Expanding your business with the best talent is an essential step in growing the company. Unfortunately, every other company in the world has the exact same agenda, so you’re competing with their best efforts to attract and retain top-tier talent, too.
While a signed contract signifies commitment, temptation will always lurk elsewhere for employees. Staff are at risk of being poached year-round, but are particularly susceptible in January as the new year poses new opportunities and reevaluating circumstances. As soon as a better offer comes along, your team members are instantly posed with a dilemma. A higher salary or shorter commute will always exist somewhere else, but there are many other things you can do to minimise the flight risk of your staff next year and beyond.
Create an unbeatable benefits package
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Good Work Index, 26% of employees said one of the main reasons they would leave their job is to increase their job satisfaction, coming only second to pay and better benefits (34%). It’s clear that when it comes to weighing up a job offer, people are looking beyond salary. An extra few thousand pounds a year may not equate to a life-changing amount when it’s broken down per month, so people are digging a little deeper into what’s really on offer.
A solid benefits package has the power to keep your staff loyal and satisfied, with 78% saying they would stay in their role longer if they were offered access to a financial education and wellbeing benefits programme. According to Claro Wellbeing’s financial wellbeing report, the most popular benefits to employees are physical wellbeing, child support, mental wellbeing and finanical wellbeing at the top spot with 88%.
Talk to your teams, be up-front in asking what could persuade them to stay if the option to leave ever materialised. While the benefit themes tend to stay within the three pillars of employee wellbeing (mental health, physical health and financial assistance), the way in which you tailor your offerings can go a long way in setting your company apart from the competition.
Ensure that your company is a nice place to work for
Creating a warm and inclusive workplace environment really counts for a lot. All the awards listed on your website may seem impressive, but how do your employees speak about the company when someone asks ‘What’s it like to work there?’.
A combination of strategic measures can put your workplace in a positive light. A good approach to gauging what kind of perks and activities your team would enjoy is to simply ask what would improve their workday - things like flexile hours, hybrid working and childcare support are likely to crop up. A great starting point is to have regular social events that cater to all interests, along with scheduling regular check-ins with your team. If someone is unhappy, you need to ascertain why and quickly. Anonymous surveys are a HR team’s best friend, as they allow you to gather instant and honest feedback from your employees.
Outline a clear career progression path for every employee
A large factor in moving jobs can come down to uncertainty around a person’s future in the company. If you fail to outline a path in regular job reviews, your team can feel stagnant in their careers and become susceptible to other offers.
Happeo provides intranet solutions for growing companies, and recently carried out some research which showed that 79% of employees who quit their jobs cited a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving. With a grey area over your future in a company, and a lack of deserved progression occurring, it can be hard to stay motivated and committed to a role. Don’t allow your team to fill in the blanks - clarify your intention and appreciation for them, while also getting their input. If you don’t want your talent to leave, make sure they know that their growth within the company is on your radar so they can be reassured that there is genuine care and consideration about their progression.
Encourage employees to be open about their workplace desires
When an employee receives a job offer, they’re usually weighing up their options without your knowledge. At this point it can often be too late to persuade them to stay, so it’s worth trying to find out employee concerns before they start considering other opportunities well in advance. Different employees have different needs depending on the stage of their career. Some may want more learning options, others would benefit more from insurance options. A regular check-in along with an anonymous and virtual ‘suggestion box’ could make all the difference in ensuring your teams are speaking openly about their wants and needs, especially if they shy away from doing it face-to-face.
According to Claro Wellbeing’s Workplace Today report, eight in 10 workers said a financial wellbeing programme would increase their job satisfaction. Similar insights for your specific workplace can help you get ahead of the last-minute panic when someone is considering leaving. Plus, the benefits of open communication stretch beyond poach-proofing your team and can trickle into everyday interactions.
Promote a healthy work-life balance
Work isn’t the be-all and end-all for everyone. Passion and day jobs don’t always overlap. According to a study by Small Business Prices earlier this year, the UK is ranked 11th out of 37 countries for its work-life balance, with the average worker doing 22 days of overtime each year.
A long and mentally-exhausting workday leaves little time for other passions, which can lead to resentment within a role. When a poacher comes to poach, a fed-up worker is their prime target. If someone wants to reach the top of their game in a particular discipline, consider providing training budgets and education contributions to help them get there. The emphasis on personal development will keep your employees feeling motivated and in turn, their new skills can help them progress within the company and contribute to its success.
Alternatively, consider offering a benefit like ‘Personal Project Day’, where members of staff get an additional day of annual leave each year to work on something outside of their day job. It can be anything from a day-long binge of every Christopher Nolan movie to studying for an outside-work exam. What matters is that people are encouraged to nurture their outside interests.
Keep your team interested and challenged
Complacency is the thief of all progress. Jobs can feel very same-y very quickly, so be sure not to pin someone into a repetitive and mentally unstimulating role. Forbes cites ‘Not taking risks’ as one of the key signs of employee complacency. Calculated risks are what enables a company to grow, while also providing job satisfaction for its people. Without an environment that encourages this, teams can feel stunted in their personal growth and above all else, bored.
Have regular conversations with your team about their desires both in life and at work, and see where you can meet in the middle. A combination of listening and implementable action will keep your company a cut above the rest. Besides, poaching is for eggs.