Employee Retention

28 July 2011

Many Dubai companies experience high employee turnover rates and cannot afford to ignore some of the basics of employee retention if they are to retain a competitive advantage. Recruitment and training of replacements is expensive and productivity from them takes time. There is also a cost issue involved with severance packages if the employee has resigned after a successful probationary period. High turnover of staff can have an impact on staff morale. Undoubtedly effective recruitment can mitigate some of the reasons your company is not retaining staff. It is easy to siphon out those who are only applying to hone their skills before moving on during interview ( if they aren’t weeded out before due to job history) by asking the right questions , but does your company continue communicating effectively with employees past a short induction course?

With a predominantly multi-cultural expatriate work force the need to effectively communicate and listen to employees becomes even more paramount. Companies that retain their employees may have the following practices:-

  • Recognition and rewarding of good performance.
  • Mentorship programmes to challenge and support employees.
  • Information sharing.
  • An understanding of change management, sharing decision making.
  • Clearly defined job roles.
  • Opportunity for professional/personal development and career progression.
  • Flexible work hours
  • An inclusive, safe, open and ethical work environment
  • Focus on good leadership and coaching attitudes.
  • Support staff with the resources they need to carry out their function.
  • Have Middle Management that provide a framework for employee success.
  • Clear knowledge of the skills, creativity and experience of staff.
  • Solicit staff feedback through focus groups, evaluation etc.
  • Conduct exit interviews to find out key reasons for employee dissatisfaction.
  • Are prepared to dismiss demotivational managers who consistently fail to motivate their teams.

Today’s employees place value on quality of life, flexibility, a challenging career and a sensible life/work balance.To avoid the hidden costs of high staff turnover companies in Dubai need to firmly address retention as part of their Strategic Planning. Philip Parker, former Chairman with TEC International, the world’s largest coaching organisation and business strategist commented:-

“It is a well worn cliché that employees are a company’s most vital asset. The force of this axiom is increasingly apparent in our knowledge driven world where enterprises are reliant on a skilled, educated workforce to sustain their competitiveness. Any Dubai company that fails to appreciate this essential asset and does not embrace a range of measures to promote the long term retention of its key people cannot expect to be effective competitors and will not be seen as employers of choice. Unless Dubai HR policies place employee retention at the top of their agenda those companies’ very ability to survive will come into question.”

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