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Attraction and retention of staff

By CCIWA Editor 

As recruitment and selection exercises may generate a large number of applicants, employers should have appropriate attraction and retention strategies in place to ensure the applicants are of a high calibre and will choose to stay with the business once selected.

Successful attraction and retention strategies are formulated based on the wants and needs of valued and high performing employees. Many employers consider that remuneration and/or financial reward is the most important factor influencing a prospective employee’s decision to accept an offer of employment.

Remuneration is certainly important and can entice high performers initially, but is not generally sufficient of itself to retain them.

The following ‘employee wish list’ may assist employers in attracting high performing staff, increasing employee loyalty and decreasing turnover:

Challenging and varied work

Employees who are free to use their own judgement and initiative to solve problems, and provided with a varied work portfolio are more inclined to maintain an interest in their work, remain motivated and engaged in the workplace.

Open and honest communication and leadership

Open and transparent communication channels that keep employees informed of business strategies, directions, outcomes, and significant changes helps create a positive organisational culture. Leadership teams that successfully engage their workforce involve their employees in business planning and decision making.

Recognition and reward

Recognition can go a long way in increasing an employee’s sense of self worth and increasing their loyalty to the business. Rewards do not have to be costly or involve additional payments or bonuses being made to the employee. Employers should ensure that any rewards provided to employees are appropriate to the individual. Not all employees are interested in taking out discounted gym memberships or tickets to sporting events.

Salary and other monetary entitlements

A competitive or above market salary may entice people to work for an employer, but if a high base salary is the only attraction to the business, then the employee may be in search of the next job that pays a higher salary.  Monetary entitlements need to be aligned with other attraction and retention strategies.

Flexible working arrangements

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) centres on the importance of flexibility and work/life balance. Flexible alternative working arrangements may include part time, job share, flexible start and finish times, or working from home arrangements. A flexible employer will not only be complying with their legal obligations but will also attract and retain valued employees.

Ongoing training and personal development opportunities

Coaching and mentoring programs can assist staff to assess their own performance and recognise their own strengths and developmental areas. Employees that have access to training and development opportunities that are strategically aligned with their career paths are more likely to feel valued and appreciated within the business which will improve retention.

Health and wellness programs

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 and motivation of employees.

In summary, there are a range of options that employers can choose from to improve the attraction and retention of staff, regardless of the size of the business or the industry that it operates within.  It may be worthwhile to formalise a policy that addresses the initiatives on offer.

For further information please contact CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com

As recruitment and selection exercises may generate a large number of applicants, employers should have appropriate attraction and retention strategies in place to ensure the applicants are of a high calibre and will choose to stay with the business once selected.

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