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Retaining quality talent

Our Quality & Regulatory affairs manager, Jason, has been talking with candidates to gain some inside information for what they will be looking for long-term within a business. Jason says, “They are looking for a healthy, progressive, mental health-conscious and innovative organisation, which helps develop them as an individual, their careers and that they can feel passionate about executing the company mission.” He has helped us pull together a list of the top ways to retain your best talent whilst many are moving on.

Your employees are leaving because of a toxic culture, lack of flexible working or because they want a better work-life balance. They are taking a stand against several issues that have been elevated since the return to office and pandemic. Burnt-out employees aren’t feeling supported, either in the office or from home; more choices are available to candidates with matching skills.

There is a lot of discussion surrounding the great resignation at the moment. With 44% of Americans considering moving on from their current role this year alone, now is the time to do something about your retention.

This trend of resignations is feeding into lower retention rates and higher staff turnaround, but how can you ensure your employees are happy, comfortable with their flexible working environments and transparent in their career progressions?

There is more to retention than throwing money at a problem. You need to listen and fully understand what your employees want, especially since the pandemic when remote working and high levels of flexibility have become the norm. Alongside this seismic shift in the way we are working, there has also been a 27.6% increase in people experiencing depression since the start of the pandemic, putting a strain on the health services provided.

A fundamental way you can support your employees is by providing some support for this, either through health care, for themselves and their families, or through mental health coaching. This, along with generous holiday allowance and the flexibility to work from home, will allow employees to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Candidates are looking for a healthy, progressive, mental health-conscious and innovative organisation, which helps develop them as an individual, their careers and that they can feel passionate about executing the company mission. Here is a list of the top ways to retain your best talent whilst many are moving on.

Top 5 ways YOU can retain your life science talent (in no particular order!)…

1. Listen
Whether this is done via an anonymous survey, conducting reviews, or just passing comments, listening to what your staff wants is the best way to ensure you provide the right kind of benefits to make your employees want to stay. Not only will it support your decisions on which benefits to offer. It will also help you build trust between all levels of the business if employees feel their requests are considered.

2. Clear career pathway
Not many people are happy to stay in the same role for years. Not even the highest-paid C-suite in the world will stop learning. Your employees deserve to know exactly where they can go, set their expectations for their future and have a shared drive with the business. A career pathway doesn’t necessarily need to be vertical; learning of any kind, whether that is a lateral move into a different product area or gaining higher responsibilities, will keep an employee engaged and focused on the overall goal.

3. Flexibility
Flexibility is the most significant ‘benefit’ you can provide. Flexibility to take a day off if their child is suddenly sick or work from home if they’re having the new kitchen delivered… Having someone distracted by things other than their day-to-day job will only lead to a reduction in their productivity and a bad taste in their mouths towards those who rejected their requests.

This can be subtle such as a couple of long lunches to workout and a day working from home per week, or it could be a fully remote, no set working hours policy. It needs to work for both your employees and the business.

4. Health support – both mental and physical
With the pandemic contributing to an increase of 24% of people feeling anxious and a reduction in the amount of sport being done globally, providing both mental and physical health support is critical. Jason notes, ‘Candidates are looking for medical cover, not solely to cover physical illnesses, but to provide them access to mental health support that is hard to achieve through many public services due to an increase in demand and pressure.’ One obvious benefit of this off the back of the pandemic is the support for patients suffering from Covid-19 in countries that do not have access to free healthcare.

5. The right kind of benefits
The last consideration here is having the right benefits in place for your business. Again, this goes hand in hand with the first point of listening, but you should be giving your staff what they need rather than company-wide benefits that only suit a minority. Bonus schemes determined by role/seniority and delivered according to performance are a good way of giving back to those employees who assist your business; they also help build trust and make your staff feel like part of the wider picture. Other benefits essential to candidates are generous holiday days to provide a greater work-life balance and a series of performance coaches to support any imbalances.

Something that hasn’t been mentioned but should *always* be considered when looking to retain your staff is having a compelling message and presence. Your employees should enjoy it, be passionate about it, and believe in a common goal.

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