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Business Retention Issues


We’re seeing the same problem, from small family run businesses, focussed around local communities, to corporations operating on a global scale.

What am I talking about?

Employee retention, a subject that affects the long term prosperity of every business.

Workers meeting

We hear common statements:

He’s a waste of space” – OK, what’s he doing there in the first place?

Very loyal, but limited” – Should you be planning replacement?

She/He does nothing but moan” – Have you attempted to find out why?

Faced with this type of challenge many businesses turn towards bringing in fresh talent rather than addressing in-house problems. However effective a Company is at recruiting, there are common issues related to new employees:

  1. They need to go through a learning process
  2. They need training
  3. It takes time for new employees to understand how a business operates

As a business manager/owner ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who knows your business better? An established employee or a new recruit?
  2. If asked, who could produce 3 changes that would lead to improvements, what would the answer be? An existing employee, a new recruit or a third party consultant.
  3. If asked, who could produce 3 ways to save money? Owners, management or employees.

I would not be surprised if the majority of businesses are failing to make best use of their existing workforce. Most make the mistake of failing to engage the workforce whilst paying lip service to the concepts involved.

It really is straight forward, two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Get as many employees as possible to produce quality feedback, then listen (and record) with an open mind. Sure some of it will be half baked but there will be pearls of wisdom.

This is a great way to identify employees that are engaged and want to help; it’s also good for morale, especially if incentives are tabled.

It isn’t rocket science, however through the application of common sense and engagement a business can work through the important things as far as retention is concerned. Issues such as high staff turnover rates may be covered. This can only be good news going forward.

Too often we hear things like “we’ve got the wrong people” or “we need an injection of new talent” without truly identifying the reasons why. Surely such analysis is the responsibility of the management.

Recruiting through the front door will not solve manpower issues unless your back door is closed.

Levels of staff turnover are inevitable but businesses with high rates probably have cultural challenges management have failed to address.

Look within, don’t blame others.

A sensible approach is to maximise staff retention in order to minimise recruitment requirements. Done well, it will improve a business and lead to higher profitability with the ability to share those gains with all stakeholders, including the existing workforce.

Author: Chris Slay