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How Australian employers are retaining their best workers in 2014
25 April 2014
At Michael Page HR, we’re noting that most organisations are extremely motivated when it comes to retention. The majority of employers believe that keeping their key people is imperative to long term business success.
Here are the key report findings that really reflect what we’re seeing in the market:
- 40% of survey respondents reported that predicted skills shortages mean there needs to be greater focus on retaining current staff.
- Flexible working arrangements are by far the most popular work-life balance option being offered by employers, with 92% of survey respondents listing such arrangements as an option for their workers.
- Strong company culture has emerged as the most common retention strategy being offered by employers, with 36% of employers currently focused on this.
It’s great to see strong company culture positioned as a key area. Employers that focus on developing a solid Employee Value Proposition (EVP), setting out the way their company does business and what it’s like to work there, are much more likely to hold on to their top employees. New hires are more easily integrated into a working environment with consistent conditions and goals and are able to grow with the company.
Employers that focus on developing a solid Employee Value Proposition (EVP), setting out the way their company does business and what it’s like to work there, are much more likely to hold on to their top employees.
There are three key pillars that make up any successful retention strategy, listed in no particular order.
- Financial rewards
- Career development opportunities
These elements work together to keep employees motivated and happy in a role. Let’s look at each in more detail.
People still want strong salaries and opportunities for a financial bonus. Financial rewards remain the number one factor when it comes to both attraction and retention, though this is now closely followed by flexibility.
We’re seeing a lot of focus on flexible working solutions, particularly around working from home or a four day work week. These options are popular as more and more professionals look to increase their work-life balance. Some larger organisations are implementing in-house childcare facilities to allow working parents to better balance their parenting and professional responsibilities.
Career development opportunities
Clear career progression is key to keeping employees engaged in their role. This is part of developing a strong EVP. Employees need regular learning and development opportunities and a plan for what’s next in their professional growth.
Of course budget plays a role in all of this. Though we are seeing a fair share of budget allocated to retention programs, employers should bear in mind that some of the most effective strategies don’t cost anything at all – for example, regular recognition. Though we do see recognition for performance crop up as part of structured reward programs, informal recognition can go a long way to employee satisfaction. One of the best ways to build a strong and committed team is to make sure outstanding performance is recognised regularly and communicated to the wider peer group. Those that invest time wisely into making their best people feel valued will see greater results in the future.
For more hiring trends, visit our Salary Centre to download the latest Salary & Employment Outlook.
Key retention strategies being used by Australian employers include:
• Financial rewards - the number one factor in attraction and retention
• Flexibility - demand is on the rise as workers prioritise work-life balance
• Career development opportunities - key to employee engagement