Five ways to improve staff retention and engagement in the new year

HR consultant and employee engagement specialist Cassandra Andrews. Picture: James Neale

HR consultant and employee engagement specialist Cassandra Andrews. Picture: James Neale - Credit: James Neale

Eleanor Pringle speaks to employee engagement consultant Cassandra Andrews about what employers can do to get the most out of their staff

• Are you understanding staff's key motivators?

'There are about nine key things that motivate staff, and only one of those is money,' Ms Andrews said. 'Treat your people how they want to be treated, and take the time to find out what motivates each individual. Staff welfare isn't a pool table, that's superficial - you need to understand the culture.'

• Share a story

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'Each business needs to have a story of where they came from, where they are now, and where they're going. Each person needs to know where they fit into that story and how they contribute to it. Ask yourself: What would your employees say about your business? Is it what you'd want? Do they all same the same thing?

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• Give your employees a voice

'It doesn't have to be something state of the art; it can be a whiteboard in a communal space, but you need a listening system. This has two benefits; you can be involved in the conversation, and if you're putting information out there it shuts down rumours and discontent.'

• What support are you giving your managers?

'Many people are technically very good at their job, and then they get to a certain level and

the next step is to become a manager.

'But this might not be something that motivates them - and as such you have whole rafts of people leaving because of the culture their manager creates.

• Keep your promise

'A promise of a new fridge may be a small thing to senior management, but to the people on the shop floor waiting for it, it's a big deal. Staff need to see bad behaviours being disciplined, and everyone being treated fairly.'

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