Retaining valuable employees

In any business, there will always be a natural turnover of staff, which is something to be expected.  As any good manager knows, once you have a team of people who can collectively and individually deliver the objectives of the practice and work in a harmonious way, then it makes good business sense to try and keep them employed within the business.  Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help you retain these valuable employees.

Why do people leave?

Contrary to popular opinion, leaving due to a lack of pay and benefits is not the main reason. Other common reasons can include moving to a job that provides better prospects for career progression, more challenging and diverse work, to take care of children, time off to study, health problems or unhappiness in their working role caused by bullying or harassment.

It is good HR practice to carry out an assessment of the yearly voluntary turnover and to carry out ‘exit interviews’. The turnover figures will allow you to assess how big your retention problem is. The ‘exit interviews’ enable you to find out more subjective information relating to the reasons why the employees are leaving, and assess whether there are any patterns that need further investigation and analysis. By making use of these tools, you can create a retention strategy to try and implement solutions or changes based on the information you have gathered, which should help to minimise your staff resignations.

Implementing a strategy

There are key areas that you can improve on which will help you ensure your employees remain employed long-term:

  • Recruit the right person for the job - improve your recruitment practices to ensure that the person is a ‘good fit’ for your business
  • Induction process – help people feel at home and ‘settled in’ quickly through prior planning of what they will do and who they will talk to in their first few weeks.
  • Ongoing appraisals–discuss long-term career aspirations and provide training opportunities
  • Career progression – enable your staff to grow in their role and utilise their key skills and talents
  • Good working relationships – ensure line managers are fully trained on the policies and procedures and understand how instrumental their influence is in the creation of a positive working culture
  • Supportive and positive working culture – ensure that line managers create an atmosphere of friendliness, where colleagues are encouraged to help each other
  • Improving communication standards – consider implementing a communications strategy which will inform employees of the methods and regularity in which they will be informed of key developments within the practice
  • Flexible working arrangements – accommodate request for flexible working where possible, to give employees more of a work-life balance
  • Reward and recognition schemes – review staff pay to ensure it is line with industry standards, consider a bonus scheme or ‘flexible’ benefits scheme.
  • Succession planning – have a plan in place to train up suitable employees who can fill the roles of key people when they leave

This is not an exhaustive list but by implementing the suggestions listed, using good management and HR best practice guidelines, you will ensure you retain your valuable employees for a longer period of time.

Further guidance on the above information can be accessed via the FPM HR / Employment Law Guidance area.

In addition to the above FPM members can obtain further information via the FPM website. Alternatively members can also email specific questions about employment issues to advice@firstpracticemanagement.co.uk where your question will be treated in confidence and will normally be answered (by email) within 2 working days of submission.


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