The public sector fares better than others when it comes to retaining staff. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's annual survey, the overall employee turnover rate for the UK is 16% while the public sector's rate is 10%.
Good news, but local government cannot afford to rest on its laurels. A recent LGC survey of human resources chiefs (LGC, 11 March) says high-calibre staff are proving difficult to find, so there's even more of a reason to retain your best staff . While pay in local government is always a bone of contention, a bigger wage is not the main reason for staff quitting their job.
On the other hand, frontline managers and their behaviour is crucial. A poor relationship with a line manager can be an important reason behind an individual leaving the organisation. A lack of training and development opportunities is also a major reason for losing good staff.
To retain staff, the institute recommends the following:
>>Give prospective employees a realistic job preview at the recruitment stage
>>Make line managers accountable for staff turnover in their teams
>>Maximise opportunities for individual employees to develop their skills
>>Ensure wherever possible that staff have a voice, through consultative bodies, regular appraisals, attitude surveys and grievance systems
>>When possible, accommodate individual preferences on working hours
>>Avoid making staff feel obliged to work longer hours than necessary to impress management
>>Provide job security
>>Never discriminate against employees on unfair grounds.