When promoting the benefits of working at the organisation to candidates, don’t assume money is the key motivator.

While many employers think that money is the most important factor influencing a prospective employee’s decision to accept a position or not, this is not always the case.

While remuneration is important and can entice high-performers initially, it is not enough to retain them.

Research shows the key factors that lead to high staff retention rates include:

  • Providing challenging and varied work. Employees free to use their own judgement and initiative to solve problems and who are provided with a varied work portfolio are more inclined to maintain an interest in their work and remain motivated and engaged in the workplace
  • Open and honest communication by management and leadership teams that foster a positive culture within the business, where employees are kept informed of business strategies, directions, outcomes, and significant changes. It is well established that businesses that involve their staff in business planning and decision making are more likely to have an engaged workforce and retain valued employees. Employees will also feel a sense of recognition if their views are taken into account
  • Recognition and reward can increase an employee’s sense of self-worth and increase their loyalty to the business. Rewards do not have to be costly or involve additional payments or bonuses. But employers should ensure that any rewards provided to employees are appropriate to the individual. Not all employees exercise at the gym or follow sports, therefore discounted gym memberships or tickets to sporting matches are not suitable for all. Similarly, not all employees prefer a high salary if it comes at a cost (for example longer, less flexible hours). Salary and monetary entitlements need to be aligned with other attraction and retention strategies such as increased flexibility
  •  Coaching and mentoring programs that help staff to assess their own performance by recognising their own strengths and developmental areas, as well as providing them access to training and development opportunities, also improve retention rates of high performing staff
  • Internal health and wellness initiatives provide additional benefits to employees. Employee Assistance Programs that provide access to free or discounted counselling services for employees and their family members, access to an onsite gym or gym membership subsidies, healthy eating and exercise programs or the provision of fresh fruit can improve the health, happiness, motivation and retention of employees.

There are a range of options that employers can adopt to improve the attraction and retention of staff, regardless of the size of the business or the industry that it operates within.

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