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Staff Retention Strategies?

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  • 06-06-2016 10:05am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭


    Hi All,

    The economy is picking up and so is the job market in my industry sector.
    Recruiters are calling both my team and I on a daily basis with opportunities.

    Personally I am happy in my own role and HR assure me that our salaries & compensation are very competitive for the team.
    (We gave reasonable pay rises all the way through the recession on salaries that were good to begin with.)

    However, we have a long tenured team and promotion opportunities are limited at the moment due to that stability.

    I want to ensure that I am doing everything I can to create a great team environment that my guys will want to continue to work in when the recruiters try to turn their heads to move "greener pastures", so I am looking for your suggestions?

    What 3 non-monetary factors would encourage you to stay at a company when offered a role elsewhere?
    Any and all comments welcome.

    Thank You.


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,307 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Look at flexi working hours if operations allows it (i.e. I can come in late or early and leave accordingly and/or have a flexi hour time bank to be used every month); does not have to cost anything but will allow people better flexibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭PMBC


    Mentoring and Training Programme e.g. Institution, Post-grad., Fellow.
    Company work-life balance policy/ Flexible working
    Monthly/quarterly team outings/breaks


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    I worked for an IT team in an oilfield engineering company. Here are the three things we wanted most:

    - Work from home (ideally three days a week, work and meetings permitting; in practice we averaged four and attended most meetings via teleconference, which worked well because the team of seven was spread across four continents anyway).
    - Third-party software training (which we did not get, even though we were supposed to be the experts; I was literally the lead trainer for the software in a company of 60K employees and I had never had any formal training!).
    - Recognition for accomplishments in the form of a small bonus or perk (which we sometimes got; one year our boss preserved our yearly bonus in the form of a "merit bonus" even when the normal yearly bonuses had been called off companywide).

    Other things we appreciated: Being kept in the loop (no "you're too junior to be in this meeting", if you were a team member, you were a team member). Getting the opportunity to travel to other work locations to meet the people we were supporting and help train them (that helped their morale as well as ours). Knowing the boss was working his butt off to protect us from needless petty annoyances that harmed our productivity (I mean, users are bad enough <3). Turning a corporate culture of "we hate IT, they hate us" around in a year to "hey, these guys are here to make our jobs easier".


  • Registered Users Posts: 985 ✭✭✭Birdsong


    Flexibility - where I work some one starts at 6 cos it suits their own family arrangements.

    Work from Home options, I think you though you need to set a day that all the team are in the office together, say Wed from 10-3

    Holidays - more than 21,in our place you get 26 after 5 years. It's great, one of the reasons I stay. They are looking at a thing in our place where you could sell back your holidays and take the money, as some people don't take them


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,794 ✭✭✭Squall Leonhart


    I'll chime in again with flexibility of working hours. It is the best thing about where i work. We're requested to be there generally during core hours, i.e., 9-5, but office is open from 6am-8pm. I usually work 7:30-17:30 Monday to Thursday and from 7:30-12:00 on Friday, makes the weekends much better!

    If I need to turn up at 10 some morning, no problem. If I want to take an hour lunch today instead of the usual half hour, no bother. Obviously depending on project requirements, sometimes there will be meetings scheduled for 8:30am etc.

    Without doubt it is the best thing about the place, gives such a sense of freedom.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot


    one cost effective way of thanking employees , particularly for long service is pension and life/income benefits packages.

    Death in service life assurance and income protection in particular are handy because you can tailor them specifically to the companies requirements.

    I am an independent life and pensions broker and I am currently working with a large company (500+ staff). Trying to get an organisation to think long term can be difficult because they have huge staff retention issues and are focusing on the initial cost of these packages as opposed to the potential savings it could make in the longterm.. The human resource management think it would be an ideal strategy to take and cite "lack of benefits packages" as a consistent reason employees say that they are leaving.

    Firstly, getting an employee to contribute to a pension and offering to match a specific amount is worthwhile. Auto enrollment is probably coming to Ireland [employer has to contribute minimum amount to employees pension] so employers have a chance to get a headstart and in a tax efficient manner where an employee should feel a bit more valued.

    Secondly, a group life scheme is relatively cheap, certainly in comparison to the cost to replace an employee. It's usually 4 x salary life cover. All employees are included and covered. Importantly this includes employees who have health conditions that would not be able to get life cover on their own. If a scheme is big enough you get what's called a "free cover limit" whereby all employees can get this minimum life assurance without being required to give any medical information.

    A company can decide when this cover is available to employees. So for example if you have a high staff turnover mostly 3 years after starting work n that company you say that on year three this benefit is given to all employees as a sign of gratitude for service.

    A large company is bound to have one employee pass away and their families will make a claim that could garner good will among other employees who would value the benefit.

    Lastly an income protection benefit could also be offered to employees, for example after 5 years service as a reward for longevity. This ie where your employee receives a specified replacement income if they are unable to work long term.

    if an employee feels valued and the company has a strategy in place to reward staying (other then salary), it can be a cost neutral practise. The cost of these policies is usually entitled to some sort of tax relief.

    Particularly when you are discussing benefit packages with employees on higher rate of tax. 50% of a pay increase will be going to the taxman. So let's say you have 1k on the table that they know they will only receive €500 into their hands after tax. You could say company will instead put €500 into a pension and give employee a 4x salary death in service life cover. This would posssibly cost the company much less then the 1k you had budgeted and the employee would feel like they are getting more because €500 would be going into their pension and they would be getting a life policy, instead of just 500 (after tax) into their hand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    I want to ensure that I am doing everything I can to create a great team environment that my guys will want to continue to work in when the recruiters try to turn their heads to move "greener pastures", so I am looking for your suggestions? <snip>
    Thank You.

    I can't believe none of us here have thanked YOU for being this kind of manager.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭amtc


    Flexibility is a big thing....for example this week my fridge packed in so I need to at home and Virgin Media are calling. This a nightmare to negotiate with my boss. I do the work but if he can't see me....


  • Registered Users Posts: 985 ✭✭✭Birdsong


    Depending on the age profile of your team, maternity leave is a good thing, my sister in law didn't have paid mat leave, whereas I do. Also leave for new father's, we get two days which I think could be better when you consider the mother gets 6 months plus whatever unpaid.

    Pay, flexibility and understanding when long term sick, people don't fully appreciate until they are in the situation but if only one person had to use it, others will recognise the importance it. Basically treat people well when sick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer


    I've never been a manager so I'm talking from an employee POV but the flexibility I get in my current job really is key. Need to shift my hours during the day, go get my NCT done, have a doctor appointment, etc etc? No problem, just make sure the work gets done. It does make a massive difference.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 348 ✭✭SarahS2013


    The number of days holidays given and 6 months paid maternity leave


  • Registered Users Posts: 433 ✭✭PCX


    I agree that the number of holidays given and flexible working arrangements are big factors in staff retention.

    I have seen people with very marketable skill sets ,who knew that they could probably earn significantly more money elsewhere, stay put in one company I worked in due to the fact they got about 5 days extra paid holidays above the industry norm. Given the number of working days in a year I think that is less than a 2% reduction in working time so is much cheaper for the company than the type of wage increase that would have a similar effect on staff retention.
    I have no idea why some companies insist on giving staff the minimum number of holidays when the reduced productivity and increased costs they have to pay in recruitment and training due to staff turnover must dwarf the cost of giving a few extra days leave.

    Again flexible working arrangements are great for retaining staff and if implemented well shouldn't have any negative cost implications for the company.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭kevohmsford


    Training, promotion and more holidays.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,940 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    It depends on the age / lifestyle profile of the staff.

    One place I was working at introduced flexible height desks: flick a switch and you go from standing sitting or vice versa. Personally, that would be a big plus. But for a younger, fitter person it would probably be irrelevant.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,794 ✭✭✭Squall Leonhart


    One place I was working at introduced flexible height desks: flick a switch and you go from standing sitting or vice versa. Personally, that would be a big plus. But for a younger, fitter person it would probably be irrelevant.


    These are becoming more common in office environments and are a great addition. We spend too much time sitting, doing all sorts of damage to our backs. I've seen several colleagues switch to this type of desk arrangement.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭2RockMountain


    These are becoming more common in office environments and are a great addition. We spend too much time sitting, doing all sorts of damage to our backs. I've seen several colleagues switch to this type of desk arrangement.

    Flexible height desk is just sooooo last year - move with the times:



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


    Drumpot wrote: »
    one cost effective way of thanking employees , particularly for long service is pension and life/income benefits packages.

    Death in service life assurance and income protection in particular are handy because you can tailor them specifically to the companies requirements.

    I am an independent life and pensions broker and I am currently working with a large company (500+ staff). Trying to get an organisation to think long term can be difficult because they have huge staff retention issues and are focusing on the initial cost of these packages as opposed to the potential savings it could make in the longterm.. The human resource management think it would be an ideal strategy to take and cite "lack of benefits packages" as a consistent reason employees say that they are leaving.

    Firstly, getting an employee to contribute to a pension and offering to match a specific amount is worthwhile. Auto enrollment is probably coming to Ireland [employer has to contribute minimum amount to employees pension] so employers have a chance to get a headstart and in a tax efficient manner where an employee should feel a bit more valued.

    Secondly, a group life scheme is relatively cheap, certainly in comparison to the cost to replace an employee. It's usually 4 x salary life cover. All employees are included and covered. Importantly this includes employees who have health conditions that would not be able to get life cover on their own. If a scheme is big enough you get what's called a "free cover limit" whereby all employees can get this minimum life assurance without being required to give any medical information.

    A company can decide when this cover is available to employees. So for example if you have a high staff turnover mostly 3 years after starting work n that company you say that on year three this benefit is given to all employees as a sign of gratitude for service.

    A large company is bound to have one employee pass away and their families will make a claim that could garner good will among other employees who would value the benefit.

    Lastly an income protection benefit could also be offered to employees, for example after 5 years service as a reward for longevity. This ie where your employee receives a specified replacement income if they are unable to work long term.

    if an employee feels valued and the company has a strategy in place to reward staying (other then salary), it can be a cost neutral practise. The cost of these policies is usually entitled to some sort of tax relief.

    Particularly when you are discussing benefit packages with employees on higher rate of tax. 50% of a pay increase will be going to the taxman. So let's say you have 1k on the table that they know they will only receive €500 into their hands after tax. You could say company will instead put €500 into a pension and give employee a 4x salary death in service life cover. This would posssibly cost the company much less then the 1k you had budgeted and the employee would feel like they are getting more because €500 would be going into their pension and they would be getting a life policy, instead of just 500 (after tax) into their hand.

    We have both pension + death in service benefits, I will look into the income protection option, I know that at least 2 of my team have this covered personally so it is something of direct interest to them. Some of the team are also sole-earners in their families so this may be a benefit that could be an effective differentiation in retention as it is not often offered in our industry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


    Nody wrote: »
    Look at flexi working hours if operations allows it (i.e. I can come in late or early and leave accordingly and/or have a flexi hour time bank to be used every month); does not have to cost anything but will allow people better flexibility.

    I have various "arrangements" with team members, but I struggle to get HR to support this as they are afraid that "everyone will want this. While my team are not tied to core hours, in fact they can end up in early to work with Asia and late to work with the USA. They are very flexible and although they do not have to do it. Most of the rest of the staff need to keep office hours and HR like to keep it simple one rule for all. But they are willing to turn a blind eye, an Irish solution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


    * Does anyone have an example of a good Flexible Hours HR Policy that they would be willing to share?
    * Does anyone have an example of a good Holiday Buy-Back HR Policy that they would be willing to share?
    * Does anyone have an example of a good Paternity Leave HR Policy that they would be willing to share?

    (Please Remove any company specific stuff before sharing.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


    Hi All,

    The economy is picking up and so is the job market in my industry sector.
    Recruiters are calling both my team and I on a daily basis with opportunities.

    Personally I am happy in my own role and HR assure me that our salaries & compensation are very competitive for the team.
    (We gave reasonable pay rises all the way through the recession on salaries that were good to begin with.)

    However, we have a long tenured team and promotion opportunities are limited at the moment due to that stability.

    I want to ensure that I am doing everything I can to create a great team environment that my guys will want to continue to work in when the recruiters try to turn their heads to move "greener pastures", so I am looking for your suggestions?

    What 3 non-monetary factors would encourage you to stay at a company when offered a role elsewhere?
    Any and all comments welcome.

    Thank You.

    Thanks to All that replied so far, a lot of food for thought.

    Some We have, Partially have, and don't have.
      [*]Work-Life Balance
      [*] Company Work Life Balance Policy
      [*] Flexible Working Hours, Flex Start Finish, Core Hours
      [*] Option to Work from Home/Remotely/eWorking

      [*]Career Development
      [*] Third-party Software/Tools/Skills Training
      [*] Mentoring
      [*] Promotion / Career Progression

      [*] Training Programmes (e.g. Institution, Post-Graduate, Fellow.)


      [*]Recognition of Achievement / Effort
      [*] Monthly/quarterly team outings/breaks
      [*] Small Bonus or Perk
      [*] Recognition / Thank You


      [*]Manager Behaviors
      [*] Keep the team informed "in the loop "Overshare"
      [*] Develop positive culture for the team to work in
      [*] Remove barriers to productive work

      [*] Demonstrate clearly that Boss "has the teams back"
      [*] Treat Sick People very well.

      [*]Additional Benefits
      [*] Employer Pension Contribution
      [*] Paid Maternity Leave
      [*] Additional Vacation Days
      [*] Death in Service Life Assurance

      [*] Income Protection
      [*] Paternity Leave


      Yes, a lot to think about....:)

      I feel that the flexible working options will probably be the area that I will start strengthening first.

      Anything that your company does that is unique?


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    • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot


      I have to reiterate what another poster said, its so refreshing to see an employer willing to invest in initiatives to enhance their Employees experience in their job.

      If I wasn't working for myself (and coincidentally happy with my employer), I would be asking you how one goes about getting on your team! :)


    • Registered Users Posts: 2 DisGra


      * Does anyone have an example of a good Flexible Hours HR Policy that they would be willing to share?
      * Does anyone have an example of a good Holiday Buy-Back HR Policy that they would be willing to share?
      * Does anyone have an example of a good Paternity Leave HR Policy that they would be willing to share?

      (Please Remove any company specific stuff before sharing.)

      Did you receive any policies for Holiday Buy Back? If so, would you be prepared to share them with me please?


    • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


      DisGra wrote: »
      Did you receive any policies for Holiday Buy Back? If so, would you be prepared to share them with me please?

      No, not yet.

      If anyone has one to share please don't be shy.


    • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭Irish_Elect_Eng


      DisGra wrote: »
      Did you receive any policies for Holiday Buy Back? If so, would you be prepared to share them with me please?

      I did find this example on-line from the UK and it seems sound.


    • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,687 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stheno


      I did find this example on-line from the UK and it seems sound.

      I used work in a company who offered a mix and match package of benefits, can pm you if you wish?


    • Registered Users Posts: 21,256 ✭✭✭✭Eoin


      I don't have the policies, but here's the main detail:
      * Does anyone have an example of a good Holiday Buy-Back HR Policy that they would be willing to share?

      Last company - we could buy up to 3 days annual leave. The request had to be submitted just before the start of the new A/L calendar. The pay was reduced over the year so it was not noticeable.
      * Does anyone have an example of a good Paternity Leave HR Policy that they would be willing to share?

      Current company - I recently got 2 weeks leave with full pay.


    • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭Phantasos


      Can I come work with you in Galway? You seem nice. :)
      * Does anyone have an example of a good Flexible Hours HR Policy that they would be willing to share?

      This one is civil service, but I'll share anyway.
      • Core Hours (that must be worked) are 10-2 and 2-4
      • Four-week cycle for flexi-time to "gather" extra time for "flexi-leave"
      • Around four hours equals a half day's flexi-leave
      • You can gather flexi-leave to a maximum of 1.5 days

      Obviously core hours could be changed depending on your office's circumstances. The above system is great, because working extra hours in one four-week cycle earns you time off for the next four-week cycle. Very handy to work a few hours more this month, and use your flexi-leave (and not annual leave) to take a half-day for the dentist next month.


    • Registered Users Posts: 720 ✭✭✭FrStone


      Just in relation to the pension, surely most jobs offer an employer contribution so this would be seen as standard rather than a perk. However I know certain companies that can attract staff with a defined benefit pension.


    • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭PMBC


      Phantasos wrote: »
      Can I come work with you in Galway? You seem nice. :)



      This one is civil service, but I'll share anyway.
      • Core Hours (that must be worked) are 10-2 and 2-4
      • Four-week cycle for flexi-time to "gather" extra time for "flexi-leave"
      • Around four hours equals a half day's flexi-leave
      • You can gather flexi-leave to a maximum of 1.5 days

      Obviously core hours could be changed depending on your office's circumstances. The above system is great, because working extra hours in one four-week cycle earns you time off for the next four-week cycle. Very handy to work a few hours more this month, and use your flexi-leave (and not annual leave) to take a half-day for the dentist next month.

      For the dentist? Is that not covered as is doctor's visit?


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    • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭PMBC


      Drumpot wrote: »
      I have to reiterate what another poster said, its so refreshing to see an employer willing to invest in initiatives to enhance their Employees experience in their job.

      If I wasn't working for myself (and coincidentally happy with my employer), I would be asking you how one goes about getting on your team! :)

      IMHO its even more refreshing to see a person asking. Obviously Electrical Engineer is well educated but sometimes that can lead to the feeling 'I don't need to ask anybody; anyway Amn't I giving them something'!!:)


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