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How to ensure you keep your best staff: 5 tips to improve staff retention

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The best way to recruit smarter is to retain your staff. Here's how to keep your employees happy in the workplace.

Nothing is worse for employee morale than a high staff turnover-and this is becoming a pressing issue in many sectors across the Financial Services, General Insurance and Legal markets. With many firms facing an ongoing war for talent, knowing how to engage and retain your employees is more important than ever, especially when your competitors are actively looking to tempt your best people away. 

With70% of finance executives listing developing human capital as their primary concern, and with three in five insurers experiencing a skills shortage, it’s time to fix the problem of staff retention. Though all businesses go through quiet periods, investing time into ensuring that your employees are both happy and loyal will go a long way to ensuring a better bottom line, more vibrant company culture and a more productive workforce. That starts with creating a happy workspace where your employees feel valued and appreciated. After all, employees are your organisation’s most valuable asset.

Here are five tips for boosting your staff retention.

1.Recruit smarter

The first place where you can make a positive impact is during the recruitment process.87% of interviewees say that a positive interview experience could change their mind about a company, or a role, that they previously felt unsure about. Investing time into developing a thorough interview process therefore pays dividends: you’ll be much more likely to find a candidate who is well-suited for the role and looking for a long term career.

To create a smarter interview process, and keep your existing staff positive about the expansion, sit down with your team involve them in deciding which aspects of your culture and strategy you want to promote within your company: then seek those same attributes out in your candidates. By following that up with a comprehensive onboarding process, any new starter will be well-equipped with the information they need to do their job, thus increasing morale and productivity, and reducing the likelihood that they will leave in the short term.

2.It’s all about communication

Give your team your ear: open your door and encourage a culture of open communication, where employees feel like they can air any queries or discuss any issues that they might be facing in the workplace. Make sure that your team know what is expected of them in their roles, and hold regular feedback sessions so you both know where the other party stands in terms of their happiness, roles and responsibilities. In this way, you’ll be able to build a relationship based on trust and respect, resulting in a healthy workplace atmosphere and further increasing employee loyalty to you and to the company. 

3.Employee benefits are key

Around the UK, companies are waking up to the importance of employee benefits in engaging their staff. Given that79% of employers believe that offering benefits to employees is a vital part of attracting and retaining talent, and 64% of millennials say that benefits are closely linked to loyalty to their employer, it’s easy to see why. With many legal firms like Pinsent Masons now investing in a variety of health programmes- which include Employee Assistance Programmes, a Disability and Wellbeing Group, and even yoga sessions- in response to the long hours many Lawyers work, and still others like Taylor Wessing encouraging flexible working and extra-curricular activities for its staff, it’s clear that employee benefits are here to stay. 

Employee benefits are proven to improve employee engagement by 22%, you should also be taking time to create a scheme that offers your employees all the tools they need to live a happy, healthy and productive working life.

4.Look into your company culture

How engaged is your workforce? It could be down to the way in which you are managing them. 

Make a change by conducting a thorough review of your management practices alongside top management, in order to break down what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your company culture and the way in which you interact with employees. Are you supervising your staff enough, or too much? Do your company’s visions, values and the way your staff conduct themselves match up? Do you conduct regular 2 way review sessions? How often do you reward or acknowledge staff accomplishments and how engaged are your team? By evaluating what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be better able to adapt your working practices to suit your employees’ needs, and create a company culture where everybody feels fulfilled and committed to the future. 

5.Think progression

Workplace progression is often regarded as the most important element to retaining your employees. As such, having an active employee development plan in place is essential. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to create a team where promotion is commonplace: take the time to conduct regular review sessions to find out how they see themselves progressing in their current role, and in their careers. It’s a common mistake that preventing a valuable employee from progressing keeps them within the business, but in reality a properly motivated individual striving for a promotion will in turn, motivate the rest of the business. Take care to promote from within whenever possible: this will show employees that they’re valued, and give them a clear career path to work towards. 

Follow this up by developing a tailored employee progression strategy that you can then check back in on periodically to see how they’re improving: with conferences and online courses a popular way of boosting skillsets for Lawyers, and Financial Services firms are turning to the Chartered Institute of Insurance and Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment to upskill qualified professionals at any stage of their career, you’ll be able to provide for your team whatever their level.

Strive for better with IDEX Consulting. 

At IDEX Consulting, we take pride in matching the right candidate with the right job, that’s why we developed a process that builds a better long-term match between candidates and clients. Find out how our unique 4-step methodology gives employers access to the best talent in their sector, as well as enabling them to retain and develop their employees for long-term success.