Managing for retention is becoming increasingly important as retaining staff becomes a bigger issue for organisations. A recent survey conducted by First Intuition found that 29% of employers were finding it difficult to retain staff. Whilst 60% were finding it difficult to retain newly qualified staff. This is in part due to a competitive job market with a shortage of candidates. Employees are therefore often leaving due to being offered alternative roles with more competitive benefits. Strategies to improve retention rates and make current workplaces more appealing to existing staff are therefore more important than ever.
This article shares highlights from the session where guest speakers, listed below, joined David Malthouse and Andy Buncall to discuss the tips and techniques to manage retention.
Guest speakers include:
You can watch the recording of the forum by clicking the button below.
The root of retention
- People need to know what to do and want to do it
- Staff need to be engaged – engagementsuccess.org
- Values underpin why people choose to stay or leave somewhere. Understand why staff choose to work at a company, what is it about it that keeps them coming back?
- Employers should understand employees’ reasons for staying in an organisation and then create these conditions that continue to keep them in place
Sources of motivation
People are motivated by different things, what one person wants is different from another. However, there are two different main sources of motivation that have different impacts:
- From outside
- Motivated towards reward or away from punishment
- Conditional: do this and you get that
- From within
- Motivated away from harm or danger and towards satisfaction and growth
- Unconditional: doing something for its own sake
Whilst pay rewards are important to most people, these stop working at a certain point because they only address the extrinsic source of motivation. It has been found that extrinsic motivation only works for the most basic of tasks however, these are the main focus for employers. Intrinsic motivation is likely to be more effective, more long-lasting, and make more of a difference. Investing in your own development has a really strong business case. Employers should therefore do as much as possible to create the potential for employees to meet intrinsic needs.
How to motivate staff
Give people freedom over what they do, when they do it, with whom they do it, and how they do it. Employers should ensure they are using inclusive leadership.
Most people have the urge to get better and better at something that matters to them and feels like theirs rather than for a specific outcome. Personal development has never been more important to people since the pandemic when people had the time to think about what they really want. Staff want to be able to continue to develop their skills and future-proof themselves. Employers should aid and encourage employees’ development both within the workplace and outside through training programmes. This development will not only motivate staff but will boost productivity and innovation.
Many people are driven by having a purpose or belief they are working towards something larger than themselves and their own individual roles. Employees are likely to want to align their personal goals with those of the business. Employers should think about what the purpose of their business is and communicate that clearly to their staff.
Leadership and support
The priorities of leaders need to focus on the well-being and resilience of their employees, as well as positive management approaches that help people deal with what they are facing. Leaders can help well-being by:
- Reducing stress put on teams such as ensuring deadlines are reasonable
- Encouraging well-being days
- Provide access to wellbeing programmes
- Advice and training for managers on how to identify if someone needs help
Managers should also be approachable and be available to regularly catch up with their team. People who had less contact with their manager early on in the pandemic were found to have worse mental health.
Recruit the right people
Bosses and Managers have a big impact on whether staff stay at a company. Those who look at the bigger picture and want to make a difference can motivate staff to work alongside them. It is worth investing more time and money to ensure managers are the right fit for a company and setting the right culture. It will cost more in the long run if companies try and cut corners.
Every person in a company is different so tailor management and leadership to individuals. As well as be acutely aware of managers’ and employees’ needs and deliver those in a way that fits the business direction.