Head-hunting and poaching are common in the digital and technology world. Everyone wants to attract candidates with the very best skills and the very latest knowledge, crucial to keep up with the competition in a very fast-moving industry. Companies are desperate to find the best and brightest digital talent, even if they currently happen to be working for someone else. This is why employee retention is so very important.
Employee happiness is something your competitors can’t steal
Other companies within your field may be able to use a higher salary as a way to lure talented individuals into their recruitment net, but employee engagement is something that simply can’t be stolen. If your company has an ethos of looking after its employees, providing them with benefits and a great working culture as well as development and training opportunities, they are more likely to remain loyal for longer. Effective strategies on how to encourage employee engagement include:
- Ensuring employees have a good work-life balance
- Help employees be healthier – i.e. through cycle to work and healthy eating schemes, discounted gym membership etc.
- Recognise achievement and reward employees for good work
- Encourage communication and involve employees in company-wide decisions
- Be transparent – a survey by TinyPulse found that the number one contributor to employee happiness was transparency.
Praising North West businesses in particular for their approach to retention, head of the technology team at the Manchester office of Mills and Reeve Law Firm, Paul Knight, told the Manchester Evening News:
“In general, employee engagement within tech businesses in the north west seems to be good.
“However, it does seem that those organisations which have carefully considered their internal culture and employee proposition are the ones attracting ‘best fit’ individuals who really engage and buy in to the business.”
Is development and training a risk?
Some companies quite understandably have concerns about investing too much in training and development for their employees. The risk is that businesses can make their employees a little too attractive to rival firms. This could mean that you spend time, money and effort developing an individual’s skills and nurturing their talent only for them to jump ship and join a competitor’s team, leaving you having to recruit once more.
It’s important not to let this fear deter you from investing in your employees and giving them plentiful opportunities to grow and develop. Create a clear career path to motivate them and ensure they are regularly challenged, so that the day-to-day never becomes dull. Employees who are given these opportunities and are able to train, learn and ‘upskill’ may well leave for pastures news, but they are far more likely to stick around for longer. People tend to stay as long as they are getting something out of it, and where there are always new opportunities to take advantage of.
One thing that can protect you as an employer who is providing development opportunities for staff is to assess the risks before you start out, ensuring you have a rock-solid employment contract that protects confidential information within the business.