In January 2018, the BBC reported that the UK’s unemployment rate had fallen to a four-decade low of 4.3%. If these conditions continue, many employers may discover that holding onto their talented people is not as easy as it once was.
“The market, not your company, might be what determines whether your employees stay with you,” cautions Lisa Gower, of Ubuntu HR. “It’s vital, therefore to have a staff retention programme in place. This should not just apply to management and leadership roles. If your employees matter to you, you must take the right measures to keep them.”
Is Staff Retention About More than the Money?
Surveys of millennials typically find they are more value-driven than previous generations of employees. This translates as them looking for more from their employment than the salary it pays them.
“Obviously pay can be a significant factor in whether someone leaves you to work elsewhere, but there are now other elements which may be critical in retaining your staff. One such element is training.”
This is especially important in manufacturing companies, where training should not stop once employees reach a certain level of competence. Rather, it should be an ongoing process.
“Continual development demonstrates that you’re investing in your employees’ futures as part of your business.”
“As the technology many manufacturers use develops, so must the skill-sets needed to ensure employees are fully capable and productive”
Where possible, employers should help establish a career path for workers, the earlier the better.
“If you establish a principle of some form of career growth from day one, you are showing employees that you value their future potential, and are not just extracting their labour for your present needs.”
Will They Still Leave You?
There is the risk that once you have trained an employee, you will still lose them to another employer.
“Training is a form of investment, so it’s understandable that losing this investment is a blow. However, employers can take steps to prevent this happening.”
What manufacturers must do is instil a strong, positive sense of the company’s culture in employees from the very beginning.
“This goes back to making employment meaningful. It means engaging fully and effectively with employees. It means ensuring their health and safety are at the forefront of your processes and procedures, and that you reward and thank them for their efforts.”
“A properly embedded recognition and reward programme can help form emotional bonds between employees and their employer”
“Creating a positive workplace culture means showing workers you care,” Lisa concludes. “It clearly demonstrates that your investment in them through training and development is open-ended; and ensures they are aware that there will be future career opportunities for them within your company.”
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