4 Ways to Improve Skills Retention Within Your Small Business

By Sam Thomas | 12th September 2016 | 14 min read

Skills retention is an ever-growing concern for businesses with staff turnover becoming ever higher. How do you ensure experience is retained?

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The accepted stereotype is that the millennial generation ‘job hop’ from one position to another, and whilst this is currently being debated with industry experts, it often brings forward the issue of skills retention within businesses. Skills retention, as the name suggests, is the process of ensuring that experience and knowledge are safeguarded within a business for future employees to make use of. In recent years, skills retention had become a buzz phrase within HR circles, but it is something that human resource departments across the world are now starting to pay attention to.

Below are four ways to help improve skills retention within your company:

1. Hire Retainable Employee

Elissa Tucker, Human Capital Management Knowledge Specialist at APQC, suggests that there is often a communication flaw between HR, Managers, and the top performers within a company when identifying what is required from new starters. She states that because of this, inbound employees are not always capable of thriving within your company environment and as such, often leave early into the role. With proper communication, you can nail down exactly what is required from a new starter's skills and experience, all the way down to how they fit-in with your company culture, to help ensure that they settle-in and perform well.

2. Get to the Bottom of Underperfomance

All employees go through phases where performance drops, but identifying this early and working with the employee helps retention. An employee who once was a top performer, but is now going through a rough patch obviously has the skills to succeed, they’ve demonstrated this before. Putting pressure on them to get back to the level they once were could end up driving them out, along with the experience and skills they’ve built-up. Work with the employee and get to the bottom of the slump, it’s often temporary.

3. Incentivise!

Performance-related positions have found that incentives in the workplace are a great way of helping staff turnover. The idea is simple, in addition to a salary and employee benefits, having ad-hoc incentive schemes in place stand as a reminder that high performance is valued and recognised. This goes a long way to helping employees feel like their employer is a great place to work.

4. Manage Skills Distribution and Training Online

Businesses are finding that having a system in place to manage skills is a quick and easy way to help ensure they don’t lose out when employees leave. You can keep track of key skills and make sure they’re recorded and a list of employees with those skills is regularly updated, this way you can identify if you’re facing a shortfall.

Self-Service HR Software for Small Businesses

Although known for payroll, IRIS also offer flexible, user friendly HR software for businesses, the brand new IRIS HR. Ideal for small businesses, IRIS HR enables you to use the features that are critical to your business without having to pay for functionality you don’t need.

IRIS HR includes a number of essential self-service features that will help to comply with employment legislation, reduce your admin and improve how you manage your workforce and the skills you hold internally.

If you’re serious about skills retention, book your free, no-obligation software demonstration of IRIS HR and learn how it can help safeguard your business.

Book My IRIS HR Demo