How to Retain Skilled Workers

How to Retain Skilled Workers

We have a fairly stable job market at the moment with relatively low employment. Companies are always looking to attract skilled workers who will contribute profitably to their operation. Many put in a lot of effort trying to woo just the right people.

What businesses across all sectors can put a lot less effort into, however, is retaining those employees.

There are any number of reasons why a skilled worker will leave. They may be drawn to higher paid position or a job with the potential for better opportunities. Perhaps they don’t like the team they are working in at the moment or feel that their ideas aren’t being listened to. It can be the same story whatever sector you work in. Whether it’s technology, construction, hospitality or health, there is the same challenge of employee retention to face.

Attracting Skilled Workers

One of the keys to better retention is undoubtedly attracting the right skilled workers in the first instance. Managers and leaders who are involved in the selection process need to have the right tools and procedures in place. If they are working with a recruitment company they need to communicate their requirements clearly. More and more companies are nowadays choosing specialist agencies that are focused on their sector to help find the best skilled workers.

Communication is Vital to Retention

Not all employees leave your company for the same reasons. There are often a number of factors involved which can include:

  • Remuneration: Are they being paid or rewarded enough?
  • Career Opportunities: Is there the chance to advance in your company?
  • Relationships: Do they get on with your team or your manager?
  • Communication: Do they believe their ideas are being listened to?
  • Value: Do they feel part of the team and think they contributing something significant?
  • Overwork: Are they putting in too many hours or struggling with their work/life balance?

All these can be factors on whether a person is happy or not working for your business. As a manager or leader, understanding how your workers see the world and their place in it is vital for retaining employees. If you don’t understand the problem, you can’t be expected to find a solution. That’s where good communication and strong interpersonal relationships come in.

Exit and Employee Interviews

Of course, if you are having trouble retaining a lot of skilled workers it could point to a deeper problem within your organisation. Carrying out exit interviews with employees who are parting ways can be enlightening as can talking to workers who decide to stay. It gives you an understanding of the issues your business faces and provides a road map for doing something about it in the future.

The Role of Managers and Leaders

While better wages and more career opportunities might be factors in leaving a job, by far one of the biggest influence is the employee boss relationship. Most highly skilled people want to advance and have opportunities to progress. They also want to work for a manager or boss who is able to motivate and inspire them to better things.

In the end, the companies that better retain skilled employees are the ones that take the fulfilment of their workers more seriously. These have a range of different processes in place, including offering perks and benefits, but also make every effort to promote and progress employees internally.

Good managers like to talk. Understanding the needs of skilled employees, helping them to achieve their goals and move forward is all part of creating an environment that is both nurturing and productive. It’s no guarantee that someone won’t want to move on in the future but it does ensure you retain skilled workers more often than not.


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