What is the best method to retain staff?

It’s difficult enough to find the right employee, so ensure a return on your hiring investment by using engagement and recognition as the keys to staff retention.

The aesthetic medical industry is a growing and competitive market and to stay ahead of your competitors there is an increasing need to attract, engage and retain top talent for your practice.

If you’ve hired recently then you know only too well just how hardit is to attract the right people to your business. After sifting through a myriad of resumes – many from travellers and those seeking sponsorship – you get down to a few “hopefuls” you’d like to interview. Only to find that, even at interview stage, most are tardy, unprepared or unsuitable.

Then, finally as if by miracle, the perfect candidate appears and a job offer is made. But beware! The job of successful hiring does not stop there. In fact it has only just begun. Recognising the new recruit’s efforts and engaging with them on a regular basis is crucial to retention and ultimately getting a return on your hiring investment.

And don’t overlook the fact that these days your star candidate is very likely alert to the exceptional qualities they bring to your team and recognises their skill set, presentation and stable work history are a rare commodity. In fact they usually know they are a stand out in a market often reflecting the great unwashed.

After all the effort, time and money you’ve invested, you want to keep this person! However, that is not as easy as it once was. In the current climate of social media and sites such as LinkedIn, not only is your new recruit possibly actively looking, your competitors may be vigorously seeking them.

According to recent CareerOne.com statistics, 79 percent of Australian workers are open to making a move, while a sizeable 37 percent of those surveyed are actively pursuing new roles.

With a staggering 79 per cent of Aussies open to exploring a new job role, you have to wonder how many of these are currently working for you? And even more concerning, what are these dissatisfied workers costing you in lost productivity?

Should I stay or should I go?

As business owners you should be aware of what makes an employee go and more importantly, what makes them stay.

If you’ve been diligent, you have been conducting exit interviews on people leaving your organisation and taken steps to ensure you are not losing valuable people due to a toxic work environment or poor management style.

Outlined in CareerOne.com.au’s Market Intelligence Report, the top three push factors forcing workers to leave their current roles are: the desire for a better career path, wanting something new and more interesting and improved working conditions.

While the top three pull factors attracting workers to new roles are: distance travelled to work, the team they work with and remuneration.

Interestingly, the report goes on to reveal; “A key issue for Australian workers continues to be recognition.” With one third of workers listing a lack of recognition over the past year as the decision behind seeking a new job.

These findings are supported by a recent survey by Hays Group (Aust & NZ) of Gen-Y employees revealing the top four indicators for career success (and likelihood of remaining in a role) as; job satisfaction/ recognition, job security, work-life balance and personal wealth.

In Australia the most important part of job satisfaction is feeling valued and appreciated, chosen by 47 per cent of respondents. Source: Hays Group.

Regular feedback is crucial to retention

In light of these studies and research, the benefits of providing feedback on performance and building a strong and positive work culture can’t be overstated or ignored. And it’s not just employee turnover that can be affected.

Gallop research has shown for years that “close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.” Professor Christine M Riordan reports and she goes on to say; “employers who provide regular feedback to their staff and offer them the opportunity to work on projects of interest will be in a strong position to retain them.”

So what’s the answer? Like maintaining all good relationships it’s about creating quality time with your employees. Allowing opportunity to both give and receive feedback about their performance and as far as Gen Y is concerned, letting them in on the plans for the future – both for them and the business.

Creating a regular time to meet with your staff is not easy. Time is money and in today’s market, both are scarce resources.

However, with all the research showing that ignoring this basic need is detrimental to your business bottom line, you’ll do well to heed this advice.

A big part of successful performance reviews and appraisals is being able to communicate well with your staff.

People will leave their roles for many reasons and you will never be able to identify them all. You can’t make people stay, but you can encourage transparency on both sides so you’re not surprised when they do leave.

Regular reviews will give you an opportunity to separate the top performers and people who are invested in a future with your business from those spending their time spreading rumours with co- workers, updating their resumes and planning their next move.

As members of medical, health and wellbeing industry it is vital to conduct regular health checks in our workplaces and remain vigilant in assessing the skills of our employees as well as the culture of our organisations.

Engaging with your employees and being open to giving and receiving information about performance and culture will ensure you do not lose those employees we have worked hard to attract. AMP


Simple steps for staff retention

1. Do decide what you value in performance and how you will measure this in your business. Clearly identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the role and create a Performance Review template that outlines these particular aspects. Skills, knowledge and attitude will head your lists.

2. Don’t wait until an employee is under performing to hold a review or appraisal. Make Performance Appraisals available to all staff on a regular, ideally annual, basis and promote them as a positive aspect of your business.

Advise staff that during the appraisal meeting you will let them know how they have been performing, outline what they have been doing well and what further training and development may be needed or on offer for the future. And be sure to point out that this is also a time for them to discuss their performance, goals and plans for the future.

3. Do ask the employee to rate themselves and ask them to back up their positives and negatives with examples.

4. Do review and measure the overall performance of the individual throughout the year. Resist the temptation to focus on activity the week or month prior to the review taking place. When the employee may have been exhibiting their best or worst behaviour.

5. Do listen carefully to both what your employee is saying and not saying during the meeting. Use this time to get feedback about your business. In many instances you’ll be surprised at what you learn from your employees!

6. Do provide employees with written follow up notes within a few days of the meeting outlining what was discussed and what goals & performance standards have been set for the coming year.

Just for fun

Boots & All HR Dictionary

the disengaged worker: Present at work but hating every minute of it.

the toxic workplace: Fuelled by rumour, innuendo and malice. Not a nice place.

Workplace nirvana: A fleeting moment when you have the ideal team in place. Often linked to fairy tales and myth.


About the author

HR_Lizzy_Image1Lizzy Boots is the Director of Boots & All Consulting and is an experienced human resources professional specialising in recruitment, retention and training strategies for the medical, health and beauty industries.

Bespoke services include: recruitment and selection, human resources support, employee performance management, training and development, policy and procedures, and employment contracts for the niche roles within the medical, health and beauty industry.

Based in Sydney, Lizzy has clients throughout Australia. For more information visit www.bootsandall.com.au or call +61 (0)414 644 463