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Five Fast Facts for Engaging Excellent Employees

By Tracey George MIRP on 13 Sep 2017

You might think as the COO of TPP Recruitment I wouldn’t be writing a blog post on how to keep your staff and avoid losing superstars - our service after all is helping organisations fill those vacant positions!

However, if recruitment businesses take an active interest in partnering with organisations and helping them upskill in areas such as retaining employees, it will result in a higher quality relationship that will have longevity and more importantly improve our clients’ profile as a great place to work. In turn, this will attract more candidates who are looking for new opportunities.

Furthermore, to improve the reputation of the recruitment and staffing industry - that is so often tainted with negative press about just wanting to ‘make a placement’ at the expense of what the organisation or candidate actually needs or desires - I want to demonstrate that there are recruitment businesses out there that genuinely want to make a difference to their clients...

With this in mind, here is my advice to avoid having to call TPP Recruitment as often as you might like to!

1.  Diligently Seek Danger Signs

Employees often change their behaviour when they are feeling unhappy at work. It is important for managers to pay attention to these indicators and not ignore them. Typical warning signs include:

  • Increasing lateness or absenteeism
  • Drop in productivity
  • Appearing stressed or hostile
  • Being much quieter than usual
  • Requesting holiday one day at a time
  • They stop volunteering and are not enthusiastic

2. The Pit of the Problem

If a manager spots any of the above changes in an employee’s behaviour and suspects they might be considering handing in their notice, they need to act fast to discover the underlying reasons.  

Arrange a meeting with the staff member and keep probing to get to the bottom of the problem – don’t simply accept the first answer given. It’s important to listen to the employee’s answers and not to give your opinions of their situation or jump to conclusions.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming all problems are salary-related.  Most employees cite pay as their reason for leaving, and in some cases, this is true, but it is often used as an excuse as it is a ‘safe’ and incontrovertible answer.  As long as an employee feels they are being paid adequately, more money won't buy more motivation or loyalty. 

3. Seek Solutions

Once you’ve got to the bottom of any problems an employee is having, it is vital to come up with a plan to solve them, or at least stop them escalating.

Together with the employee, a plan of action should be agreed on, and the manager must take responsibility to ensure that it is pursued.  Each action point should play to an employee’s strengths and should be an actual, not just a verbal change. Solutions you might consider include:

  • Changing the employee’s role
  • Adjusting the employee’s level of responsibility
  • Flexible working
  • Increased employee recognition
  • Better internal communications

4. Already Resigned?

If an employee has already handed in their notice, and their loss is likely to drastically impact your organisation, you may wish to consider making a counter-offer.  However, any successful counter-offer is likely to require a financial incentive, which will make the employee question why they were not receiving that level of pay before.

The counter-offer with the greatest chance of success will consist of a package of solutions such as increased responsibility and recognition, together with a pay increase.  Of course, it is always better to make sure that such a valued employee never gets to this stage.

5. Worth the Worry?

Before undertaking any action, you need to weigh any possible consequences against the value of the employee.  In some cases, the departure really is best for both parties. An unhappy employee is difficult to manage, tends to disrupt the effectiveness of their team, and will most likely leave eventually anyway.

However, for your most talented people, a concerted effort to solve their problems can lead to them becoming even more motivated and loyal to your organisation.

In short, no one wants to lose a valued employee. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain an active interest in ensuring your workforce is fulfilled in their roles in order to support employee retainment. Additionally, this will benefit your organisation from an external point of view, establishing it as a desirable place to work for prospective employees.  

To discuss your organisation’s retention strategy in strict confidence, please contact me via any of the details below:

tracey.george@tpp.co.uk
020 7198 6000
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