Have you ever been blindsided by the resignation of one of your star performers? Here’s 10 tips on how to keep hold of your great people.

Growing a business is really exciting, but as you expand you begin to rely more heavily on your people to continue your business growth. And the longer our employees are with your business, the more valuable they become


Why Is Retention Important?

You’ve probably seen the research into this, a lot of numbers are thrown around, but even conservatively, the cost of replacing an employee can be two or three times their annual salary. You also run the risk of replacing someone with a bad hire, which can have a hugely negative impact on customer experience, your wider team performance and workplace culture. 

Recent research by Robert Half shows that 70% of employers are more concerned about employees leaving their organisation than they were in 2022. This is understandable, given the changes in the economic environment and the ongoing skill shortages in Australia. 

We know that it’s much better to keep those great people in the organisation than to lose them, and have to go about recruiting again. But how do you do that? The employee surveys we’ve done at Amplify HR over the last 12 months show clear steps employers can take to keep their staff. 

These results were gathered from multiple organisations, so they may not be an exact fit for your business, but they should offer insight into what you can do to keep your best employees in your business. 

In one part of the survey, employees have the option to tell us the reasons why they enjoy working for their organisation and what makes them stay. The tips below are collated from the key themes in their answers. So here they are, straight from employees’ perspectives: the reasons why they stay.

straight from employees’ perspectives: the reasons why they stay’

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1 Effective Leadership & Management

The first reason may not surprise you: effective leadership and management. Specifically, employees are looking for someone who 

  • encourages
  • motivates
  • communicates effectively
  • supports everybody
  • values work-life balance
  • values mental health. 

If you’re not sure about the effectiveness of the leadership in your business, then one way to find out is through a staff survey. Ask a 360 type of question when you do performance reviews – have employees comment on their managers and what they could do to improve the workplace.


2 Company, Culture & Values

Consistently, people are looking for a positive, inclusive company culture, they want to understand what the vision of the organisation is, the values of the organisation, and also that the organisation supports diversity, including neurodiversity. 

Consistently, people are looking for a positive, inclusive company culture’

If you haven’t thought recently about your company culture and what you are trying to achieve, take a look at my last post, The Value of Values, where I talk about just that. 


3 Learning & Growth Opportunities

Your employees are looking for challenging tasks and ongoing learning opportunities and professional development, but they’re also looking for effective supervision and mentorship. 

Even if you don’t have formal learning in place in your organisation at the moment, think about what you’re doing to continually grow your employees internally. 


4 Team Collaboration & Support
 

This means working with colleagues who support each other. Employees are looking for a collaborative environment and a supportive workplace culture. It goes back to Tip 2: your company culture and values. How are you supporting a collaborative culture in your business? How are you making sure that happens? 


5 Work-Life Balance & Flexibility

Sometimes people think this means working from home. They think, I’ve got this covered, everyone can work from home in our business. But it’s more than that – it’s flexibility in your work arrangements as a whole. It’s not just working from home, but can I come in late today because I have an appointment? Can I go to my kid’s book parade next week?

You need to think about how you can provide flexibility as a whole, not just the days you work in the office versus the days that you work at home

It’s not just working from home, but can I come in late today because I have an appointment?’

Example score card showing a chart with 78%

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6 Autonomy & Innovation

We’re looking for autonomy in our day-to-day activities. But also, you know, are we innovating as a business, you know, because employees know we’re innovating, then we’re more likely to be growing. They’ don’t necessarily want to be with a stagnant business either. 


7 Professional Development

This is a little bit different to learning and growth in that this is development in my profession. In other words, what opportunities do I have to actually develop skills to have progression pathways to actually support my career in my profession, specifically.


8 Variety & Interesting Projects

This means enjoying variety in tasks and responsibilities, and having meaningful and interesting projects to work on. You’d probably agree that we all want that, we don’t want to go into work and do the same thing every day.


9 Supportive & Caring Colleagues 

This is also connected to team collaboration support, but this is the more humanistic aspect. People want to feel that we’re looking after each other and caring about each other – a sense that we’re all working together for a common good. 


10 Opportunities to Make a Difference

No matter what business you’re in, people like to think they’re having a positive impact, that their work has meaning. Whether that’s meaning to your customers, to other team members or to society as a whole – whatever it looks like for your business, it’s an important consideration for people. 

Don’t lose sight of this when you’re thinking about your internal communications, and your company culture and values. How are you expressing how what you do makes a difference? 

In my business, our purpose is to make workplaces that engage and inspire. So we talk about how the work we’re doing is helping other organisations to have a positive impact on their employees and their society as a whole – we celebrate the times when we engage and inspire. 

Recap

To recap – our research shows that employees stay in an organisation that has:

  1. effective leadership and management
  2. company culture and values
  3. learning and growth opportunities
  4. team collaboration and support
  5. work-life balance and flexibility
  6. autonomy and innovation
  7. professional development
  8. variety and interesting projects
  9. supportive and caring colleagues
  10. opportunity to make a difference. 

For practical, tried and tested ways you can get focused on retention in your business, download our FREE ebook: Secrets to Keeping Your A-Players. 

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