Pay attention to retention

Q&A with Randstad Recruitment New Zealand.

Every business wants to retain its most talented and hard-working employees. In part two of this three-part series, senior recruitment specialists at Randstad share what engages and motivates the staff that make your business what it is.


Topic 2: Retaining staff

Q - Cutting straight to it, what's the number one reason that an employee leaves?
A - It's become almost cliché that people don't leave companies, they leave managers. It's a cliché because it's often true. As an employer, if you're not connecting with an individual, you're ultimately putting yourself in a position where they're likely to look elsewhere. Regular, honest conversations with your team are the number one retention tool in your kit.

Q - Is career advancement a strong factor?
A - Yes, we see perceived opportunities to advance a career as the second reason individuals leave organisations. To mitigate this, you need to understand how you can create an environment where people can grow their career with you. It's about finding ways to connect your staff to the company vision and expose them to new opportunities and skills.

Q - What advice do you have for small to medium (SME) sized business owners who lose a key member of staff?
A - Be realistic. People move on, that's life. And if they're good, make sure you leave the door open for them to come back. Think about how you say goodbye. If you read leaving cards, it's always about keeping in touch, but how many business leaders ever bother to follow up?

Q - Is the glass ceiling a major challenge for SMEs?
A - No doubt, a perceived lack of growth opportunities is a staff retention challenge for SMEs. If you report to the business owner / CEO, where do you move from there? That said, smart business owners empower their staff to try new things, develop new skills, experience other parts of the business and even offer secondments or the opportunity to buy into the business.

Q - What are some of the benefits of working for a small business?
A - You can provide all the benefits in the world but the most important factor is the trust you build with your employees. Building a great connection and being open in job satisfaction discussions is paramount and that's how you'll prevent staff from looking for other jobs.

Q - Smaller companies often struggle with adequate HR, what can they do?
A - The truth is, not all employees feel comfortable talking about their future plans with their boss and that's why we offer 'connection interviews', giving you an understanding of what your employees are actually thinking. Our research has showed that SMEs want more HR support. Yes, it's our job to help SMEs attract talent, but there's also a real opportunity for us to educate and support SMEs on the smartest ways to retain their top talent.


Coming up next month: long-term growth and where it starts.

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Read Topic 1: Attracting talent, a Q&A with Brien Keegan (CEO of Randstad Recruitment New Zealand), where he discusses how to attract and retain talent in your business.