Losing weight and exercising are the most common New Year’s Resolutions, but finding a new job is never far behind. Six companies offer their expert advice on retaining your top performing employees as 2017 draws near.

Communication is Key

communication is key

Communication is a core part of a successful workplace.

An About.com survey on why people don’t like their jobs found that an incredible 62% of workplace problems boil down to poor communication. The message is clear: talk, people!

Recruitment agency The Sterling Choice say they’ve tackled the problem by investing in communication software for their employees.

“We’ve invested money into a communication reporting tool so that we can understand our team and manage them effectively,” the company’s Associate Director Richard Hanwell told us.

“We also make sure there’s plenty of face to face interaction between colleagues. Every week we have one to ones with employees and all of our team members do end of year reports about their own success.”

Hanwell revealed that the company has also invested £12,000 into a training manual for each member that they call their Recruitment Bible in a bid to streamline top-down communication.

Clear Career Progression and Training

staff training

Staff training isn’t just about building a skilled workforce; an effective colleague induction program can encourage loyalty and commitment to your culture.

One such company offering extensive training and progression opportunities is Pearson Frank, a niche recruiter specializing in Java, Web and PHP jobs.

“Recruitment is about more than just filling vacancies,” says Kashif Naqshbandi, the company’s CMO.

“We provide world-class training that prepares our employees for working with leading organizations and skilled professionals across the globe to go above and beyond the recruitment standard.”

pearson frank pyramid

The company’s culture is built on opportunity, support and recognition.

“Over 90% of our management is home grown. Our chief training programs mean that team members can progress as quickly as they want to.”

Internwise adopt a similar strategy.

“We draft a plan with our employees to outline their work goals and expected deliverables,” its founder Nuno Dhiren explains.

“This encourages and empowers employees to meet deadlines with a clear understanding of their outcome.”

Soft Benefits

soft benefits at work

For smaller companies where money is tight, the phrase ‘employee perks’ can set alarm bells ringing for the MD. Scott Woodley, co-founder of Tutora, believes he has a solution.

“As a relatively small company, we’re more limited in our budget but we have the advantage of being able to build a more personal relationship with our employees, and, therefore, being a little more inventive about building a happy team,” he explains.

Woodley is an advocate of soft benefits – both figuratively and literally.

“We’ve invested in wonderfully comfy office chairs for all of our staff – they love them and it makes people feel better about coming to work each day,” said Woodley.

“On top of that, finishing early on Fridays, taking everyone out for drinks or lunch once a month and being really flexible about working hours/working from home, allows us to build an environment where people are genuinely happy at work, because the division between work and home life is more blurred than in corporate environments.”

An increasingly common ‘perk’ in the creative industry is unlimited holidays – with the hope that colleagues won’t take the biscuit.

“Flexibility is the number one convincing factor for most of our new recruits,” says Varun Bhanot, Head of Business Development at Hubble – one such company offering the perk.

With staff churn of less than 10% over the entire lifespan of the company, it clearly works.

It’s Not About the Money

money

Money is often the bottom line in retaining your top performers – but don’t expect it to motivate staff in the long-term.

Rebecca Bull, the owner of small business consultancy firm My HR Hub, believes that companies could significantly increase employee motivation with a better understanding of the science behind the impact of pay and reward on employee behavior.

“Monetary rewards aren’t everything and they can even distort people’s motivation,” she tells us.

“Enticing the workforce with financial incentives and a strong bonus culture can lead to unwanted, risky and even unethical behaviors.”

Bull believes the key is having a flexible reward package that takes into account behavioral nuances and doesn’t rely solely on money as the only means to motivate staff.

“It’s a change in direction for many but should also be welcome news for companies who, in a challenging economic context, need to be more creative with their rewards package.”

These rewards also have the added benefit of being cost-effective and easy for businesses to disperse at ad-hoc moments, rather than building up to a single moment of reward in any given year.

How do you motivate your staff? Let us know by leaving a comment below.