Kym Krey

What do you think attracts potential new staff to a role?

Money? Sure, that’s part of it. In addition to the reputation of the brand and opportunities to grow, research shows that at this early stage, it’s mostly salary and benefits that draw them to you, BUT that’s definitely not what keeps them there. #retention

If you want your best people to stay, it’s also going to take a positive and supportive work environment, development opportunities and an attractive career path, involvement in team decision-making and feeling that their manager genuinely values and appreciates them and wants them to succeed.  

Deep down, we all crave that feeling of being valued for who we are and what we bring to the team. We want to feel that what we do is important and makes a difference. It has to be so much more than ‘just a job’.

In years gone by, the mindset of, ‘You should be grateful to have a job!’ may have cut it…..but not anymore. Many industries are perilously understaffed with qualified, skilled team members and with staff performance so closely linked to workplace culture, we must shift our mindset and approach as leaders we want to attract and retain the best people around and have them performing at their best.

As employers, we recruit staff to perform a specific role or function and to fulfil business needs, but that’s no longer where it ends. Today’s workforce look for growth; for opportunities; for challenges. They’ll go above and beyond but they want you to as well. They want you to be the kind of inspirational leader they want to follow, to be like, to learn from. They also bring needs and wants which, if ignored, may have them looking for another role soon enough with ‘loyalty’ meaning different things to our younger generations.

Repetition is another red flag. If their role sees them doing mostly the same thing every day, over and over again, there’s a good chance a high-performer will only do that for so long before they get bored and distracted. You need to build in variety or challenge by multi-skilling; upskilling and possibly allowing them to take responsibility for specific areas or people once they’ve proven themselves consistently.

If they’re great at a particular role, let them be ‘in charge’ of it, make decisions about how to improve it and give them the responsibility of training others to do it as new staff come along.

And finally, keep checking in with them at your monthly/quarterly reviews to see how they’re enjoying their work. If you sense signs of boredom it may be time to offer them a new challenge. I know it suits US to have them doing that job forever- particularly if they’re great at it- but if they’re not happy, we’ll lose them anyway. Wouldn’t you rather keep a great person on your team in a different role than lose them completely?

Clear, regular and open communication is a common trait of many high performing teams and an essential factor in getting great results. Openly discussing problems that have occurred in a non-threatening way and inviting ideas on how to improve or prevent these increases engagement while also strengthening your systems and practices. 

It’s not about making someone ‘wrong’, it’s about making sure the whole team learns from the situation and becomes stronger as a result. If you’re making all the decisions and they’re just told what to do, you’re in the staff turnover danger zone. The key to their commitment is their INVOLVEMENT. You still get to make the final call on big decisions, but they need to feel that they have a say & that you want to hear their thoughts.

Kym Krey is a specialist Leadership Mentor working with business owners and managers to become inspiring leaders and get real results through their teams. Contact her at