Staff Retention: How to Look After Your Best Assets
From speaking with a number of clients, some have enquired about their staff retention and why members of their team have decided to move on after a few years of employment “Why are they doing this? “
I researched their concerns and consulted with further clients that I believed had excellent staff retention, one of those partners words stuck in my mind…
“Look after your staff and they will look after you!”
From consulting with these clients further and talking about what they stand for as a firm, there seems to be recurring themes; inclusion, diversity, rewarding staff, decision making, staff being made to feel part of the practice and being heard. These are just some points why a candidate is happy in the workplace and what could be key factors when deciding to accept a new position.
Here are some ideas on how to get the best from your employees, and retain that talent for the future.
This may sound like an obvious thing, and most people do of course offer staff training. however, one of the clients I work with puts a lot of effort into training their current staff from a junior level with the intention of developing them and promoting them internally, they felt this offered them a better understanding of the ethos of the firm and more importantly how to deal with the caseload to the requirement the practice desired.
Additional to this they trained their staff to cement a footprint to promote the practice and department as a whole. Client care is always key for repeat business!
Listening to What Your Staff Have to Say
If you listen to your staff and what you stand for as a firm, then they will in turn feel appreciated and valued. Again, this may sound obvious, and you no doubt believe that you do listen to your staff, but how often do you ask them directly how they feel about your company, and what it means to them to work there?
People work to provide, but at the same time, why not do so in an environment and workplace that makes you happy, were you feel appreciated and respected for what you do?
Your staff are the people you trust to conduct the job in hand and represent your business.
Do you keep them in mind to discuss their views on how your business is run?
They might have innovative idea of how you can develop a department, improve staff training or how to handle a long-term project. These people are your assets, staff that more than likely want to be heard and not just be a number in an organisation.
Listening to your team shows that you appreciate them, not just their work, but their opinions on how to develop and move your business forward. As I say, these are the people who you trust to represent your business day to day.
Value Your Staff
I bet a lot of you’re saying, “I do value my staff”, I am sure you do, however there is always more that can be done to actually show them that you do.
One example, Inclusion. What do we mean by inclusion? In simple terms… let your staff be who they are. Don’t judge, make everyone feel included and let clients know, you as a firm, are inclusive.
Inclusion can be shown through various recognised means such as, to name just a few;
Have you as a firm set your Company Values?
If you don’t have these in place, I would personally highly recommend that you consider doing so. Company Values are a great way of bringing your business together, highlighting ‘Who’ you are and ‘What’ you stand for, As an example take a look at Law Staff’s company values on our website.
In essence, make sure your staff know that no matter who and what you stand for, as a practice you support them.
Remember the Small Things Count
How do you reward staff? I bet your mind went straight to money, straight to thinking that I’m about to prompt paying bonuses!
You might not be able to afford to keep offering pay rise after pay rise, or regular bonuses, but there are some things that you can do to show recognition and reward your team.
Sometimes the small things and appreciation, can say a lot more than a pay rise!
Seeing a member of staff go above and beyond the course of duty… why not reward them? Why not tell the rest of the team what a great job they’ve done? Recognition is a great reward and makes employees feel that their efforts are being noticed. Staff meetings are a great way to highlight great performance.
We have clients that have promoted restaurant vouchers, theatre tickets and even something as small as chocolates and flowers as recognition for good work. If the team have worked through a tough patch maybe a dozen doughnuts would go a long way to saying thank you (or a fruit bowl which is probably the correct thing to do in today’s society!)
Appreciation for going the extra mile is something that can make a difference! Show how much you appreciate the day to day work that your employees do for you, yes, you pay them a wage at the end of every month for that, but so could any other employer out there…
Your staff are your biggest asset!