Catch and keep: Finding and retaining top employees


Most businesses revolve around two groups of people: customers (or users, clients, consumers – whatever you choose to call them) and staff.

Many would argue that if you have a strong, passionate team, it will feed the ever-important customer-base and lead to a successful business. In fact, a study by Gallup shows that highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales, thus resulting in 21% greater profitability for the business.

We interact with hundreds of businesses each year, and one of the recurring qualms, no matter size or industry, is finding good staff. And of course, when you do, holding onto them.

What you can do about it

A useful strategy for attracting and retaining staff that we often speak about is the implementation of Employee Share Schemes (ESS), or Employee Share Option Plans (ESOP). Our experts recently presented on ESS at our Wednesdays With Redchip event, providing an overview of some of the key considerations and benefits to both employers and employees of these plans. We have also previously published information about these plans, but it’s worth reiterating given the current climate.

An ESS can help business owners:

  • Develop plans to retain key staff
  • Grow profits
  • Engage key staff in a discussion about enterprise value
  • Develop succession plans

Why is this important now?

In July, ANZ released an insights paper showing that while job vacancies had increased 3% over the preceding 12 months, job advertisements had fallen by 5.6%. Previously it would be expected that these two industry markers would correlate, with employers relying on job ads to fill their vacant positions.

The unusual split indicates a shift in the way employers are recruiting, turning to direct methods such as social media, word-of-mouth networks and head hunting over traditional advertising. As more businesses take this direct approach to recruitment, there is an increased risk that your top staff will be poached by a competitor.

If such a time comes, have you thought about what your business has in place to stop them saying “yes”?

Ensuring a swing and a miss for poachers

As much as they may like to, not all businesses can afford to pay their team at the top of the pay scale. This can make it difficult to compete with bigger franchises or high-end corporates for the cream of the crop in talent.

As such, smart businesses are looking at alternative forms of compensation to satisfy their employees. For example, the 2018 Mercer Global Talent Trends report indicates that 51% of employees want their company to offer more flexible work options and the wave of businesses getting onboard is ever-increasing.

An ESS will not necessarily be the right fit for every business but in the right circumstances it will drive motivation and “stickiness” amongst your top performers. In 2015, tax incentives were brought in for companies under 10 years of age and with an aggregated turnover of under $50 million, making ESS an even more accessible and enticing option for young businesses to help them compete with the larger end of town.

Contact us if you’d like further information on ESS or an obligation free discussion about what might be right for your business.

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