We look at Staff Engagement and Retention with Scott Read at Growth Partners PLC

What made you get into the staff retention and employee engagement world?

That’s a really tough question because I think that often you take a role based on the security and challenge that it may provide you. At that stage of my career, I was looking for a new challenge, to move away from a very corporate sales environment, and to try my hand at something new.

The fit with employee benefits and engagement seemed perfect as it brought together my passions for the commercial world and ensuring that people management is done correctly.

In all honesty, I couldn’t have foreseen that it would lead to where I am now, although I am proud to be able to say that I spend every day helping others to help their employees and businesses prosper.

Where does staff engagement and retention begin? 

It starts at the very first interaction your company has with a prospective employee. Those first impressions are vital at gaining a level of commitment and buy-in from the candidate before they even join.

It’s massively important to me, that when we recruit a new colleague, that they are excited and positive before they even start, that all their inevitable nervousness of starting a new job is turned into positive energy. This makes induction and onboarding so much easier and provides the bedrock of meaningful long-term working relationships.

Are there any quick wins with staff engagement?

Yes. First off, you need to get the basics in your business right. If you’re not paying your employees accurately or on time for example, you’re going to struggle! This may sound obvious, but we actually made sure we developed our services to help businesses streamline their basic processes like payroll, pensions, legal advice etc first so they are free to properly focus on their people and their culture. Leaders can’t focus if they’re burdened with administrative problems. 

Once that’s sorted, the key is Communication and Strategy!

It’s simple really in its purest form. Decide what your business and people strategy are and communicate it well to EVERYONE in your business.

Now, that is very simplified, but it’s kind of true. Of course, there is more to it as well, but these principles will really help. If you want to genuinely live a positive engagement culture, then also consider:

  1. How do I make my employees feel valued?
  2. What would my employees say about my business?
  3. How can I unlock their discretionary efforts?

What can job seekers look out for when looking for a new role to find that perfect match? 

In my opinion, they should really explore the culture of the business they are looking to join. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions; What is staff retention like? How do they reward good performance? What is the people strategy within the business? Where will the business be in 2/5/10 years’ time?

These are not easy to ask during an interview when you feel like you should be selling yourself, but it’s equally important that your prospective employer sells themselves to you too.

How do you see staff engagement developing in 2022? 

With flexibility, agility, and some creative thinking. Employers are going to have to work harder in 2022 to attract and retain top talent because the working environment has changed post-pandemic.

Really great talent now holds more power. They have proven that they can work remotely, manage their time and workloads, be creative and inspirational, without being in the office every day.

Engagement needs that same creativity to prosper, and communication, inclusion and employee integration become much more difficult. We are all going to have to work much harder, choose the right partners and develop the right strategy to keep up.

To chat to Scott about employee engagement, email scott.read@growthpartnersplc.co.uk 

To find out more about Growth Partners and the services they offer to guarantee to save businesses money, visit www.growthpartnersplc.co.uk 

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