How to encourage good staff to stay

Last post, we explained how high staff turnover can cost your business thousands of dollars. Not to mention staff who stay on your books, but mentally check out.So how do you keep good people engaged? Here’s a few strategies to get you started.

Pay your employees well

If you can afford to pay employees above the award wage, and it’s appropriate for your business, go for it. Yes, the upfront cost is higher, but you save on all the costs associated with turnover and poor performance, that we covered last post.

Paying above minimum wage is a particularly good move in retail and hospitality. Jobs are plentiful and good staff are difficult to find, so an attractive salary makes your business an employer of choice. Your staff, and the service they offer, may be your main competitive advantage. A higher wage can prevent that place down the road from luring your best people away.

If you decide to pay above the award, there are a few things to remember. Awards don’t just cover rates of pay. They also govern conditions such as rostering arrangements, allowances and shift penalties. Paying above the award wage doesn’t release you from these obligations, so read up on the law if you’re not sure, or ask us about a workforce management check up.

Explore financial incentives

Don’t want to increase everyone’s hourly rate? No problem. Bonuses linked to employee performance are another great way to improve staff retention.

It can be tempting to reward all employees equally, particularly if the business has met its monthly targets.

However, it is important to only award bonuses to those who have put in the most effort or achieved the best outcomes. You may find that your top employees aren’t willing to work as hard if others receive the same bonus for less effort.

Don’t forget non-financial incentives

Higher rates of pay and performance bonuses aren’t the only ways to keep your best employees.

It’s worth adding non-financial incentives into the mix. One option is workplace flexibility: giving your staff more control over when they work (something that workforce management software like easyEMPLOYER makes easier to manage).

Recognition from supervisors can go a long way: a simple thank you when someone’s put in extra effort. What professional development opportunities will interest your staff? Would giving them a shot at filling in for a supervisor’s role give them a sense of a career path that’s worth staying for?

Employees like to know that employers are investing in them for the long term. You’re asking them to be loyal. What are you prepared to give in return?