How do you make sure you keep hold of your best people?
Staff retention is hugely important for modern businesses; and the Finance industry is no exception. We've all heard the nightmare statistics about the cost of rehiring - diminished productivity, training expenses, and loss of continuity for clients. They all take their toll.
The UK average employee turnover rate is approximately15% a year, although this varies dramatically between industries - with the Finance industry, traditionally, on the lower side of this along with education, legal and the public sector.
However, that could be about to change. Last year, Careers in Audit's Audit and Accountancy Industry Career Survey surveyed 1,341 Audit and Accountancy professionals aged 18-65. A startling65% of respondents reported that they'd be looking to leave their job within 12 months- with over 35%saying they were looking to leave immediately.
So the question is simple: How do you cut through this trend and ensure that your Finance business engages, rewards and retains its best people?
Push & Pull
Ensuring high levels of retention essentially boils down to two questions:
1. What are the factors that 'push' people into leaving Finance roles?
2. What are the factors that can 'pull' them into staying put?
The Careers in Audit research cited above offers an excellent starting point.
What are the Solutions?
1. Pay smart.
It sounds like an obvious point. But salary increases are all too often overlooked by employers. Regular pay reviews and raises are incredibly important in showing employees that their work is valued, and demonstrates your commitment to their development. In fact,50%of Finance decision-makers believe that salary increases are their most effective strategy when it comes to decreasing turnover rates. Benefits are also a highly valuable way to reward your staff and keep them loyal. It may seem counterintuitive, but generous pay policies, which keep employees in situ, can be a huge cost-saver for your business.
2. Build regular dialogue around engagement.
Employee engagement simply doesn't happen by accident. You need to create a framework to regularly discuss development with your people - we'd recommend face-to-face meetings at least once per quarter. These are opportunities for both parties to provide feedback. Where can you support your employees more? How can you invest in their development? Often, anonymous feedback can be every bit as effective - there are a range of great feedback tools out there which can help you track your employee engagement.
3. Focus on your employer branding.
When current and would-be employees think of your brand, what comes to mind? This is what's often called your 'employer brand.' When it comes to employee motivation and engagement, the power of internal narrative is incredibly important. It's human nature to see the world through stories - it's not just about what we're doing, but why. What is the end goal? Great employer branding can make even the most menial of tasks seem like a hugely worthwhile contribution to achieving significant goals. This is an essential step in ensuring optimal job satisfaction, which, in turn, helps boost loyalty and retention.
4. Embrace changing generational norms.
There's no getting around it: the workforce is changing. Millennials are, in many ways, radically different to their Baby Boomer counterparts. They increasingly value benefits such as remote working and flexible hours -work life balance is increasingly important. In many cases, more important than financial compensation. Clearly, there are lots of logistics to put in order to offer these perks, particularly in an industry with as much sensitive data, but be aware that they are increasingly on the radar.
5. Improve hiring accuracy.
The old saying goes that 'prevention is better than cure' - and a key unifying factor of businesses that retain well, is that they also tend to recruit well. Getting the right people in place is incredibly important. Here at IDEX, we have a 4 step process designed to identify, recruit and retain not just the best talent, but the right people.<
Insight - we analyse a business in-depth, reviewing their culture, challenges and goals. This lets us identify candidates who are best positioned to meet business requirements and stay with a business long-term.
Attraction - we attract the best candidates on the market with industry expertise, social media strategies and our candidate attraction programme
Selection - We use a selection of approaches to ensure a business receives expert advice on how to select from the shortlist of talented candidates we provide.
Retention - we reduce the risk of staff attrition and demotivation with a package of targeted support and development to maximise the impact of every new recruit. Training is also incredibly important, for both parties - it helps employees get integrated as quickly as possible, which is crucial for their job satisfaction, and productivity.
High levels of staff retention are incredibly important in helping Finance businesses achieve their bottom-line business goals. In order to do this, you need to create a virtuous cycle which begins with strong, accurate recruitment from a broad talent pool, and continues through to strong engagement strategies, which nurture and develop your people on an ongoing basis.
Of course, remuneration is important, but it's not the only important factor. Finance professionals need to feel supported; they need to understand the deeper story of the organisation, to appreciate the value of the work they're doing. And they need flexibility that helps them build a healthy work-life balance.