Staff Retention

Date Published: 24-10-2018

With more businesses in East Anglia looking to hire talented individuals than at any point in recent times, there can be no doubt that companies are more likely to try to retain their best people.


Don’t be naïve. Whether you like it or not, your best people are being proactively coveted by other businesses. Eventually their head will be turned and they’ll decide to move on. You then have a choice; make them an ‘offer they cannot refuse’ to stay, or let them go with your best wishes, and seek to replace them.


With skills shortages not showing any sign of receding, the easiest option often is to increase their salary to get them to stay, but is it the right one?


Well, no. Whilst it might make them stay initially, it’s unlikely to be a long term solution. It’s like taking paracetamol for an impacted wisdom tooth. It will stop the pain, but only temporarily.


You might be surprised to hear that research shows that 64% of people who accept a counteroffer begin seeking a new role again within just 3 months. More startlingly is that 82% have left the role within 6 months, meaning all you did was cost yourself even more than it would have to replace in the first place, plus what other damage has been done?


Simon Brown, Managing Director at Cooper Lomaz says “Never underestimate the domino effect a single counteroffer can have on your team. If word spreads that you’ve made a counteroffer, you might have to have difficult conversations with others who now want a pay rise too.  I believe you have to ask yourself why this person got themselves a job offer with another business, accepted it, agreed a start date and is now sat in front of you. Something clearly has gone wrong along the way to get to this point other than just the desire for more salary.”


Instead of trying to retain your best people once they’ve decided to leave, it’s important that you identify what might make them look in the first place. Whilst each person is unique, there are some common trends of what is making people think about a change. The Cooper Lomaz Salary Survey shows that a ‘better opportunity for their career’ would tempt 65% of people into looking, with 40% also saying an improved work-life balance would make them change jobs. Instead of throwing a few thousand £ at people once they’ve decided to leave, why not tackle the problem at the source?


People stay in a company where they feel valued and their personal and professional needs are met. You need to ask yourself, are you investing time in doing this, or are you burying your head in the sand and hoping a last minute counteroffer will be enough?