Staff Retention…..Often one of the most overlooked areas in business! 


I think it’s fair to say that many people reading this article would have seen at some stage in their life, top talent leaving an organisation and taking their skills, work ethic and outstanding personal qualities elsewhere.  You might have even been that person that jumped ship.  At one stage an organisation might have provided you with all you were seeking in a role but as your time with them progressed, they started to miss the mark. Perhaps the ethics of the organisation didn’t match up to your ethics? Perhaps you wanted to study a Degree, but the company didn’t support staff with external studies?  Or it may have been as simple as you slogging your guts out daily, working long hours and not even receiving a ‘thank you’ for your efforts.


Staff retention is often one of the most overlooked areas of an organisation. Big business realises the financial costs to an organisation when top talent leaves but often they’re the very culprit that falls short when it comes to implementing retention strategies (and implementing them well).


Research constantly shows that retaining top talent in your business is instrumental in customer satisfaction, staff morale and even higher sales.


The Australian Human Resources Institute compiles a report every few years which is in relation to Turnover and Retention. Their reports were published in 2008, 2012, 2015 and I would assume one will be produced this year. In the report which was published in 2015, the average staff turnover within Australia sat at 16%.  The age group with the highest turnover (38%) were 26-35 years of age.


So, what can you do to retain your top talent in your organisation?


1.       Solid onboarding & induction programs ensuring the new hire isn’t being set up to fail.  


Without a solid onboarding & induction program you can’t assess what learning & development is required and you can’t expect a staff member to thoroughly understand your business/ethics/values or systems. 


2.       Ongoing training, development & Mentorship programs – both inhouse and via an external provider.


Top talent wants to develop! They want to consistently strive to be better and to challenge themselves.


3.       Clear cut expectations for individual staff and the team as a whole.


This really comes down to communication and providing your staff & team with consistency – budgets, KPI’s, incentives etc that don’t change daily.


4.       Employee recognition & rewards


A simple ‘thank you’ is a good start but bonuses, raises, promotions, paid time off, gifts etc. are also provided.


5.       Team celebration/social events


This doesn’t have to be expensive. I know organisations that have a $30 budget per person and a time limit of 3 hours out of the office. You’re still giving back and you’re still improving morale. 


6.       Competitive salaries and commission structures


Do I really need to comment on this point? 


7.       Flexible working arrangements and work/life balance strategies


Providing flexibility now is necessary if you want to retain strong talent. This isn’t a male/female thing either. This is about organisations recognising the pressure on families and doing what they can to accommodate for their staff member so ultimately they’re able to get the best out of them during the work day.


8.       Ongoing career opportunities


Research shows that that 42% of employees feel that their job satisfaction is reliant on opportunities for career advancement.


9.       Open communication and feedback with staff


Such as weekly one on one’s with Team Leader/Manager. Research shows this is really beneficial if you’re aiming to retain Gen Y’s or Millennials to your company. They really value open communication and feedback.


If you’re looking at retaining top talent in your business, simply apply some of these proven techniques and you could quickly end up with a high performing team for far into the future!