The Issue of Staff Retention

Staff retention is a serious concern for many employers. Losing a valued employee is both costly and disruptive. Recruitment is not the only cost involved. There are hidden costs because it takes the average employee about three months to get up to speed in a new job.

So why do good people go looking for a new job? If you ask them, they will probably say the new job pays better, but that’s not the whole story. The question is, what prompted the employee to look for another job in the first place. Unless there are personal reasons like relocation, the answer will be dissatisfaction with their present employment.

This leads us to ask why a valued employee should be dissatisfied. Reasons fall into two main categories – one negative and one more positive. Negative reasons are those where the employee’s main motivation is to get away from the organisation. Positive reasons relate to seeking greater opportunities for challenge and personal development.

In both cases, the problem can be resolved with good management. Employees who feel valued, work in a harmonious team and find their work satisfying don’t look for a change of employment.

Good management at the team leadership / supervisory level is therefore critical to the success of an organisation, but what happens in practice? An employee is promoted into a supervisory position because they are experienced and highly competent operatives. This is known as “The Peter Principle” – that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. According to this principle, employees are promoted to their “level of incompetence”.

Team leadership requires drastically different skills and knowledge compared with the operative role – and yet how many employers invest in developing their team leaders?

There is a qualification appropriate for team leaders, the Certificate IV in Leadership and Management. This will take approximately12 months to complete and can be see as a significant investment of time and money. Another option is to select the three most important units from this qualification which are:

* BSBLDR403 Lead team effectiveness
* BSBLDR402 Lead effective workplace relationships
* BSBMGT401 Show leadership in the workplace

HB Training can provide a one-day workshop for each of these units that can provide the essential knowledge and skills for a supervisory role in only three days. Participants can be provided with the option to do the homework to receive a Statement of Attainment if required, but this is not necessary.

Employers who wish to improve their staff retention rates should seriously consider this as an option to support and develop their team leaders.



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