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The fashion industry and talent retention.

Working in the fashion industry can not only be exciting and hugely satisfying, it can also be at times extremely tough. This is true of any worth while dream; the fashion industry is certainly no different.

Who you work with can be extremely important to your success and talent retention is, quite simply, the most cost-saving service a human resources team can deliver in an organisation. Staff are your company’s most precious resource and retaining experienced employees is crucial to its success. Retaining talent saves time, money and managerial effort in respect of:

  • Recruitment – using external agencies is costly. However, even if you do your hiring in-house, there will still be fees incurred in advertising on job sites, etc. Not to mention the time spent by key members of staff in the various stages of recruitment.
  • Induction – a period of induction when the new hire is basically learning (and also benefitting from the time of other employees) is fundamental to them being able to become productive as soon as possible. Furthermore, it can take a new person up to 8 months to reach full productivity
  • Development – many companies spend a great deal of money on training individuals, only for them to then walk away, and for another organisation to then benefit from their upgraded skills and qualifications
  • Company knowledge – the loss of company awareness, expertise and insight is almost impossible to replace

So why do employees leave? A recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Half suggested the following top reasons:

  • Boredom
  • Frustration with current role or company
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Stagnant career prospects

Finally, how might an organisation retain the best employees? There are a number of strategies that savvy companies should be employing to keep their top talent:

  • Create a contented culture – people don’t expect to be happy 24-7 at work, but neither do they want to spent 8 or more hours a day in a stressful, negative, dull or stagnant environment
  • Offer the opportunity to gain new skills and more varied experiences – whether through training, mentoring (giving or receiving) or volunteering for a charity supported by the company
  • Listen to your employees – at annual review time (and in between) find out what your members of staff truly enjoy about the company/role and what changes they might like to see. Create an open and honest work environment where communication is clear and two-way
  • Offer personalisation and flexibility – while some individuals might be inspired by more money and incentive-based perks, others might value opportunities to study or flexible career progress. Ensure visible fairness at all times, to maintain morale and motivation
  • Allow staff to have a say – whether it’s a change to rules and benefits, or a new line the company is launching, get the input of the employees, so they know their views are valued. Solicit ideas and foster free discussion
  • Embrace career progression – acknowledge that your employees may want to move up the career ladder. Allow them to work towards this without sacrificing their commitment to the day job. This also allows you to proactively plan for succession and grow your own future leaders
  • Develop a growth-based culture – one that incorporates employee satisfaction as a business objective. Focus on growth at all levels, support employees to develop new skills and allow staff to move around within the organisation.

A leading team of HR specialists, BIRCH HR support members of the education, health and SME sectors by providing insightful HR consultancy services leading to effective solutions and cost savings. They work with organisations to manage HR policies, procedures and day-to-day challenges in the most proactive, straightforward and cost-effective manner. Their professional services result in organisational growth, positive change, cost reductions and improvements in recruitment, retention, management and leadership. Visit the website to find out more http://birch-hr.co.uk

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