Here at Pineapple Recruitment, we know how challenging recruitment can be, especially for technical and specialised roles! And then once you’ve found the ideal candidate, there will undoubtedly be a training phase, while they get to grips with the job. Essentially, getting someone up to speed in a new role can be stressful and time consuming - it’s much better to focus on staff retention instead. 

So how do you keep your qualified staff working for your business? While the obvious answer is to offer them a higher salary, this isn’t always a practical solution. The main factor is job satisfaction, which can be harder to achieve! To help you get started, we’ve outlined five great ways to improve your staff retention below:

1. Training and Development Opportunities

Many people decide to leave their current job because they’re not offered development and progression opportunities. It’s therefore essential that you don’t neglect these areas, providing your staff with additional training and development courses. You need to show that you’re investing in your staff long term - demonstrating that you want them to achieve their own professional development goals as well as those of the company. 

One of the best things about offering extra training is that it doesn't have to cost you anything - the training can be completely internal. And by setting up a mentoring program, you can ensure that the newer members of the business pick up essential skills, while also encouraging team bonding. Mentoring can work both ways too - new staff may be more tech-savvy or innovative than company veterans, and could pass on these skills to their mentor.

2. Flexible Career Progression

Career progression doesn't have to be linear. While people often talk about climbing the career ladder, it’s possible to move sideways before moving up! This is sometimes referred to as lattice progression. An employee can move into a different department or role, to give them a broader understanding of the business, and then be offered a promotion once they’re more knowledgeable in multiple areas of the company. 

If your business doesn't have a hierarchical structure anyway, flexible progression can be a great thing to offer your employees. Startups in particular don’t tend to subscribe to a traditional hierarchy, allowing their staff to explore different avenues within the company to see which area suits them best.

3. Recognise Achievement 

It goes without saying that you need to praise your employees when they go above and beyond, complete a project, or are simply consistently achieving their goals. Everybody wants their hard work to be recognised, even if it’s simply a few kind words from your manager. As an employer, you don’t necessarily have to offer bonuses or tangible rewards for achievement - often public praise is enough for staff to feel appreciated.

It’s also important to recognise the wins of the various teams and departments in your business, not just individual achievements. One of the key attributes lots of businesses look for when recruitment is the ability to work as part of a team, so you should recognise when your staff do this well. 

In general, creating a supportive work environment should encourage a more positive atmosphere and working culture, which in turn will hopefully lead to higher levels of loyalty and productivity. Recognising achievement is such an easy thing to do, but not enough companies give this exercise the credence it deserves.

two women working in an office

4. Team Bonding

As we spend so much of our time at work, it’s important for us to get on with our colleagues, and feel part of an inclusive company culture. As a business, one of the best ways to encourage team bonding is to embark on team activities. This could be something simple like a team lunch, or something a little more extravagant, such as a group weekend away.

While it’s highly unlikely that every single member of staff will become close friends, it’s nonetheless essential to provide opportunities for bonding. Not only will it make your working environment more friendly, these sorts of bonding activities can also be useful when different teams need to work together on a project.  

5. Build Trust

Last, but certainly not least, you need to foster trust within your business, which can best be achieved through open communication. Transparency is a vital component of any successful organisation, whether it’s about the progression of the business or what the meetings that day are about. Employees generally like to know how their efforts are benefiting the business too, so it’s great to share this information where possible. 

A simple way to encourage open communication is to have regular one-to-one meetings between employees and their managers. This should also provide a platform for staff to share constructive feedback about the business. Taking any such advice to heart should additionally show that you’re willing to listen to concerns, and will help develop an even better culture of transparency.

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