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Do you have an effective retention strategy in your workplace?

Written by Emily Johnson, Psychologist, MAPS on 12/08/2014 11:05:00 AM 0 Comment
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The new financial year is not only a time for completing tax; as the first six months ticks over many people also start to reassess their careers and look for greener pastures. So how do you create a winning retention strategy that’s not going to cost you the earth? Why not use Bartercard to help you retain staff?


Employees leave businesses for numerous reasons. The best way to ascertain these reasons is through exit interviews. By conducting exit interviews business owners become aware of their staff’s concerns and are able to go some way to fixing problems and making changes. Employees could have individual concerns such as a lack of job satisfaction, wanting a higher salary, a lack of external motivation, or they could want to leave due to environmental reasons such as a lack of a stimulating working environment, or the location of the business. In addition conflict between workmates, a low morale, and a lack of leadership, training, support and systems can also contribute to staff turnover.

It is suggested that business owners learn what makes individuals stay in the job and what drives retention to reduce their staff turnover. One model to consider, that provides a strategy for this, is known as the ‘job embeddedness’ model. Job embeddedness involves connecting employees through numerous strands to his or her job, community and environment. Effectively, you as an employer need to get your employees to ‘stick’ to the business by creating social, psychological and financial attachments to the workplace. It is no longer enough to simply assess if an individual has the skills or will to do a job; a more holistic view needs to be implemented to retain staff.

Job embeddedness can be work related and non work related and it involves an individual’s attachment to an organisation through different aspects. These work and non-work domains are categorised into three types of attachment – fit, links and sacrifices. The table below details each attachment.

Attachment                         Explanation
- Organization fit                   - An employee’s fit within an organization
- Community fit                     - An employee’s fit with a community
- Organization links              - An employee’s connections with people in the organisation
- Community links                - An employee’s connections with people in the community
- Organisation sacrifice        - What an employee gives up when leaving the organisation
- Community sacrifice          - What an employee gives up when leaving the community


Bartercard can assist business owners enhance employee’s attachments through creative means. For example to assist with Organisation fit, and Organisational links, you could:

• Hire a Psychologist or a Human resources consultant on Bartercard to assist with your recruitment. These specialists are able to work with you to devise a recruitment system and retention strategy that will firstly attract and thereafter retain your staff.

• You could decorate your office using Bartercard suppliers (for example, plant hire, painter and decorator, soft furnishings, office furniture etc) to create a pleasant stimulating working environment.

• You could upgrade your business equipment on Bartercard (for example, computers, software, phone systems, kitchen equipment etc.) to create a modern working environment conducive to productive employees.

• Following this you could run regular team building events using one of the many options available to you on Bartercard. Team building can assist with team morale and team synergy. Team building ideas on Bartercard could include, skirmish and paint balling, go karting, ten pin bowling, horse riding, martial art classes, and dining out including dinner boat cruises.

Detailed below are some strategies and ideas of Organisational scarifies that you could implement which your employees would be loathed to give up:

• Incorporate Bartercard Trade Dollars into your employees’ wage and encourage regular spending to assist your employees save cash on their personal expenses.

• Pay for products and services as fringe benefits on Bartercard for your staff. For example, laptops, mobile phones, childcare fees, company car, and car detailing (N.B> All salary sacrificing items must be included in your employees Payment summary – if fringe benefits tax (FBT) is attached.)

• Pay for a weekend away or holiday on Bartercard as reward for one of your staff members.

• Pay for personal expenses on Bartercard for example, hire a personal trainer, pay for a gym membership, cooking lessons, art classes, and dance or golf tuition.

• Pay for business training on Bartercard for example, computer and internet training, business training/coaching, driving or defensive driving lessons.

Listed below are a few ideas to assist you to create Community fit, Links to the community, and Community sacrifices in your business:

• Whilst you have the option to donate Bartercard trade dollars to a local charity, association, or sporting club and receive a tax deduction, have you thought about donating staff hours as well? Your staff could receive the benefit of being involved in a good cause, widen their network of contacts and achieve a sense of self fulfilment by getting involved in something they wouldn’t ordinarily have the time or energy for outside of work hours. This doesn’t have to be an extended period of time, perhaps even a couple of hours a month.

• Hold networking events and invite local businesses to create your own local business community. Pay for the decorations, entertainment, food and wine on Bartercard.

• Contribute toward a local council environmental initiative by purchasing plants, trees, and shrubs from a Bartercard nursery. Donate the shrubbery and your staffs’ time to help plant the trees etc.


For further ideas, please refer to the videos on the ‘How to use Bartercard’ page http://www.bartercard.com.au/What+is+Bartercard/How+to+use+Bartercard.html


Written by Emily Johnson, Psychologist
Email: emily.johnson1@uqconnect.edu.au
Mobile: 0413 737 191.

Further information on job embeddedness.
Ramesh A, & Gelfand, M. (2010). Will they stay or will they go? The role of job embeddedness in predicting turnover in individualistic and collectivistic cultures. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 5, 807-823.
Mitchell, T. R., Holtom, B. C., & Lee, T. W. (2001). How to keep your best employees: Developing an effective retention policy. Academy of Management Executive, 4, 96–108.

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Topics: 3 Steps, Organisational links, Job embeddedness, Retain your staff, Job satisfaction, Community sacrifices, Community fit, Organisation fit, Organisational scarifies

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