The Seven Secrets to Staff Retention

75% of the reasons people leave jobs come down to things that managers can influence. According to recent research these are the things that make people want to stay:

1. Having opportunities to grow

One of the best predictors of turnover is whether an employee has had opportunities at work to learn, grown and advance.

‘I am listened to; my opinion counts for something.’

‘My manager discusses my development with me.’

‘I receive training and coaching on the job’

are typical responses of happy employees

It was also found that 92% of these workers also said they planned to be with their companies a year later.

2. Pay and benefits

According to Gallup research, ‘engaged employees are far more likely to perceive that they are paid appropriately for the work they do (43%), compared to employees who aren’t (15%).’ Another factor that can boost satisfaction with pay is when employees feel their pay is fair in comparison to their co-workers. Nothing creates bad feeling as much as when someone in the team is not pulling his or her weight and it’s not being addressed.

3. Good fit for the business and the role

If people have been recruited who match the values of the business they have more chance of being emotionally connected to their work. If they’re then put into roles that maximise their talents and strengths, and give scope for development they are more likely to be efficient, effective and fulfilled.

4. A well-organised workplace

People benefit from knowing, not only what’s expected of them, but also how they fit into the bigger picture. Regular communication from a manager about how the team and business are doing keeps people in the loop and makes them feel involved and valued. Better still when they are asked for input and ideas.

People want to work in a well run workplace. No one enjoys that feeling of lurching from one crisis to another on a regular basis. Working for someone who is passionate but clear headed helps too. Having a systemised business, a one right way to do every task, and thorough training can provide employees with the independence and responsibility on which they thrive.

5. Work life balance

51% of employees would switch to a job that allows them flexitime and 37% to a job that allows them to work at home some of the time, according to research. Flexible working can be good for employees and for business; if people are less stressed and energised, it’s usually good news for productivity and retention. It also sends a clear message of trust, a great morale boost in itself.

6. Job security

People want to feel they’re working in a solid business with a promising future. One way to address this is to share the ‘back story’ of the business and your goose-bump-giving vision for its future. Employees want to feel they’re on that journey with you.  And of course the business has to walk the talk; to get results and keep the team updated and inspired by performance.

7. Relationships and culture

When people are involved, encouraged to ‘fail forwards’ and work as part of a happy team, who they socialise with, they are more inclined to stay. Research  reveals that if you have good friends at work you’re more inclined to stay. But key too is a good relationship with your manager. You don’t have to be best buddies but since your manager is responsible for so many of the fore-going points it’s essential for a good working relationship.

When you reflect on the above it shows how important it is to have the right manager in your business. They set the tone of the workplace; have responsibility for developing plans and people and for all important communication. They are pivotal, not just for performance, but for employee retention. A bad manager is the number one reason cited for people leaving their jobs. And I don’t imagine that by ‘bad’, people always mean unkind or grumpy. I imagine for many it means ‘well-intentioned but ineffectual’. And I know we’ve spoken many times about accidental managers; those chucked in at the deep end with little training or ongoing development.

And if you think how costly it may be to train your managers (or yourself as a business owner) just add up how much it costs your business every time someone leaves.

Do one thing: If 75% of the reasons people leave jobs come down to things that managers can influence, consider what you’re doing to develop your managers?


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Marianne Page

Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)


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