In recent months, we have seen positivity in the jobs market; unemployment down, employment up. Whilst nobody is rubbing their hands together and claiming the task is completed, the picture looks fairly rosy.
However, what does this mean for employers when it comes to staff retention?
A cynical boss might have sat back for the last couple of years and relied upon a slump in the jobs market to keep their best staff where they are. However, the “they’ll be happy just to have a good job” mentality is a very risky mindset, particularly now that the economy is growing and opportunities are opening up.
Those who have failed to fully appreciate and value their staff, and to ensure those they employ feel the effects of that positive employee engagement, may come to regret it, now that the improving economic climate is opening doors for good people.
Nobody likes to feel taken for granted, in any aspect of their life, so if there is a danger that staff feel this way, it is time for a change of mindset and positive action.
Good employee engagement leads to better retention of employees, reducing the financial and time costs involved with having to recruit and train new people, to replace leavers.
Getting employee engagement right is about ensuring workers feel they are involved and recognised members of an effective team, that they are given opportunities to learn and develop. It means helping them to be happy and well-treated at work; that when they raise issues, they are listened to, not shouted down, ignored or even hounded out.
There should be regular communication about not only the performance of the individual, but also the company as a whole, illustrating the presence of credible leaders who care and inspire them.
The results are more than simply staff retention, as important as that is. They include a more positive workforce and increased output.
As the economy improves and the jobs market grows, a good employer is one who not only looks at the people they can bring in, but cares about keeping the ones they already have. If they don’t, someone else will.
By Sue Alderson, Director, Azure Consulting