How to cherish your assets!
4 tips on how to retain your staff
It is always difficult to retain staff within any organisation and especially in the Care Sector but have no fear it is achievable in a few small steps!
Once you have recruited the right staff it really is about how you can retain them and not let them go! They are the most important asset for you so cherish them!
The basics include pay so let’s get this one out of the way – we all go to work to get paid to live, but work is so much more than pay. Pay has to be appropriate for it to attract the right people in the first place. Just because you pay a good wage doesn’t mean you get the best and most engaged staff but they do have to feel they are being paid a decent wage for their efforts! Above all make sure your pay system is fair and transparent.
Studies have shown that up to 20% of new staff leave in their first month due to a bad or non-existent induction – that is 1 in 5 of the people you have spent time and money on recruiting.
A good induction ensures operational efficiency which means staff get up to speed quicker with the day-to-day job. An induction should not only include how to do the job and standard policies etc but also practical things – how you answer the phone, where you make your tea and have lunch.
A good induction makes the employee feel respected and valued from the start and it helps establish good communication.
Tip 1 – a thorough Induction programme
Ensure you have a thorough induction programme and give them a ‘buddy’ from their first day. Choose someone who you can trust and is one of your ‘stars’ who understands the culture of the place. Make sure, if possible, it the same person and have an induction programme running for at least a month. This means you will retain those new staff members you have spent so much time and effort recruiting!
A good induction with a buddy is key – stick with a comprehensive programme so that you retain the staff you have spent so much time and effort recruiting.
Tip 2 – once inducted well, continue with mentoring
Mentoring is where a more experienced staff member acts as an advisor or mentor for a less experienced team member. They provide expertise and professional knowledge from a more experience perspective with wisdom, advice, coaching and counselling.
By developing mentoring not only are you showing your team that you trust them but that you value their skills and knowledge AND you are prepared to continually develop them.
Mentoring doesn’t have to be complicated, start small with one mentor in one area and build on it. Work out who is a ‘star’ and give them time, at least 30 mins per week to mentor.
Tip 3 – Challenge them
Challenge is about offering opportunities, a chance for your team to grow their skills. Challenge is important because it keeps your staff in your organisation, you don’t lose them. Challenge pushes your staff out of complacency, it encourages them to learn from mistakes and it reminds them that it’s about the effort, not just their skills.
Give them opportunities to challenge them – give them a project that is of interest to them – setting up a gardening session with residents or clients. If they are team orientated – ask them what they can do to encourage the whole team to work together in or out of work. Make them a mentor! Ask them to set up a great induction programme!
Tip 4 – Involve them
Involve them by ensuring they know what is happening in the organisation and make sure the communication is two-way. Keep them involved by sharing regularly what is happening – a weekly update, a monthly newsletter, at team meetings.
Research by Gallup in 2017 across over 140 countries found that only 13% of staff are engaged in their workplace - that means only 1 out of 9 feels their organisation values them and their work and in turn values their organisation.
Involving staff is one important aspect of this relationship which can be achieved by asking them questions, for example, if they have the right tools to do their job and listen to the answer and act. You may get a long list to start with but do the easy (and less costly) wins first! Involve them by asking them to provide examples of what tools they need with costings. Then see what you/the organisation can buy. Go back and tell them what can be provided and what can’t and why – this demonstrates to them that you are listening to them and involving them.