Low Cost and ‘No Cost’ Staff Retention Strategies

All businesses can benefit from putting in place simple and practical strategies to help retain staff, whether you run a global multi-national company or a growing SME.

While many businesses let staff go during the GFC, the next 6-12 months are likely to see another skill shortage and employers scrambling to both attract and retain key talent.

A great staff retention strategy can provide any business with benefits such as:

  • Reduction in staff turnover
  • Reduced recruitment and training costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction in sick leave, absenteeism and theft
  • Increased business profitability

Retention strategies are not just about tossing freebies around, they are a sound commercial decision that, if done correctly, will make your business more profitable.

With support from the Australian Government’s Enterprise Connect initiative, Vantage Human Capital is holding free seminars throughout Queensland from October to December. I’ll be running these seminars, to provide SMEs with practical tools to create their own low or no cost staff retention plans.


Great staff retention tips

As a sneak preview to the seminar content, here are some staff retention tips:

1.    Recruitment: Examine your current staff. Are some people outstanding in their jobs? What type of people seem to enjoy your workplace, what common values do they have with your business? It’s important to create a clear picture of the type of person who will thrive in your business and sometimes the best person isn’t always the most highly qualified. Putting real forethought into the skills, values and personality of people you recruit gives you have a higher chance of getting a good match and being able to retain them. This is crucial, because the process of replacing someone who leaves costs the equivalent of their salary for a year.

2.    Culture: What culture will create the most effective, productive environment for your business and ensure an enjoyable working experience for staff? What type of environment do your staff want to work in and what do they love/hate about work? It is essential to do a confidential employee survey to get feedback about the workplace. I’ve seen many workplaces waste money on failed initiatives because staff were just not interested. Know what makes your staff tick.

3.    Plan and Budget: Based on your knowledge of the business, decide on a retention initiative budget that is realistic and achievable. It’s possible to spend little, or even no money, if you think creatively and have a sound understanding of your people (come to the seminar to learn more on this). One of the biggest reasons for failure is simple – there was no plan. Write down your goals, timeframe and how you are going to do it.

4.    Measure: Give your initiatives time to work. You can use simple HR metrics such as staff turnover, absenteeism or morale as a measure. It’s vital to measure how effective your strategies have been. A culture survey at the 6 month mark enables you to see how your changes have affected employee perception – and also shows staff that you want their input (every staff member wants to feel their opinion is valued in the workplace).


Wed Nov 24, 8.30am – 10.30am Townsville, Jupiters Townsville

Thu Nov 25, 8.30am – 10.30am Mackay, Mackay Entertainment Convention Centre

Fri Nov 26, 8:30am – 10:30am Gladstone, Quest Serviced Apartments

Tue Nov 30, 8.30am – 10.30am Toowoomba, Picnic Point

Wed Dec 1, 8.30am – 10.30am Brisbane South, Brisbane Technology Park

Tue Dec 7, 8.30am – 10.30am Brisbane CBD, Brisbane Polo Club

Thu Dec 9, 8.30am – 10.30am Brisbane North, Kedron Wavell Services Club

To RSVP contact Tahlia Reid on (07) 3229 5750 or email your name, title, company and contact number to

Vantage Human Capital’s free seminars will cover:

  • The importance of recruiting the right staff
  • Low and no cost HR initiatives that improve your overall business profitability
  • HR initiatives that are relevant for your business and provide the best return on investment.
  • Providing you with the tools to create your own retention strategy – and giving you free access to a consultant (via phone and e-mail) for two weeks after the seminar to help you formulate a retention strategy for your business.

Hope to see you at the seminars – I’d also love to hear your comments about great staff retention tips that have worked for your business.

Kate Klease is an executive at Vantage Human Capital, a specialist recruitment and human resources consulting firm that helps ensure clients have appropriate strategies in place to successfully retain, motivate and manage their people. 


About Enterprise Connect

Enterprise Connect is a $50 million a year Australian Government initiative that provides support to eligible Australian small and medium sized businesses. Services include a free Business Review for eligible businesses and grant assistance to implement its recommendations. For more information visit or call 131 791.

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