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Retaining staff starts on day one

By CCIWA Editor 

The stability of a company affects its ability to grow. Finding and training staff can be costly, but also, it can change the morale of your company. 

By making your business a place where employees want to stay, you'll also create a business that customers and clients want to work with.  

Ryan Martin, Manager of CCIWA’s Workplace Relations says a 15 per cent attrition rate is considered pretty good, because people also move on for reasons outside the workplace.  

Retention starts right from the interview process, which is not just about you interviewing a person, it is also about them interviewing you and finding out if your company is a good fit for them.  

The first day they walk into your company, and their first week at work is the time in which you’ll make a huge impression.  

It is surprising the number of companies who don’t have a computer ready for the new employee, or haven’t organised access to their systems, or sometimes don’t even have a desk ready.

It is a good idea to have a staff member designated as a mentor at least for the first week or two.  

You should have an orientation process that describes company culture and the expectation for employees.    

To help retain staff, Ryan says to formalise and plan your strategy. Things that make a workplace a more desirable are: 

  • merit based performance reviews 
  • results driven benefits 
  • paying above market rates 
  • incentives 
  • enterprise agreement 
  • flexible working arrangements 
  • focus on family life 
  • regular contact between management and employees, and 
  • growth mindset. 

The most important thing is to make sure your workplace retention strategies are

  • consistent
  • acted upon,and
  • measured for successes.  

Always talk to staff the same way you would your customers – seek feedback and find out what their needs are. Provide a platform so they can freely give feedback.  

Provide a framework that the employee can aim for and gives clarity about how they succeed.

Make sure they are given feedback on their role. Make their learning opportunities, progression and remuneration pathways clear. Also, make sure that when meetings are scheduled, they are kept.  

Your managers need to be of high quality – a lot of people leave because of poor management or supervision.  

Sometimes employees have skills and ideas beyond their role. Get to know your employee and provide opportunities for their ideas and skills to be used in other areas too.  

A person might be employed in data but photography as their personal passion will bring value to your social media marketing.  

If an employee is failing, consider the environment and systems around them. Is there something within your company that is contributing to their failure? 

Always say thank you. An employee who is thanked with days with their family, a bonus, or even an extra learning opportunity will have greater loyalty to your company. 

CCIWA has the HR Business Basics Manual which has information that will help employers in this area.  

You can also contact the Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email at, about the range of guides relating to entitlements, minimum wages and employment conditions.  




The stability of a company affects its ability to grow. Finding and training staff can be costly, but also, it can change the morale of your company. 

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