Mar 19

You've recruited the right people, now you need to keep them

Posted: 11 March 2019

Lindsey Hanson, Recruitment and Retention Project Manager, outlines some key areas employers could focus on to help retain their staff.

Once you’ve found the right people with the right values for your organisation, how do you keep them? 67% of job leavers move into other roles in the sector[1], so you need to find ways to retain your skilled staff.

Low retention rates can have a negative impact on your organisation and risk the level of care and support you provide to those accessing your services. Valuing and investing in your staff helps keep them and contributes to high quality care, time and resource savings and positive CQC ratings.     

In our ‘Secrets of success’ research, employers told us that the main activities contributing to staff retention were:

Lindsay's article infographic

In further research[2], staff rated that ‘feeling valued by the organisation for the role they do’ as one of the top reasons why they stay. Below are some key areas that employers could focus on to help retain their staff.


Create a positive place to work 

A positive workplace culture and feeling valued are important for staff to gain a sense of belonging and loyalty to their employer. If you recruited your staff using a values-based approach, then your environment should reflect the same throughout. 

Regular open and honest two-way communication helps develop a positive culture where staff feel their views are listened to and acted upon. Helping ensure staff feel supported and included, shows they are valuable members of the workplace and will increase retention rates in the long-term.

Top resource: our online Culture toolkit can help you create a sense of identity, understand your values and develop a positive workplace culture.


Invest in learning and development

Providing employees with the opportunity to learn new skills, expand their knowledge or gain further qualifications can increase morale which contributes to staff retention. 94% of employers in a recent report saw a positive impact on staff retention as a result of investing in learning and development.   

 To be an 'outstanding' care provider [means providing] a secure happy environment where staff can be themselves and grow and develop.

Chestnut Grove Rest House, residential care provider


Join I Care…Ambassadors

You could sign up staff to become I Care… Ambassadors, who inspire and motivate others about starting a career in care. 83% of care workers felt more motivated in their work having become an I Care…Ambassador

This provides staff with the opportunity to learn new skills and gives them a sense of pride. Getting the opportunity to talk openly and enthusiastically about their role reinforces what employees love about their job, which helps to motivate them.

For me personally, being an I Care…Ambassador has given me the opportunity to remember why I came to work in care, and why I stay…

Ruth Daynes, I Care…Ambassador for Leading Lives in Suffolk

Find out more about joining the I Care…Ambassador initiative: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/ICA

Top resource: our learning and development area can help employers find what opportunities are available for both staff and managers and create a culture in your organisation that champions continued development and improvement.


Value yourself and the wellbeing of your staff

It’s important for employers to support the health and wellbeing of their staff to build resilience. This helps staff to cope better under pressure, protecting their mental and physical health.

Simply enhancing the benefits and support you offer can help you to retain staff, improve their health and help them value themselves, their role and you as an employer.

Ideas such as:

  • having an employee scheme, such as a confidential counselling call line
  • creating an organisational resilience toolkit
  • offering discounts on massages, health activities, gym memberships
  • being mindful and supportive of a good work/life balance.

Find out how Sue Caslake from Independent Lives used their workforce development fund to improve employee wellbeing. Staff reported they felt calmer, more confident and better able to deal with stress.

Top resources: 

  • Find some practical ideas and guides on how to support staff resilience here.
  • Join our registered manager membership to access our ‘Wellbeing guide for registered managers’. Find out more here.


Value your staff through rewarding and recognising good work

It’s good practice to have a culture that recognises and appreciates work well done. Celebrating achievements goes a long way to improving staff retention.

Whether it’s giving out praise, or implementing reward and recognition schemes, or entering local or national awards, it’s important to consider what can be done to make staff feel respected and valued for their contribution.

Top resource: our ‘Good and Outstanding’ care guide has examples from high quality providers who value and reward their staff in many ways.   


This month we’re focussing on the importance of developing and valuing staff to retain them. Find out more here. Follow the campaign on social media using #CareToRetain.

[1] The state of the adult social care workforce report, 2018

[2] Recruitment and retention issues in the adult social care workforce in Devon, 2017 (updated in 2018)