Recruitment: Staff retention – how to keep your best talent

Sheep Central, February 27, 2015

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ATTRACTION and retention of staff in the extensive Australian cattle and sheep industries is not always favoured by changes in the external environment.

Macro-economic conditions and competition from other sectors have led to a tight labour market and general staff shortages across the grazing sector. So winning the war for labour and retaining staff is essential to the sustainability of the industry.

Knowing what we now know about tenure and the growing acceptance of job-hopping, the impetus now falls on employers to provide enough incentive to convince their top performers to stay. But with tight labour markets and the allure of raises and promotions coming from all directions, what can an employer offer his or her employees that will entice them to stick around?

Let’s look at some options.


Promote from within:

One of the most common reasons why people quit their jobs is career advancement or promotional opportunities. Especially in the beef industry, where it is a closely knit community, employees know what jobs are going around and often get poached by competitors with a better offer.

While it may be difficult for a manager in the office or on a station to watch a top employee move on, it’s certainly better to see them transition into a new role within the company where they will be successful and the company Intel is retained than watch them leave the company altogether.

In order for employees to flourish and stay at one company, they must feel challenged and be fully invested in their job duties. If the employee has remained in the same position for a period of time and no longer feels challenged or engaged, they may start looking to make a move. Providing them options to grow within the company can allow them to flourish in another area of the business.


Show them the money:

This may be the most obvious and goes without saying. Pay and benefits are the second most common reason why people leave their jobs. No matter what other perks employer offers – flexible hours, paid time off, a great company culture – none of these things will pay an employee’s mortgage or put food on the table.

There comes a point when managers must weigh the cost of increasing a top employee’s salary or offering a bonus against the cost of searching for and recruiting a replacement. Think about the lost revenue for the time the position goes unfilled, or is covered by another employee whose work responsibilities may suffer as a result.


Hold performance interviews:

Far too often, employers aren’t aware of what needs improvement in their companies until their top employees have already left. Traditionally, interviews are conducted when an employee begins a job, and occasionally when they leave a job. Performance interviews are a perfect opportunity for employers to sit down with their employees and find out what’s going on – what’s working, and what’s not. Are they happy, and if not, what needs to change?

Why wait until your best employees are gone to find out what it would have taken to make them stay? Giving employees a voice may be all it takes to not only mend tears in the corporate fabric, but to empower employees enough to make them feel like they’re making a difference. Performance interviews can prove an ideal way to find out what needs to change in a company or department before it’s too late.


Develop a culture of trust and recognition:

It’s been said many times that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers. The simplest way to prevent that is to make them feel appreciated. Every employer should view their employees as their most valuable asset, and employees should know this. Credit should be given where credit is due, and individual and team victories should be celebrated.

Also, employees should be trusted to work independently, without micromanagement. When employees know they have their managers’ trust, they’re motivated to work that much harder in order to not lose it. A truly productive team is one who knows their value to the company, and values being a part of it.


Give employees the freedom to soar:

Nearly all companies require growth to remain profitable. Growth requires change, and change requires ideas. Often, these ideas are generated by creativity. All successful companies employ creative people in some form or another and these creatives keep the company moving ahead. But creative people don’t work well when confined to a box. They need the freedom to spread their wings.

Management should encourage all members of staff to explore new ideas and share them with the team, then build off of what works and what doesn’t. Don’t hold back and let another employer benefit from you staffs creative ideas.

In today’s job market, employees have options. The more unique and in-demand their skill set, the greater the number of options from which they can choose. But employers have options too. The challenge for employers lies in choosing the right option before their employees begin exploring theirs. Failure to do so can result in numerous recruiting costs, as well as time spent filling positions of departed employees. A top employee can be difficult, if not impossible to replace. Are you doing everything you can to keep yours from leaving?


Source: AWX Agribusiness: Partners in People





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