I’m spending lots of my time talking to clients and contacts about their people challenges at the minute. I’ll often run an update session with them and talk through various ‘hot topics’. The clear message from my HR contacts across a variety of sectors is that retaining and recruiting good people is tough in the current environment!
Here’s a few thoughts on how to help with this from an employment law perspective:
- Retaining good people involves keeping them happy (see more detail below) but it’s also possible to make them think twice about leaving if it’s difficult for them to do so! Restrictions on the activities they can carry out, or who they can work for after they leave, can be included in their employment contract and can be enforced if they’re well drafted. These can act as a deterrent to your people leaving or being poached by your competitors.
- If post termination restrictions come across as a bit negative, more positive incentives to stay like offering shares, retention bonuses, EMI schemes, or training schemes, can add to an employee’s reasons to stay with your business.
- Keep pay and benefits under review. The ‘war on talent’ means better paid roles are likely to available elsewhere, but money isn’t everything to everyone. What other benefits and flexibility are you able to offer? Are you emphasising them to your existing staff and potential recruits?
- Focus on ‘engagement’ – generally a bit fluffy for us employment lawyers but important. How bought into your values are your workforce? What do they think of where they work? What do they think could be improved at work?
- If you’re actively pursuing new recruits don’t be caught out by restrictive covenants they may have which try to prevent them from joining you, or restrict their activities when they’re working with you. Take some legal advice – there’s often a way to navigate through the restrictions to your advantage and you and your new employee being sued for a breach isn’t much fun!
- Treat your people fairly – this should be common sense, and everyone has a different perspective on things that go on in the workplace, but this goes a long way towards people being happy at work and sticking around!
If you would like to discuss this or any other Employment & HR issue, or would like us to run an update session for you or your team covering things to look out for in HR / employment law, please contact Nic Elliott on 0115 9 100 253 or click here to send an email.
Posted on June 28, 2019