With staff shortages crippling workplaces across all industries, and inflation rising rapidly, Kris Grant, CEO of management consultancy ASPL Group, provides five key steps employers can take to retain their staff in the tightest labour market for almost five decades.
Grant has been leading ASPL Group or the past nine years, overseeing its management consulting, training and recruitment divisions.
She has developed a passion for ensuring organisations have an inclusive workforce when she reached C-level position in her 30s and realised there was a gap, and still is, for the number of women in senior leadership positions and wanted to make change to ensure organisations prioritise inclusion and diversity in workforces.
“With the unemployment rate sitting at a near 50-year low of 3.5 per cent and likely headed down to 3.0 per cent, employees who aren’t happy in their current jobs are probably searching for more satisfying employment right now,” she says.
“We can expect staff turnover to rise significantly in the second half of 2022 with job advertisements now sitting at their highest level since 2008; the time has never been better to look for a new job.“
According to Grant, these five top tips will help employers to retain their staff in 2022:
Tip 1: Pay a market salary
“If you are not paying your staff market salaries, that is, salaries being paid for comparable roles in the marketplace, then there is a good chance that your employees may feel underappreciated. It’s also important to maintain the real wages of your staff after years of negligible wages growth. We have seen annual inflation hit 6.1 per cent in the June 2022 quarter, so employers should be increasing wages in line with inflation to maintain their workers’ real wages, otherwise, their pay packet is slipping backwards.”
Tip 2: Offer flexible arrangements
“We all know now that flexible work arrangements work, including working from home. Employers should incorporate WFH at least part of the time because employees have seen the benefits from this, and many want to keep on going WFH with Covid and flu infections raging through workplaces. Allowing other flexible arrangements such as variable working hours also encourages goodwill, which works both ways, encouraging your employees to stay in your organisation.”
Tip 3: Offer training and development opportunities
“Given the severe skills shortage, smart employers are focussing on programs to upskill their own people. Training and investing in your employees keep them engaged as most typically want to learn new skills to progress their careers. Employers too benefit from greater staff retention.”
Tip 4: Map out a career path for your staff
“It is crucial for employers to have a human resources program in place to develop career paths for their staff. This involves mapping out career progression from an employee’s current role to a desired future role. Train your people early in preparation for future demand for your products and services. Have meaningful career discussions; your staff will appreciate the attention.”
Tip 5: Engagement and connection – culture is key
“Creating and maintaining a conversation and connection with staff is very important for retention. When employees feel like they are included in the conversation and employers value their views, everyone benefits as employees are likely to be more productive and happier in the workplace. This should involve active listening, transparent communication and seeking feedback from staff.”
- ASPL Group is a management consultancy, training and recruitment firm focused on aligning people, processes and systems and has been operating across the private and public sectors in Australia and Asia Pacific for the past 15 years.