HRM in Agribusiness ZAB 102

Week 3 - Retention of staff

So far we have spoken about recruitment of staff and selection of staff, now I want to move onto once you have good staff, how do you keep them? So today we will be talking about retention of staff, we will cover off on reward and recognition, work life balance and professional development.

Reward and recognition

When you have good staff you want to be able to provide them with the recognition they deserve for doing such a good job and also reward them when they go above and beyond what is required of them. Managers sometimes make the mistake of rewarding and recognising staff in the way that they themselves would like to be rewarded or recognised. What you need to do as a manager is get to know the people that are working with you to know what motivates them.

For some, money will be a motivator, for others it may be receiving extra time off to spend with family, or it simply may be getting feedback that they are doing a good job. Motivation is different for everyone so get to know the people you work with so that they know you care enough about them to find out what motivates them and reward them appropriately when they have done a good job, because if you have good employees you want to be able to keep them in your organisation.

Dan Pink | The puzzle of motivation | 18.32 mins

Health and Wellbeing Programs | 2:21 mins

One way that organisations try to reward staff is through health and well being programs. The theory being that the happier and healthier people are at work, the more productive they are and the less sick days they will take, so it is in an organisations interest to encourage staff to participate in health and well being programs. They can sometimes be a bit hit and miss depending on whether staff engage or not but they do provide additional benefits to staff in the workplace.

According to the Australian Human Resource Institute ‘many organisations have adopted employee well being into their HR strategies and have gone so far as to implement ongoing well being initiatives. Some of the most common initiatives include:

Where I used to work we introduced subsidized massages for staff once a month that were held within the building so it was very convenient for staff to attend and of course it also minimized the time you were away from your work. When we introduced the massages one of the outdoor crew who worked in construction was very critical and commented that massages were a waste of time and he wouldn’t be paying for something like that even if it was subsidized. We convinced him to try one and after that he was a total convert. There were 2 choices, 30 minutes (which would cost the staff member $10) and 45 minutes (which would cost the staff members $30), and he would book 45 minute one every time which cost more that he admitted. Due to the hard manual labour components of his work the massages really helped his body recover and he felt better overall with his health.

Work-life balance

The phrase work life balance gets bandied around a lot but what does it actually mean? Well it is a little bit like what motivates people, it will mean different things to different people but Wikipedia defines it as ‘a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice’.

The following clip by Nigel Marsh talks about how he tackled the issue of work-life balance.

Nigel Marsh | How to make work-life balance work | 9.57 mins

Now watch this session by Dave Crenshaw who provides some tips on how to balance your work and life commitments and as you watch start to consider how these things can help your own work life balance. Sometimes we all get so busy doing we forget to stop and have a think about our own lives. This gives you an opportunity to stop and think about what could work for you.

Course: Balancing Work and Life with Dave Crenshaw | 28.55 mins

Looking at what is important to workers in regards to work-life balance, Seek have come up with the following:

So, as you can see one of the important things for workers currently is to be able to have flexibility in the hours that they work and the location. It also appears that in regional Tasmania we are more satisfied with our work life balance than our metropolitan counterparts.

As flexibility and work location are so important, how are organisations tracking to respond to this? Well per a survey of 913 organisations conducted by the Australian Human Resource Institute in August and September 2016, 834 responded to the question Does your organisation offer flexible hours? From this it showed that around nine out of ten respondent organisations are offering flexible hours. So, the good news is to retain staff many organisations are listening and implementing more flexible options for employees.

Professional Development

As per the Australian Human Resource Institute website, ‘there are many different ways that employees can be developed including induction, on the job training, internal and external courses and workshops, compliance training, supported external study, coaching and mentoring’.

The website goes on to say that ‘an organisation is responsible for ensuring that its employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge to fulfil the organisation's strategic and operational objectives. This has obvious implications for recruitment, but it also entails a commitment to learning and development by the organisation to ensure that skills and knowledge are maintained and developed to ensure ongoing competitiveness and adaptability’.

‘There are numerous reasons why an organisation should invest in learning and development. Some of these include:

Managers need to be clear on the purpose of any professional development opportunities that they authorize and understand how it will benefit the organization. One of the ways that this can be achieved is through the formal performance review process that employees undertake each year which we will discuss in week 4.



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