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  • Hunter Communications

Keep your staff engaged or count the cost to your business

By Keryn McKinnon, Agency Director

In a market where there are less than two unemployed people for every job advertised, businesses are going to extreme lengths to attract and retain staff.

Additional superannuation, annual and parental leave entitlements and flexible working conditions lead the plethora of enticements being used to lure workers as we experience the lowest unemployment rate the nation has seen in five decades. Gym memberships, private health insurance coverage and wellbeing checks can be added to this list.

In Western Australia, businesses not directly connected to the mining industry are struggling to compete with exorbitant salary packages paid to staff in the resources sector. Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics research shows one in four WA businesses need more staff.

However, money and material entitlements alone will not build a workplace culture of staff positivity, company advocacy and high employee retention rates. Businesses which don’t keep their staff engaged will count the cost of this failure. With high staff turnover comes significant business disruption, knowledge and revenue loss.

In contrast, a highly engaged workforce will deliver staff loyalty and boost productivity, driving revenue growth and an increased customer focus. A strong workforce culture built around the values of respect and trust will foster loyalty and teamwork and keep staff turnover low.

Achieving this workplace panacea is no overnight fix. It requires a concerted employee engagement strategy that is true to a company’s core values.

At the heart of a good employee engagement strategy is open and transparent communication at all levels of the organisation. Ongoing employee feedback, regular staff meetings and staff newsletters are critical to achieving employee buy-in.

Keeping staff informed about decision making processes and outcomes and the company’s objectives and goals will empower employees, promoting job satisfaction and staff loyalty.

Listening and responding to staff needs and views and ensuring communication is two-way will build the respect and trust of the leadership.

In a world where we have seen the terms, the Great Resignation and quiet quitting, become a part of our vernacular it has never been more imperative to meaningfully engage the workforce. Afterall, employees are every organisation’s most valuable asset.

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