How to retain your best people


HR IN PRACTICE: Hiring the best people can be tough enough—keeping them can be even tougher.

Knowing what employees look for in their ideal jobs is the first step towards encouraging them to stay with your business. A 2013 global survey undertaken by global management consulting firm Kelly Services identified four main factors employees are looking for in their employer of choice:

  • location (as this impacts on commuting time/cost and work–life balance)
  • brand and reputation
  • culture
  • financial performance.

Flexible working arrangements and a ’fun’ culture are also particularly sought after. Strong leadership and innovation are the factors that strongly influence business reputation while culture and work–life balance are linked to personal fulfilment.

In summarising the Kelly Services survey, employees are keen to seek employers that have inviting and supportive cultures plus greater employment stability. The greatest challenge for existing employers in retaining staff is showing greater interest in the employee; this attentiveness addresses concerns about stability and reinforces the employee’s role as being important.

The role of direct managers on employees’ level of work satisfaction and engagement cannot be underestimated. There’s an old saying ‘people leave managers, not organisations’. This means that the manager’s role goes far beyond just setting key performance indicators, and disciplining and rewarding employees.

This is an edited extract from HR in Practice’s ‘How to retain your best people’, a guide that provides strategies for retaining your best employees. The HR in Practice workplace relations advisory service is operated by Wentworth Advantage for APA Business Group members. 

For more information on the benefits of joining the Business group, email or call 1300 306 622.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is general comment and is not intended as advice on any particular matter, nor should it be relied on as a substitute for legal or professional advice. Wentworth Advantage Pty Ltd expressly disclaim all and any liability to any persons whatsoever in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance whether in whole or in part upon any of the contents of this publication.


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