Ideas to retain valuable staff

Below are our top low-cost and high-impact staff retention tools. To get the most out of this guide, use it together with the video of insights from our co-founders Geoff Balmer and David Landau.

Please find the full video transcript available at the bottom of this page.

Whether you’re a small or large business, there are a few great low cost, high impact staff retention tools that you can implement into your company. From formal feedback loops to creating iniatives to recognise achievements, these tools can help to create an engaged and productive workplace.

Here's a list of our top low cost staff retention tools:

  • Get to know your staff outside of the office and keep the conversation informal. For instance, grab a quick coffee and see how your employees are feeling about their job.
  • Gain regular feedback from your staff because each person will have different ideas and suggestions that can be helpful for the progression of your business.
  • Give recognition to your employees, even a simple “hey, great job!” can make a big difference. Promoting people internally is a great motivator for employees. 
  • Be aware of people becoming burned out within your team and take action if you see someone who is stressed out or notice a change in someone's behaviour. If this is the case, encourage that person to take some time off. 
  • Utilise the skills of people in your company and let your employees shine, otherwise your employees could begin to lose interest or get bored.
  • Offering formal or informal mentor programs is a great way to encourage better team interaction and professional development. 
  • Promote a healthy work/life balance, because it will create a positive and healthy work environment. During the quieter times, encourage people to take a holiday or some time off.


When you give recognition to your employees and give them a chance to grow professionally, they’re more likely to stay in your company long-term. As well as this, rewarding high performers and encouraging your team can be a good boost for employee performance. Remember, happy employees, are the most productive workers!

If you'd like more hiring advice and resources, take a look at our toolkit, or the other topics below.

Useful resources:

Hear advice from the Richard Lloyd Directors, Geoff Balmer and David Landau

How to Structure Your First Interview
Key Interview Questions for an Interviewer to Ask
How to Get to the Truth in Interviews
Avoiding Common Hiring Mistakes

Video transcript

Geoff: This video is all about low-cost, high-impact staff retention tools.

David: My advice is to get to know your staff outside of the office environment. By that, I'm not suggesting you're going to meet up at the weekend for breakfast. However, what I am suggesting is go out for a coffee away from the desks. Really, take in on a more informal level. You're far more likely to get the truth as to how they're feeling about their job, how they're feeling about the culture.

Geoff: Get to know their frustrations, get to know what they're struggling with, get to know how they're hitting their goals or their KPIs, and understand what learning or development is needed to really get the best out of your staff.

David: And perhaps any ideas that they might have that could really contribute towards the better working of your team.

Geoff: Gaining regular feedback from staff is really important to the success of the team. Some of your team members may have great ideas. They may give you some different opinions or some different perspectives on what you're currently doing. So actually hearing from the grassroots what's going on can be a really valuable tool for you.

David: This can help you spot any dissatisfaction and really understand frustrations that might be happening within the team that you might be completely oblivious to. The thing to remember, though, is if you're going to ask for feedback, you've really got to be willing to take it on board and action it as well.

Recognition isn't just low cost, it's free. How hard is it to say, "Thanks for that great piece of work?" You can do that in public. You can do that in private. But bear in mind, if you praise in public, you're more likely to drive the core values that you want the rest of the team to demonstrate, and generally, people would really appreciate it and aspire to be like that person who you're heaping that praise on.

Geoff: Many companies hire people for a very specific job, however, you'll find in your team you have a real range of skills you're not fully utilising.

David: If they're not being utilised, chances are they are going to start getting bored. So take the time out to have a chat, and understand what are they capable of. Because of what you learned about them in the interview or what they had on their CV, you might be missing some key points that could really help you and the wider team.

Geoff: Promoting people internally is a really powerful thing to do. Not only does it send a message to the staff to say, "There is a career for me here at this employer," but secondly, you'll find that you've got a lot of great knowledge that your employees have picked up along the way. Utilise that knowledge, keep it in your teams, and promote them into the positions that they are suitable for.

David: A number of candidates that come to see us cite their reason for wanting to move as "There is a lack of internal career progression opportunities." Now, if you have that person working in your team who's worked for you for a few years and has all that internal knowledge, surely, it would be a better look for the rest of the team to see someone who's worked hard getting promoted and progressing up the ranks than going out and recruiting someone fresh who will have to learn the company, the industry, and potentially the role from scratch.

Be aware of burnout within the team. By knowing your staff, you'll be able to spot if there are any different behaviours, if there are increased stress levels, or, you know, they're treating people differently. When you do spot that, encourage a holiday. Encourage them to take some time out.

Geoff: You want to maintain a healthy work-life balance. So there will be busy times and there will be quiet times. And it's worthwhile noticing those and making sure that when your staff if have worked hard and it's a quiet time, they're taking a bit of extra time off.

David: This will help foster an open culture and encourage teamwork, not just with yourself, but with the wider group that reports to you.

Geoff: To find out more information, go to the Richard Lloyd website, and under the employer page, there's the hiring manager toolkit.

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