Losing staff is more than just a faff, it’s a costly outgoing for a business

The cost of replacing a staff member clocks in at just over £30k, according to a study by HR Review. This is down to recruiter fees as well as loss of output while training a new employee. It’s estimated that it takes an average of 28 weeks to get new employees up to speed, so it’s easy to see how this out-of-action time quickly adds up.

What’s making your staff leave?

Why not offer an exit interview where staff are given the chance to tell you why they’re leaving? Ask them why they personally resigned and what they could change to improve the office environment.

Studies have shown a strong correlation between workplace satisfaction and staff retention. While there are some things, such as staff personality clashes, that you might not be able control, there are plenty of elements that you can control and, more importantly, improve.

What do you need to consider to keep employees happy?

Almost one-third of employees are ambivalent towards work – neither engaged nor disengaged. Raising the engagement level of these employees can have a significant impact on a business.

It’s the obvious culprits that are often the deciding factors for employee happiness.

These include salary, holiday, other benefits and of course work/life balance.

According to Corporate Advisor, in a poll of SMEs, 35% of CEOs surveyed said work/life balance was their key priority to aid staff retention, but it’s not just factors such as salary and a good work/life balance that keep employees happy, work environment is a vital factor, too.

What do you need to consider to keep employees happy?

Just as what you wear is a form of self-expression, your office is an outward projection of your company culture. Innovators such as Google and Pixar invest hugely in office design – with their offices boasting slides, ball pits and even areas to take a nap.

When employees are working on different tasks, it makes sense that they would want to use their working environment differently, for example, seeking out a quiet space where tasks require concentration.
This is particularly important in open plan offices.
Giving employees some independence and control over how they work and the space they use has also been shown to have a significant effect on productivity.

Who visits your office? How does it look to them?

It’s also important to take into account people who come into the office. Whether it’s freelancers, contractors, clients or potential candidates coming in for interviews, this space reflects your business. Remember it only takes 7 seconds to form a first impression of a person – what would visitors say about your workplace after viewing it for the same amount of time? You might only have a meeting once a month with non-employees, but if it’s with potential clients, then the environment you meet in could be hugely vital to the outcome of the meeting, and thus your business as a whole.
Often the design of a workplace is overlooked when focusing on the idea of employee engagement, but it’s one of the essential factors that contributes towards it. The physical environment you’re working in can shape your employees’ attitudes, productivity and even their behaviour – that’s why it’s increasingly crossing over from Facilities to HR remits.

While these kinds of design budgets aren’t practical for many SMEs, it’s still important to consider your office and how it affects your business and your employees. Taking into account features such as space, natural light, plants and even technology to help improve office design can enhance the working environment and ultimately improve employee retention.

We can help make your staff feel happier in their office environment – why not give us a call today?