The tight labour market in New Zealand has greatly impacted the Queenstown-Lakes District. Local businesses are now looking at other ways to attract and retain staff by offering accommodation, financial incentives, and visa sponsorship amongst other things.
As many employers know, attracting employees is hard, but retaining employees can be even harder.
The impacts of employee turnover can go far beyond temporary disruptions. Not only is it costly but as employees watch colleagues depart, their workloads can increase. Overworked and frustrated employees are less likely to perform at their best, meaning their overall output suffers and customers have negative experiences with the business.
Employee retention is a business’s ability to keep employees. Regardless of how high your employee turnover rate is, there are several strategies that may prevent you from losing your top employees.
Here are 10 strategies to consider in your approach to employee retention:
1. Focus on the hiring process - If a candidate is not fit for the position, it is likely they will leave the business. Focus on creating a job description that clearly sets out expected qualifications, skills, and the experience required of the position.
2. Make sure you have robust employment agreements and policies setting out expected behaviour - Well drafted employment agreements and policies do not go unnoticed. An out-of-date employment agreement or policy with numerous errors is not only risky practice but will not give a good impression to potential candidates as to how you manage your business.
3. Offer competitive salaries or hourly rates – Offering a salary or hourly rate worthy of hard work and sacrifice should be an employer’s top priority. This can also include overtime and piece rates. You will not retain employees effectively if you do not pay them what their time is worth. It is worth looking at your industry market to see what is being offered to reduce the likelihood of losing your best employees to other businesses.
4. Employee benefits - Employees are attracted to perks too. Perks can include: flexibility around working hours; accommodation; insurance packages; share schemes; increased leave entitlements; migrant worker sponsorship; mobile phone plans; and other financial incentives.
5. Invest in retaining staff rather than recruiting new ones - Training and onboarding should not be overlooked. It is important employers give employees the tools they need. Giving employees time to attend conferences and paying for continuing education is a good way to ensure your business stays stronger as a whole. You can also host internal knowledge sharing gatherings where employees teach one another a new skill. There is also benefit in providing new employees with a mentor, so they have someone on-hand to answer questions and build connections.
6. Acknowledgment – If an employee is never recognised, they are less likely to stay motivated and committed to the business. A public thank you, a day off, or a gift card are some of the small ways you can recognise employees to increase engagement and make them feel like their work matters.
7. Improve business culture – Create a business culture that employees want to be a part of. Business culture can be a key driver to workplace dissatisfaction. It is worth spending the time to create a meaningful business mission and involve your employees in decision making about the present and future of your business. Make sure your workplace is inclusive and diverse respecting employees of all backgrounds, races, genders, and sexual orientation.
8. Healthy workspaces - Not only do employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment, but a clean and tidy work environment facilitates employee well-being and increases productivity. We encourage you to look at your current workplace environment and review your respective health and safety policies.
9. Support well-being – Providing flexibility to employees to juggle work and personal responsibilities, supporting employees to attend any family concerns, or just taking the time to listen to employees, is a vital component of a business to take care to support employees. Encourage employees to use their annual leave, host a webinar on stress, arrange fitness challenges, or even have someone talk about the importance of sleep.
10. Exit interviews – Offboarding can be just as important as onboarding. Exit interviews can provide invaluable insight into where retention strategies need improvement.
We encourage you to look at how your current business operates to see if there are some simple strategies you can adopt to help manage employee retention. If you have any questions or would like our team to review your existing employment agreements or workplace policies or assist with retaining staff, please contact the TODD & WALKER Law Employment and Workplace Solutions team on [email protected] or 03 441 2743.