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FOLLOWING on from recent weekly recruitment columns examining the challenges in attraction of staff in the meat and livestock industry, we’ve shifted focus this week to some tips and strategies for retaining employees.
As an employer, people are your biggest asset and the ability to attract and retain talented staff is a reliable predictor of company excellence.
It may also be the single most important challenge for agribusiness owners and managers.
Why care about employee retention? Retention is a business issue and losing one or two key people can have a significant impact on your longevity or profitability.
One large pastoral company has estimated that it costs the company almost $10,000 to advertise, attract, recruit, induct and embed a new lower-to-mid level employee within its northern pastoral operations, including the productivity sacrificed until the new staffmember comes up to speed in their new job.
Employee retention creates intellectual capital within your workforce, which is critical to success.
A long-term employee retention strategy should be at the heart of every recruitment process. There are a wide range of benefits in maintaining a well-organised, experienced employee base, which can help improve productivity, morale and profits.
Cost-effectiveness, productivity and retention are just some of the main reasons employee retention strategies are critical for your business.
For starters, having a high turnover rate for employment isn’t an economically sustainable model to have in your business. After all, as outlined above, with the number of costs that come with employing and replacing people, minimising this is in your company’s best interests.
Creating an environment that focuses on employee retention and boosting their desire to work will make the operation of your business much smoother and more effective overall.
While it may be possible for new employees to fulfil the basic requirements of a job, profitability and productivity often come with experience.
Therefore, implementing programs that will ensure employees remain engaged and active in their job will work towards retaining the overall profits and work ethic of your business in the long-run.
Taking these steps to keep employees satisfied with their work is an essential part of keeping the cogs within the company spinning.
Research suggests the top reasons people leave employers are very different from the reasons they stay.
Common reasons include: “I’ve found another job,” or “the pay is better,” but nine times out of ten, those aren’t the actual reasons the person started looking around in the first place. The primary reason they seek alternatives is because they don’t feel appreciated.
That’s not to say pay and benefits aren’t important, but this research points to the fact that managers’ roles in retention are critically important. There are some basic, fundamental things that managers should consider to keep your top performers:
- Communicate: Provide frequent, truthful and direct communications. Provide venues for employees to voice their concerns. Solicit ideas and opinions and actively listen.
- Explain organisational and individual goals.
- Encourage initiative.
- Recognise performance.
Employee retention really begins in the hiring process. You recruit not only for knowledge, skills and abilities, but also for culture and motivation, which is often just as important as competence.
Someone who may have all the skills but is not a good fit with the culture may end up not fitting with the company and feeling disheartened, and / or leaving.
How can you increase employee retention?
Keeping people wholeheartedly on-board with your work operation requires a number of skills.
For one, keeping your management style fluid and adaptable is a big aspect of it. Approaching each employee and situation with an open mind will help you find solutions to their problems and hear their concerns. Creating an environment of trust and loyalty is important for employee retention.
Furthermore, following through on employment promises is a big one.
Many people leave jobs due to a sense of betrayal, especially if an employer fails to follow through on a promise made during the initial interview process or in the early days of employment.
Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd.
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