, in turn, improve productivity.
As an employer, it’s also your responsibility to ensure your staff have some downtime to recharge their batteries. If you’ve noticed an employee working back late or on the weekends regularly when they shouldn’t, talk to them to find the root cause and provide a solution. Taking the time to find solutions to workload issues with employees will keep them happy and help to strengthen their personal bond with your company.
If you do require an employee to work a few extra hours, compensate this with a late start or maybe a day off. Offering flexible schedules where possible to match their desired workdays will also help show the employee that they’re appreciated. Flexible work arrangements can be very beneficial to businesses when properly managed.
3. Establishing Clear Guidelines & Processes
A big problem employee’s face when working for a company is unclear job requirements and expectations. Put position guidelines in place to ensure your staff know exactly what they’re expected to do and what they are responsible for.
If you’ve noticed that your staff are underperforming or struggling to complete their allocated tasks, communicate with them to find the root of the problem. Work with them and provide support to ensure their allocated tasks are reasonable and fair.
4. Encourage Staff Feedback & Communication
There should be clear and open communication between all levels of staff and management in your business. Keep your door open and make it clear that you encourage feedback and constructive criticism.
Your employees’ contribution and ideas about how the business operates and what could be improved may provide you with valuable information you can use to make a more efficient and happier workplace.
5. Employee Recognition
One of the most common ways to recognise an employee for their hard work and devotion to your business is by offering financial rewards. This could be anything from a bonus, a small pay rise or even some gift cards to local stores. This will show the employee that you’re satisfied and appreciative of the hard work they put into their job.
While you may perceive that this is the only way employees will notice your appreciation, this isn’t the case. Sometimes, a simple public “thank you” or “well done” will put a smile on your employee’s face and boost their morale. Simple gestures like this come at no cost to your business but provide your staff with some often needed recognition for their hard work.
6. Building Team Relationships
Building a relationship with your management team, your employees and yourself if vital to improve staff retention. One of the most common reasons people leave a company is not that of the job, but rather as a result of management staff. Building a strong relationship between management and staff will create a happier workplace where everyone feels comfortable working alongside each other.
Some of the best ways to build a relationship between management and staff, as well as between staff members include:
- Team building days
- Formal meetups outside of work (Christmas function, EOFY function etc.)
- Collaborative meetings including all staff and management
- Clear and open communication between staff and management
- Encouraging staff to talk about life outside of work – within reason
7. Staff Training & Development
Most employees have aspirations and career goals when working for your business. They want to work their way up to become a leader and join the management team. Providing leadership training is one of the best ways to increase staff retention and create a strong workplace culture.
By training your staff, employee job satisfaction and productivity is likely to rise. It’s also a great way to recognise and reward staff that have shown devotion and worked hard to produce results for your business. When planning for the future of your business, try to promote from within rather than filling management roles with new staff.
8. Corporate Social Responsibility
While good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides businesses with a better standing to the public and potential customers, it can also have a positive effect on employees. People are more satisfied with the company they work for then they’re actively improving their CSR.
Most employees are a representation of the business they work for. If your business is out doing good for the community, it will create a happier working environment. If you’re receiving bad press or perceived to be poor at CSR, employees will feel less satisfied representing your business. Boosting your CSR and creating a workforce that holds your business in high regards will benefit your business with reduced staff turnover.