Your reputation as an employer can have a significant impact on your ability to attract and retain staff, says Teresa Campbell.
Even well-managed businesses can lose good employees to competitors. While it is inevitable that some employees will be lured away if they are offered higher salaries, conditions or prospects elsewhere, there are steps you can take to improve your business’s ability to attract and retain a good team.
Five key areas to focus on are:
1. Career progression. Talented employees will want to enhance their skills and advance their career. Being able to show that you invest in your team’s training and development can enhance your ability to attract and retain good employees. Coaching and mentoring can also be valuable as tools to support employees’ personal and professional development.
2. Communication. Employees increasingly expect regular feedback on their performance. This is an area where good procedures are vital so that feedback will be meaningful and constructive. Often, the ability to give feedback doesn’t come naturally to managers so you may need to invest in training to help them acquire the necessary skills.
3. Opportunity to contribute to the community. There is a lot of research to show that employees are attracted to employers who provide an opportunity for them to give something back to their community. Finding ways for your employees to contribute to the community can also help to develop new skills and build team spirit.
4. Work-Life Balance. Offering some flexibility in working hours can be a good way to enhance an employees’ work-life balance however, it is important to have a clear policy and apply it fairly.
5. Health & Well-being Initiatives. In order to attract and retain good employees it is becoming more important to introduce health and well being initiatives into the workplace. Employee well-being doesn’t need to be costly and evidence shows that even minimal investment can produce positive results including increased employee productivity and motivation. Bringing teams together builds moral and helps decrease work related stress.
Online ratings and reviews make it easier than ever for potential employees to check out what is being said about your business. Monitoring what employees are saying about your business (including online) is an opportunity to gain valuable feedback and address any weaknesses identified on a timely basis.
Other areas to pay attention to include your policies and procedures and keeping up with regulatory changes. Keeping your policies and procedures up to date is not just good HR practice, it is also good risk management and helps to protect your business.
Keeping up to date with regulatory changes can be easier said than done as employment legislation and regulations are constantly evolving. Often, where just one person is in charge of HR, they will either tend to focus on day-to-day administration and ignore strategy or they will focus on strategy and struggle to keep on top of day-to-day administration. Both of these situations can pose risks to your business.
If your HR function is struggling to cover everything, it may be worth considering outsourcing as this can give you confidence that you are keeping abreast of regulatory changes as well as giving you access to expertise and skills you may not have in-house.
Even the smallest business will face HR risks by failing to implement good policies and procedures. The better your reputation as an employer, the easier it will be to build and maintain a good team. If you have concerns about HR and/or would like to discuss specific challenges, please get in touch.