How to retain great staff

HR solutions are some of the toughest challenges small businesses have to face.

We all know that a great staff member can make or break a small business. So, what can you do to help hold on to a ‘good hire’ longer?

Of course, hiring the right staff in the first place can be difficult enough, let alone keeping your most valuable players in the ranks. The most obvious answers to staff retention problems are attractive incentives and competitive salaries, as well as a healthy corporate culture. However, with resources often already stretched, the best and most realistic thing you can do for your business is to work on employee personal development.

1 in 4 employees leave a new job within a year

According to a 2015 report from Price Waterhouse Coopers nearly one in four new employees leave a job in the fist 12 months in Australia. Staff turnover is extremely costly to a business’s productivity and recruitment activities, particularly in a small business.

Upskilling your staff through training and education leaves your employees feeling both more valued and accomplished. It also helps improve productivity and efficiency which is great for your bottom line.

Equip staff with current skills and your small business will benefit

By equipping your staff with more applicable skills and knowledge to get the job done, and done right, your small business will function better. Your staff will also have a sense of job satisfaction and be happier as a result.

unnamed-3So, what’s the next step?
Ensure you take action and put a plan in place to help both you and your staff put into effect the things your newly upskilled staff have learnt. Don’t be afraid to set challenges for your staff or goals for them to meet to ensure they are both growing and learning in their role.

Matching the skills gap in your company with available education and training can be an extremely valuable investment. Enlisting the help of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to help assess the areas for opportunity and deliver training modules that help meet those needs is a good option which could also help save you time.

An RTO such as Upskilled can help deliver a range of vocational qualifications and short courses to small businesses looking to boost their operational efficiency. Their courses cover everything from Accounting to Work Health and Safety, Building and Construction, Events, Finance, IT, Leadership, Management and more.

Of course, this isn’t the only way you can give back to your staff in a small business.

Saying a genuine thank-you to a good staff member goes a long way

Recognise achievements and praise staff
Praising staff achievements regularly helps boost morale and like any reward, encourages employees to strive for success again. More than anything, a simple and genuine ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

Offer flexibility where possible
Giving staff the option to work from home from time to time and placing the onus on them to complete work with flexible office hours is another positive option.

Nothing goes unnoticed in a tight team and if everyone feels as though they are on an even playing field then they’ll work better together.

Other options to consider when working on staff retention include offering cost effective events in-house such as sports days or cooking classes or even a BBQ at a local park.
Allowing staff to take time away from their work while still being involved in the business can be a welcome option, especially during peak periods or during school holidays if they have kids.

Staff who feel like they’re learning in their current role are more likely to be loyal

If you think your workforce is growing steadily and it is time to get a professional in to help, then consider hiring a HR expert. They’ll be able to help consult you on your staff retention initiatives as well as conduct a host of HR functions.

The bottom line is that if you have happy and competent staff in your business who feel like they are learning in their current role then they are more likely to remain loyal to you and continue to contribute to the business’s success.


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This article was brought to you by Upskilled. Qualify for Tomorrow with Upskilled. For more information on Upskilled and their upcoming courses, visit or call 1300 009 924.

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