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A happy workplace is a successful workplace: proven tips for retaining staff

By recruitment expert and AMR Regional Director Graham Green

We’ve all been there, a new staff member arrives, you spend weeks bringing them up to speed, teaching them, training them, introducing them to their colleagues and your clients, then just as you think they’re ready to fly, they hand in their notice.

But what can you do to prevent staff turnover and how do you persuade your best people to stay instead of looking for work elsewhere?

Here are some tried and tested staff retention tips that will make your workplace somewhere your people want to stay:

1, Celebrate success

Whether a staff member has made a sale, received praise from a client, met a target or brought something new to the business, celebrating your achievements together will help staff feel valued. Who doesn’t like to receive a pat on the back when they deserve it?

2, Listen to feedback and act on it

If a staff member comes to you with a problem, listen to them and think carefully about what you can do to solve it. If their problem is with another member of staff, you will have to tread carefully while resolving the issue.

3, Look for little ways to say thank you

Whether it’s an afternoon off to do Christmas shopping, a day a year to devote to a charity or good cause, or just a packet of biscuits on a Friday afternoon, people notice the little things that make them feel valued. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or compromise the running of your business to make a difference to your employees.

4, Set clear objectives and support your staff in meeting them

Without clear objectives, it will be impossible for your employees to know whether they are achieving what you expect of them. Set good, measurable objectives and make sure they are tailored to each individual. It’s also a great way of helping people recognise how their career can progress.

5, Provide training and opportunities for career advancement

Over time, staff will grow out of the roles they start in. Help them move up the career ladder by providing relevant training and make sure they have opportunities to apply for promotions. If you don’t have a more senior vacancy, a change to their job title and a small pay rise can be just as meaningful.

6, Find incentives

When staff are weighing up the pros and cons between their current job and one they might be considering applying for, the little things can make a huge difference. Do you offer free parking or public transport loans? Could you work with local gyms or leisure centres to negotiate discounts for your employees? Do you pay for the staff Christmas party? Individually, these are minor beneifts, but can become hard for people to give up.

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