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Good help is hard to find – and keep

6 October 2020 | Featured
Kennas Client Resources

There will always be a turnover of staff in a business. Surprisingly, money is not usually the main reason for leaving.

As business owners and leaders, you invest significant amounts of effort into recruiting, onboarding and retaining staff and the last thing you want is a ‘revolving door’ culture. It’s damaging to:

  • general motivation
  • performance and productivity
  • a positive ‘vibe’ in the workplace
  • profits that are eroded by costly hiring, training and development
  • customer confidence when there’s constantly new people to deal with

Five reasons why people leave

While there’s many legitimate reasons, these five areas are known stumbling blocks to staff retention. Take a minute to check your business’s pulse in this area.

  • Lack of strong and inspiring leadership

Poor leadership consistently tops the list of why employees leave. There seems to be quite a bit of truth in the saying that people don’t leave jobs – they leave their bosses.

Are your leaders providing the support, guidance, and mentoring that employees look for? Do they have the emotional intelligence and people management skills to really lead people – or are they in a leadership position based purely on technical skills and experience?

It’s worth noting that it’s the perception of your employees that counts here. You may think you have great leaders in place but if people are heading out the door in droves, it could be the first place to check.

  •  Unfamiliarity with employee needs

Unless you have a multi-faceted system of gathering employee feedback, you probably don’t adequately understand the needs of your employees. An annual performance review is not going to cut it. Face-to-face meetings between leaders and employees need to be:

  • frequent
  • forward-looking
  • based on constructive ideas for development

It’s vital to know when problems are brewing before it’s too late – and people start heading for the doors. In short, get closer to your employees.

  • Lack of opportunities for growth or career paths

Unless you offer employees a realistic opportunity of advancement, they will quickly try to find an organisation that does. Most people want to grow and develop themselves – this is natural within all of us. Supply strong motivators like direction, hope for the future, meaning in their work, recognition, opportunity, and challenge. You’ll be rewarded by enthusiastic, willing staff who will go the extra mile with you.

  • Inflexibility in the work environment

People are more aware than ever about the importance of their own wellbeing and the ubiquitous work-life balance – especially if they’ve now had a chance to work from home (and liked it!).

Rather than asking your employees to sacrifice personal needs to fulfil the requirements of the job, make a real effort to design roles around changing lifestyles that are more mobile, flexible and geared towards healthy living.

  • A stagnant workplace culture

Do you promote a culture of recognition, accountability, transparency, reward and positivity – or do your people cast envious glances towards the competition? If your workplace culture has elements of secrecy, fear or negativity, and conflicts are frequent, you’ll soon see a decline in both performance and employee attendance.

Realise that your top employees naturally gravitate towards positivity and harmony and are unlikely to hang around in an environment they perceive as toxic or harmful to their growth.

Build teams that cultivate a positive culture through connectivity, empowerment, engagement, and a sense of fun.

Taking action

It’s obvious that you should be paying employees well for the work they do, and it’s inevitable that employees will move on for life and family reasons.

However, there’s a need for vigilance so that you can address any other retention issues before they get out of hand. Resist the temptation to think that high staff turnover is simply a sign of the times. Take action to stop the talent drain – focus on getting these five areas right.

Have you considered getting an outside perspective on your staff management? The Kennas team can help – call us anytime to tap into our decades of experience!

Call us today on (07) 4924 9100
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