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The art of retention

Vishal Chharalia

When companies hit hard times, it’s often immediately clear how successful their employee retention strategies are. The leadership team will either see staff dig in deep or, alternatively, they will see a number of people leave the business feeling like the grass could be greener elsewhere. Contributor Vishal Chhatralia, Senior Vice President of Digital – RS Components.

The moment you start treating your staff like robots is the moment you need to realise that you’re at risk of losing them. Retaining a talented team doesn’t have to be difficult if your culture is positive and they’re offered a number of opportunities to grow and develop. Keeping your staff challenged, motivated and inspired should be of the utmost importance to you as a leader; at the first sign of stagnation amongst your team, or if you see your employees becoming drained, you need to fix it.

Senior Vice President of Digital at RS Components, Vishal Chhatralia, reveals all on how to truly get under the skin of your employees and ensure they’re able to thrive in their working environment.

Set the bar high from the get-go
A great company attracts great individuals. In order to retain employees and keep them happy, you should be looking for opportunities to stand out to prospective employees; employee benefits, career growth opportunities and advocating what makes you as a business – whether you’re corporate, an SME or a startup – able to support them and help them grow both personally and professionally.

As soon as a new employee joins the team, they should instantly feel valued, be open to discussions around career progression paths and have a strong understanding of how they’re a central part of the team.

Your employees should feel like you’re their biggest advocate; by clearly showing employees that you appreciate their hard work and want to see them progress, they’ll feel valued. Working with them to map out a career progression route within the organisation will ignite a sense of ambition and determination within them; they’ll be keen to work their way upwards within the business towards a promising career you’ve worked with them to map out. Be sure to apply this personal development plan as soon as they join the team, and continue to develop it together on a quarterly basis, in order to maintain progression.

The best corporate companies treat their staff well and therefore gain great results. Let’s take a look at the ever successful businessman and entrepreneur, Richard Branson’s approach: ‘If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.’

Similarly, Vishal believes that “Reassuring your employees from the start that you are invested in their progression and career will allow you to be one step ahead of retaining them. If you understand their wants from a job, and continually work with them to support them on their journey to achieving their personal career goals, why would they want to work anywhere else?”

Strive to motivate, remunerate and compensate
Telling a newly hired employee that you offer training and reward schemes is one thing, but genuinely pursuing this and providing training and opportunities for growth is another. Without the latter, retention will begin to slip.

For Vishal, a simple way to maintain employee engagement and genuine passion for their job is to have a personalised reward scheme in place.

“Instead of having a simple, generic reward scheme on offer, start to really understand your team; their hobbies, favourite places to visit and activities they enjoy – this could be places to eat, shops, reading and so forth. This way you will be able to create personalised rewards which aren’t solely based on financial rewards and reinforce a real sincerity in your appreciation.”

As fewer workers are now driven by money – which has been intensified with the arrival of Millennials and Generation Z into the workplace – more innovative tactics to make employees feel valued will stand out to employees. For larger corporates with bigger budgets in particular, it is possible to create more imaginative reward schemes such as extra holiday and vouchers – this will contribute to retaining staff and also attracting new candidates.

As well as having great reward schemes, look to be one step ahead and keep an eye on your competitors; what are they offering their employees that you are not? You need to be offering a similar level of perks – if not better – so that employees feel fulfilled, appreciated and less tempted to test the water at another company.

Create a learning culture
When employees feel like they’re a part of an innovative company that wants to see them progress and learn, it will show in their performance – resulting in a positive working environment.

“Look for ways to drive greater pace of learning and innovation; through sharing, discussion forums, brown bag sessions and external courses and conferences, that you both have worked together to choose for relevance and value. You need to continuously reinforce the need to grow and learn to find new and smarter ways of doing things that will benefit your employee and the company in the long-term through creating a more progressive environment” Vishal comments.

A recent survey of 400 employees showed 70 percent of people indicated that job-related training and development opportunities helped influence their decision to stay in their job. This demonstrates that if you invest both time and money into your employees, then they will invest their passion and enthusiasm back into the business – improving team morale and increasing workplace happiness.

Not only is this strategy a positive way to retain staff, which many great leaders and corporate environments strive to do, it’s also a powerful way to create a workplace where people genuinely enjoy coming to work. Recognise when credit is due to your team and be the leader they can lean on when they need to. Your role is to both advise and help employees prosper in their careers, so be present and prioritise their wellbeing – you’ll successfully retain your staff in a healthy, sustainable and productive way.

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