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Five things you can do to encourage your longstanding Employees to stay even longer

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Longstanding staff are invaluable to your business: they’ve proved their loyalty to your company, they have established relationships with Clients, and they know the business like the back of their hand. These are the people you need to guide your organisation through future growth, to nurture new Employees, and to be there to steady the helm.

Unfortunately, we’re past the days when people take a job for life. The average UK worker changes Employer every five years, with many doing so even more regularly than this. To encourage longstanding Employees to stay with you for the future, follow our top 5 tips:

1. Keep the role interesting

Bright, career focused Employees need to be able to advance, learn new skills and work their way to a higher position. Without this, they will start looking elsewhere for a company where they can achieve their goals. Put a development plan in place to make sure that you’re both on the same page. Listen to your Employee’s ambitions and set them targets, so that they have a clear idea of how they can create their dream role within their current workplace. Whether it’s managing a team, selling products or thinking creatively, find out what people are good at and offer them a way to develop this by taking on new areas of responsibility - including the chance to secure a promotion.

2. Assist with career development

According to LinkedIn, 43 per cent of people leave their jobs due to a lack of career opportunities. Make sure you are a company where loyalty and hard work is rewarded with the chance to progress. Workers of all ages place a great importance on career development, often ranking this above the amount they’re paid, or like-for-like benefits. Whether it’s paying for an apprenticeship, professional qualifications or networking groups, all of these things will show that you’re serious about investing in your team. New Employees at Deloitte, for example, are invited to take part in the Deloitte University Programme – established to give training in leadership, professional and technical skills. Upskilling workers not only helps them in their job, it creates a feeling of loyalty because you have given them access to an opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

3. Incremental pay rises or benefits

As an Employee’s role changes, it’s worth re-visiting the original job description to make sure that the benefits they’re receiving reflect this. In a competitive market, it’s important to know what other companies pay their workers – if you have this information, you’ll avoid a situation where Employees are poached by another business offering higher salaries. Make it clear how your team can work their way up to successfully earn more and introduce benefits which reward loyalty. Many organisations offer extra holidays, pension benefits or annual bonuses for long-term Employees. Reward loyalty with the chance to have a say in the business, whether this is sitting on management boards or becoming part of the senior advisory team.

4. Give them a team

Company culture has a big impact on whether Employees choose to stay or go. People who feel pride in belonging to a place where they’re achieving something special are more than happy to continue in the same job. You can see the effects of this in LinkedIn’s list of the top UK companies people want to work for. If you see an Employee capable of becoming a great leader, why not allocate them a team of people? This will give them a real sense of purpose, driving them to make decisions which are recognised and respected by the people they’re responsible for. Foster a workplace where Employees can surround themselves with like-minded, talented people. This not only creates a great environment to work in, it has the added advantage of boosting productivity at the same time.

5. Acknowledge the need for a work-life balance

Stress can be a big factor in an Employee’s decision to leave their job. According to the CIPD, 37 per cent of businesses have seen an increase in stress-related absence over the last year caused by heavy workloads. To avoid this, be an Employer who recognises the need for a good work-life balance. After all, it’s not just about peoples’ time in the office. Throughout their working life, Employees will encounter many different milestones, from moving to a new house and setting up a family to caring for relatives. These big life events can be stressful in themselves, so create a workplace where people feel able to talk openly, receive support from their colleagues and where they can opt to work flexibly if needed.

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