Powerful staff retention tips for 2023

In times of economic uncertainty, retaining staff and improving employee engagement and efficiency is one of the most powerful things an organisation can do. According to recent research, people are most likely to stay in their job if they’re doing meaningful work. Empowering teams through a sense of purpose, and ensuring they feel in control of their time, are two huge wins for both leaders and their teams. 

Always a sound barometer of workplace sentiment, Forbes magazine says the top five reasons for staff dissatisfaction in 2022 have been toxic company culture, poor management, lack of healthy work–life boundaries, low salary, and organisations not allowing remote work.

Studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average - not to mention the cultural, and staff morale impacts.

When the going gets tough employers that invest in their staff have a better chance weathering the storms of 2023, than those who don’t.

Make it feel meaningful

With the drivers of positive employee engagement clear it's important to have a plan to retain the greatest asset you have.

Recent McKinsey research finds that progressing meaningful work – having a purpose – is the main reason people choose to stay. It says that when work is meaningful, performance improves by a third, staff are 75% more committed to their organisation, and the likelihood of them leaving is halved. The research has a warning, though: help your employees find a purpose or watch them leave.

Jo McFadden, PEP New Zealand General Manager, agrees. ‘Investing in staff retention is not a definition for handing out pay rises. That investment is better placed instilling a clear sense of purpose in your team. An organisational and team mission that people are passionate about gives them natural focus and energy.’

Looking after your team’s wellbeing

In March 2021, New Zealand’s Frog Recruitment employee survey found burnout here was at record levels, with 68% of Kiwis feeling more stressed since 2020, 89% finding work–life balance had deteriorated since COVID, and 62% admitting to considering another job.

‘While it’s not unusual for people to feel stressed and overwhelmed, can you imagine the cumulative effect of three to four years of stress post-COVID and now pre-recession? Harnessing the power of working well is key to finding satisfaction, fulfilment and balance at work,’ says Jo.

‘PEP helps you focus your people on the work that truly matters, calling out and minimising unproductive habits to give everyone a greater sense of control and job satisfaction. It teaches individuals how to harness the power of working well, which is key to finding satisfaction, fulfilment and wellbeing, both professionally and personally.’


Maximising efficiency and return on effort

There are some telling statistics that Jo and the team at PEP use to explain why learning to work effectively – on the tasks that matter – elevates workplace culture, teamwork and enjoyment.

For example, email fatigue is on the rise, with staff having to clear multiple inboxes in Outlook, Teams and Slack. According to Microsoft, the average office worker receives 120 emails daily, and email supplier estimates that nearly 11 hours a week are wasted on tedious unproductive tasks. And when it comes to doing work, Microsoft reports that we spend seven weeks a year searching for documents or expertise or recreating content we can’t find.

Unproductive habits like these are caused by a lack of organisation and/or systems. Breaking away from them is a simple fix, with a measurable impact on productivity and positive workplace experiences.

As Jo says, ‘Removing the feeling of wasted time and effort heightens a sense of achievement and boosts individual and team morale. When leaders are seen to support better work practices, to help their team avoid stress and overwhelm, they attract respect and a team can become truly cohesive.’


Leading with integrity

‘By applying PEP’s core principles, you can liberate your team from unproductive habits and equip them with new ones, so there’s less complexity, clutter and wasted time, along with fewer interruptions, meaningless tasks and meetings,’ Jo adds.

She reiterates that retaining staff is not a quick fix.  

‘Throwing money at people who want to leave is neither authentic nor smart. PEP helps people to lead with integrity, supporting teams to connect with the organisation’s goals and purpose, and developing new, more productive working habits. Meaningful work, undertaken using smart habits that lower stress, is what employees care about and why they will ultimately choose to stay or go.’

Find out how PEP can help you harness the power of working well by getting in contact with us here.