Resignations, workplace perks & staff retention .
Did you return to work in January to find a white envelope on your desk? The start of a new year often prompts change and there are probably a few lettings directors and property managers out there smarting over a resignation letter (or two).
If an envelope on your desk has rocked your team dynamic, or the thought of an employee handing in their notice leaves you in a panic, it might be time to think about your business operation.
HR managers and business owners who successfully retain staff have probably given careful thought to employee benefits – those little perks that keep moral high and team members loyal. Professional, experienced and qualified property personnel are hard to find so it’s worth holding on to the ones you do have – we should know, as we work hard to attract the very best lettings professionals to our outsource business. Rewarding staff with more than just a monthly salary is the key to retention and some lateral thinking might make you the employer everyone wants to work for.
In days gone by a gilt-edged pension and car allowance was standard when it came to employee perks but every-day benefits – those that make a difference on a weekly basis rather than in the long term – can pay the biggest dividends.
Some suggestions include:
- Continually stocking the fridge with food and drink so employees can make their own lunch at no expense. You could even have a weekly food shop delivered to your office door.
- Paying for a monthly team breakfast or lunch, fostering a good office spirit
- A pass for a local gym or a de-stressing massage paid for every staff member once a month
- One ‘leave work early’ or ‘start work late’ IOU for every team member, every four weeks
- A choice of training/courses, to be taken every six months
- A compressed hours option for staff – handy if you have extended opening hours and workers with children
- A commission structure that is regularly reviewed to keep staff motivated
- Commission-sharing – to include administration and weekend staff
Some of the best benefits are small but regular gestures; those that improve the skill set of staff and perks that help employees with time management. Of course, these ideas all need an investment from management but recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming exercise, with the pool of genuine property talent seemingly smaller and smaller every year.
It’s better to concentrate efforts on your best staff and treat them like VIPs on a daily basis. Consider outsourcing elements of the business if someone resigns or retires. Outsourcing will often save businesses money, which can be ploughed back into staff benefits.
* Simon Duve is the Managing Director of ARPM Outsourced Lettings Support