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The Business Magazine November 2023
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In thinking about celebrating The Queen’s platinum jubilee this week, Steve Conlay, Associate in BPE’s Employment team looks at how you can retain the best staff

Retaining the best talent in a business is something that many employers work very hard to achieve. They review and improve benefits; approve flexible working; use bonus and cash incentives; offer career progression opportunities, all in an effort to keep talented employees working for their business.

You often hear about people celebrating working in the same business for 5, 10, 20 years or marking the anniversary on LinkedIn about this milestone. But you don’t often hear about a person serving in the same role for 70 years. This week, Her Majesty The Queen is celebrating her platinum jubilee and becomes the longest serving British monarch. While most of us are unlikely to meet that milestone, or see another monarch do it in our lifetimes, employers can still hope to retain staff beyond the average 3 to 5 years.

How long do you intend to work in the same company? 5 years, maybe 10 if it suits your lifestyle. The longer you stay at a business, the more you’ll see of it at its best and meeting or even exceeding its potential. But you will also want to be given incentive to stay.

Many companies boast about offering table tennis tables and a good working environment but according to a survey by Zety, beyond that, staff are looking for a business:

  1. With values that match their own
  2. Purpose beyond merely making a profit
  3. Offers career development
  4. With a strong and recognisable brand reputation

So what can employers do to encourage staff to stay with the business? To name a few suggestions, employers could do the following:

a) Show employees the benefit to their commitment
This will come in the usual standard tangible forms of incremental increases in salary and an extra day or two of annual leave but perhaps look at introducing a bonus scheme for staff across the board and a skills matrix to map out a realistic career path.

b) Provide ample opportunity to achieve
Staff will want to improve their skillset and in doing so, become more valuable employees. Continuing professional development is required in many professions but by allowing employees to branch out and look at related topics you’re letting staff expand their knowledge and perhaps encourage them to take on more responsibility.

c) Implement inclusive policies
As the world continues to change, your business needs to keep pace. Make sure your menopause policy, for example, is inclusive of trans people and not just women and think about inclusive policies that protects people with special characteristics and invisible illnesses. The more employees feel recognised and understood, the more they will feel comfortable and valued in the workplace.

d) Flexible and hybrid working

The buzzwords to come out of the pandemic. As many staff have proven that working remotely hasn’t impacted their quality of work or commitment to their employer, they don’t want to give up the flexibility that remote working provided. Consider requests fairly and trial hybrid and flexible working schedules for staff.

Of course the pandemic had an impact on staff retention. The ‘Great Resignation’ of 2022 will likely see one in five people change their jobs as their personal and professional priorities change, and they look for a better work/life balance or to take the next step in their careers. So, to try to prevent the moves from happening or to prevent staff from even considering it altogether, try implementing these incentives and reduce the staff turnover.

We all know how important it is to retain the best staff. It’s important to reward commitment and to value it so while it’s important to recruit talented staff, it’s important also to not punish staff who are already employed. Remember, it could be that your employees are the reason that a new person wants to join the team.

Staff are a business’s brand ambassador so treating them well and giving them opportunities to develop is essential as Richard Branson is quoted to say “clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients”.

Whether you’re a royalist or not, you have to be impressed by The Queen’s commitment to the country and to her servitude to the population. When you have committed staff, people who truly value their job and their workplace and are duly rewarded for their commitment, great successes can be achieved.

If you need advice on how you can make your workplace somewhere an employee wants to work for decades, then please get in touch with Steve Conlay at [email protected] or call 01242 248444

Twitter @BPE_Solicitors 

LinkedIn: BPE Solicitors LLP


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