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Do you think you could celebrate a platinum anniversary in your workplace?

It is not uncommon to see Linkedin posts marking a work anniversary on LinkedIn. It is not often, however, that you hear about a person serving in the same role for 70 years. This week, Her Majesty The Queen is celebrating her platinum jubilee, becoming the longest serving British monarch. While most of us are unlikely to meet that milestone in the workplace, it is clear that employees now have more options than ever to choose their working environment, benefits and ultimately who they work for, meaning a much shorter retention period than has historically been the case.

As the landscape of the employee/employer relationships changes, the premise of life-long loyal employees has long ridden off into the sunset, with the average member of staff averaging 3 to 5 years’ service. It is not uncommon nowadays for employees to join businesses with an exit plan 3 years down the line already mapped out. How long do you intend to work in the same company? 3 years, maybe 5 if it suits your lifestyle? What would make you stay? On the flip side, what as an employer can you realistically offer employees to stay longer?

Retaining the best talent is something that employers are working harder to achieve now more than ever. It is no secret that retaining staff is far more cost effective than recruiting new staff and employers are increasingly utilising some of the more modern ways and means of raising staff satisfaction in a hope that they are not tempted by the greener grass of a competitor.   

Improved benefits; bonus and cash incentives; career progression opportunities, are all generic tools used historically to retain employees, but what do they really want?

Scanning the job vacancy pages, many companies boast about offering table tennis, breakout areas, and a good working environment but according to a survey by Zety, beyond that, staff are looking for a business with much more core values, including but not limited to;

  1. Values that match their own
  2. Purpose beyond merely making a profit
  3. Offers career development
  4. A strong and recognisable brand reputation

So what can employers do to encourage staff to stay with the business? More recently we have seen employers mix up old fashioned commitment and care with newer benefits. This not only increases the chances of retaining key members of staff, but also gives you the advantage when recruiting. Examples we have seen include;  

  1. Show employees the benefit to their commitment

This will come in the usual standard tangible forms of incremental increases in salary and an extra day or two of annual leave but perhaps look at introducing a bonus scheme for staff across the board and a skills matrix to map out a realistic career path.

  1. Provide ample opportunity to achieve

Staff will want to improve their skillset and in doing so, become more valuable employees. Continuing professional development is required in many professions but by allowing employees to branch out and look at related topics you’re letting staff expand their knowledge and perhaps encourage them to take on more responsibility.

  1. Implement inclusive policies

As the world continues to change, your business needs to keep pace. Make sure your menopause policy, for example, is inclusive of trans people and not just women, and think about inclusive policies that protects people with special characteristics and invisible illnesses. The more employees feel recognised and understood, the more they will feel comfortable and valued in the workplace.

  1. Flexible and hybrid working

The buzzwords to come out of the pandemic. As many staff have proven that working remotely hasn’t impacted their quality of work or commitment to their employer, they don’t want to give up the flexibility that remote working provided. Consider requests fairly and trial hybrid and flexible working schedules for staff.

  1. ESG

Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) is now one of the key requirements, not only of clients, but also of staff who want to feel pride in what their employer is achieving. With more companies investing in and meeting ESG metrics, those who don’t are at risk of being left behind.

Of course, the pandemic had an impact on staff retention. The ‘Great Resignation’ of 2022 will likely see one in five people change their jobs as their personal and professional priorities change, and they look for a better work/life balance or to take the next step in their careers. Businesses looking to prevent the moves from happening or to prevent staff from even considering it altogether, should try implementing these incentives to reduce staff turnover.

We all know how important it is to retain the best staff. It’s important to reward commitment and to value it so while it’s important to recruit talented staff, it’s important also to not punish staff who are already employed. Remember, it could be that your employees are the reason that a new person wants to join the team.

Staff are a business’s brand ambassador so treating them well and giving them opportunities to develop is essential as Richard Branson is quoted to say “clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients”.

Whether you’re a royalist or not, you have to be impressed by The Queen’s commitment to the country and to her servitude to the population. When you have committed staff, people who truly value their job and their workplace and are duly rewarded for their commitment, great successes can be achieved. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye out for The Queen’s LinkedIn anniversary post.

 

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

 

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