How to Increase Staff Retention AND Quality of Work.

A recent research by PWC found Australia came last in a list of 11 developed countries when it came to staff retention, at 23%.

The cost of this turnover in Australia was estimated at $3.8 billion in lost productivity and $385 million in avoidable recruitment costs.

It’s not just the financial hit that is to be considered, but also how it impacts the environment.

Before contacting us, one of our clients saw their procurement department drop from 10 to 4 employees in 4 weeks.

Of course the re-hiring was costly but they also noticed that it took a long time for things to run smoothly again because of the relationships that had been lost.

The remaining staff was worried and it took some time before conversations turned back towards work related matters and less towards wondering if there was something to be concerned about.

They also spent a lot of time re-assuring suppliers wondering not only about the health of their client but also about the safety of their IP.

When a staff leaves, it’s not simply an individual who goes but a wealth of knowledge, memories and influence.

I remember a company letting go of the tea-lady to save costs and having to re-hire her because her impact on the mood of the staff shaped their level of productivity.

Reality is, staff will leave. Whether for financial reasons, personal circumstances or career change and there is nothing you can do about it but wish them good luck and “make sure to drop by if you are in the area”.

What you can avoid is people leaving due to poor management, conflicts, and overall dissatisfaction.

I often ask people what they believe is the greatest motivator to work. I am still astounded by the number who answers money.

Money only weighs heavily in the balance when other things are missing. Give individuals an inspiring mission, a professional development plan and a supportive team and they won’t be bargaining on the compensation package.

Sometimes, the answer is more heart-centered, yet not reflected in the company processes because it can seem daunting to completely disrupt an organisation.

But it doesn’t have to be a drastic change to start getting some results.

Simply, Theodore Roosevelt said it more than a century ago, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

To feel cared for, humans need 2 things: to be listened to and to be talked to.

First, you need to give your employees a voice…and listen to it.

Realize that this is a win-win situation. Not only employees will feel like they are contributing, but you would be amazed at the genius that some of your employees have.

We hear revolutionary ideas through our program and often not from the individuals you would imagine.

Give them the opportunity to create the business, to look back on the edifice and say, “I wasn’t just an inhabitant of this place, I was one of the bricks”.

Second, you must give them a way to know how they are going.

I am being careful with my words because the use of “feedback” is often anchored to annual performance review and that’s NOT what this is about.

It’s not just about whether or not they hit target but about who they are being, how they are being perceived, what they are great at, and asking them who do they want to be? And how do they want to be perceived? What do they want to achieve? And helping them bridge the gaps if there are any.

By doing these 2 steps, you can start the process to create a highly engaged team.

When you can see people coming to work smiling, hear them discuss ideas to improve even more the workplace or the products and services and you can feel an excited buzz in the office, you know that it will be time before you see someone leave and when they do, it will be with a heavy heart.

If you want to know how engaged your team really is and get data you can actually use, access our free and anonymous survey here.

It has been developed by the Society for Human Resource Management and it will give you powerful insights in the current level of engagement within your team or company.

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