Managing the staff retention challenge in the digital age

Staff retention has long been a sore spot for employers. With continuous innovations to online job platforms and endless opportunities at employees’ fingertips, sites like LinkedIn are making it even easier for professionals to take control of their own career paths. Many employers and HR managers are then left with the mammoth task of trying to keep the talent they have. Many of them don’t even know where to begin.

If employees are ambivalent about their opportunities for professional growth within their current workplaces, what’s to stop them from looking elsewhere for a rewarding role that honours their worth in that sector? And so creates the inevitable challenge so many HR and management teams are currently facing around Australia  – how can businesses manage this phenomenon before it costs them, big time?

1. Build a workplace culture

A workplace ‘culture’ is an idea thrown around a lot, but not necessarily acted on. That’s because it can be a bit of an ambiguous thing to achieve, not to mention it takes patience and dedication to establish and grow. One of the easiest ways to nurture workplace culture is to make time for it. Workshops and designated team-building days are beneficial for employees to connect and reflect with each other. These days are a great platform to discuss what can help the team perform at its best.

Take suggestions on improving disruptions to productivity and find strategies to achieving success for individual and team goals. This designated platform gives employees a chance to be heard and give feedback. Staff are less likely to feel disconnected or apprehensive towards their future within a workplace if they see potential in the team culture they have helped build. It's also important to know about Australian employment law and abiding by labour legislation to ensure trust from your staff.

2. Provide opportunities to upskill

It goes without saying that giving employees an opportunity to upskill increases the value of the team. It is also beneficial for interpersonal growth and confidence within the workplace.

You can do this by creating an industry learning program within the workplace, which encourages the ongoing professional development of staff, while also building confidence in the tasks they take on. Communicate with the team during development meetings to find out which areas they want to improve on and what skills they are looking to grow. By empowering team members to expand their skill sets and providing them with the opportunities to do so, they are more likely to have an invested interest in staying with the business.

3. Build relationships

Initiating one-on-one time with staff establishes an honest and transparent working relationship. Every few weeks, or at least once a month, schedule time with employees individually to catch up.

This discussion should be relaxed and informal. Praise their hard work, celebrate their achievements and offer feedback on areas they could improve on. By doing this, the employee will feel validated in their efforts and encouraged to continue upskilling.

Improve your HR skills

Human resource management plays a key role in successful staff retention at a company. HR managers understand that employees do their best when they are given the tools and support to do so.

HR professionals need to ensure they have the up-to-date skills and knowledge to provide the employees within their business with the best support possible. This might even involve further training, such as completing an online Master of Human Resource Management. This can help you to further develop skills in HR strategy, operations and decision-making; all of which are applicable across a range of sectors and industries.

In this digital age, employees are aware of their professional worth within the industry they operate in. By acknowledging the talents of the individual, an employer is more likely to be rewarded by an agile team. One that is full of dedicated, flourishing professionals who value the time they give to the company and the projects completed in its name.

Learn more about the RMIT HR online master's degree.