retaining employees

Selecting the right people in the first place seems self-evident, but with one in three people leaving their job voluntarily within the first 12 months, a good induction program seems an obvious choice.

From the start of the recruitment process, prospective employees should be given a ‘realistic job preview’ to avoid raising expectations that can only be disappointed, e.g. clarity on training and career development opportunities. New employees should also receive an appropriate induction and/or onboarding program to minimise departures during the first six months of employment.

The reasons people give for leaving are frequently “untrue or only partially true ... likely to be reluctant to voice criticism of their managers, colleagues or the organisation generally, preferring to give some less contentious reasons for their departure”. Where exit interviews are held, the interviewer should therefore not be a manager (much less the line manager) responsible for the individual, or anyone who will be involved in reference writing. The point of the exercise is to find out the real reasons an individual is leaving, not what they think you want to hear.

designing a retention strategy

The AHRI reports a steady increase in staff turnover and the absence of an effective retention strategy will see an increase in recruitment costs and loss of skills. It lists a range of interventions, with an improved induction process, better employee communications and providing more learning and development opportunities as the ones used most frequently. While improving pay and benefits are an obvious choice, offering a more flexible benefits package to employees could be a low, or no-cost option.

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