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How to hold on to your best staff

23/08/18 - 09:52

Gordon Kaye, Managing Director of Cathcart Associates, has been in the recruitment business for over 20 years. During that time, he has worked alongside a number of companies and developed a keen understanding of what it takes to hold on to staff.

It can be difficult trying to find the right staff. Worse still is when you lose a valuable staff member and you need to replace them. The expense alone, ranging from recruiting to training, makes staff turnover a pressing concern for any business.

As a result of the skills shortage currently facing the tech industry, finding employees with the relevant skills is getting harder than ever. This means holding on to your best staff whenever you can is paramount.

Below are some of the steps we advise clients to do in order to retain their most valued members of staff

Having the right tools

Are you still using Windows 95? No probably not, but what technology is your team using in the workplace?  It’s important to consider the hardware that your employees are given to work with and to ensure that these remain up to scratch.  For instance, do your employees have the option to work at a standing desk? Or, how fast are the computers? Is the printer reliable?

Especially within in the tech industry, these things and more can make all the difference. If another workplace is willing to give an employee the autonomy to choose their own, better set up, that alone could be enough to tempt them away to a new employer.

Good working conditions

From time to time, you might hear about large tech companies with Ping-Pong tables, hammocks and fridges full of beer in the office (think Facebook and you’re close).

Dismissing these sort of workplace benefits as cliché or extravagant can potentially do more harm than good. While perhaps Ping-Pong or beers aren’t quite right for your business, it never hurts to go the extra mile to keep your team happy.

Consider asking your team for feedback some time about what might improve conditions in the office. Listening to your staff and taking their suggestions on board shows they are valued and heard by you (even if you are never going to install the hammock). 

We recently found a new job for an individual who left their current company for less money and a bigger commute, purely on the basis that the working environment was far better than where she was before.

Solving problems

As a leader, you have a responsibility to your employees to provide a safe and comfortable work environment.  If somebody is having an issue at work, it’s important that they should feel relaxed approaching you about this. A good leader will be proactive, directly addressing any problems as soon as they arise.

Taking this action lets your staff know that their wellbeing is important to you and the organisation, whereas blindly ignoring any issues will only risk driving them away.

Flexibility

Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option nowadays, and this isn’t going to change any time soon.  Considering the type of technology that most of us use, working from home has become a viable option and is often no different from being in the office.  For some, it saves time on a long or awkward commute; for others, it simply means getting to spend more time with their families.

Of course, this isn’t always workable, but being flexible and open to embracing different ways of working can do wonders to make the workplace more hospitable for your employees.

Conducting regular pay reviews

While it may seem obvious to conduct regular pay reviews for your staff, it is not something to take for granted. The competition in the UK tech scene means that employees with relevant skills are more valuable and are likely to be getting offers from elsewhere.  By conducting regular appraisals on staff performance, and providing them with ample opportunity for pay increases and promotion, shows them their efforts are being rewarded and valued.