The news that the sale of Wesfarmers Insurance to IAG
has spurred some staff to jump ship
has brought the issue of staff retention into sharp focus.
, managing director of broker-facing business management consultancy Gold Seal
Practice Management, said staff retention is much harder during the sale of a business or change of management, and the key to keeping staff engaged is communication.
“There’s no silver bullet for employee retention but one thing is certain – retention doesn’t happen unless you prioritise communication with your people,” Baker explains.
She says there are three areas of communication businesses must act on to keep their staff happy and loyal.
1. What do they want?
Baker says companies should find out what motivates their staff, and ask about their hopes and dreams. Some of this comes down to age. Generally, she explained, boomers will want different remuneration structures to other generations, Gen Y will look for career opportunities and personal development, and Gen X will have children and will appreciate good remuneration and work/life flexibility.
2. Keeping staff-up-to-date
“There’s nothing an employee hates more than to be last to find out. Adopt transparency as one of the cornerstones of your business philosophy. Trust your staff not to run away at the first sign of hardship. They will reward you in spades.”
3. Share business plans
“Make sure they know where you want to take the business in the next one, three, five years,” Baker advises. “Sell them on the vision rather than imposing it on them – if business planning is something you do to your employees once a year, they will resent the process and wonder if they haven’t heard it all before.”