Staff retention: a good practice checklist

Male nurse putting sling on patient

We have pulled together this good practice checklist, which focuses on 10 key areas, to help you to think logically about the many factors which impact on retention.

1) Know your workforce through your use of data. A retention strategy based on local and recent intelligence about what matters to the workforce is much more likely to succeed. It is important to review organisation-wide workforce data and for managers to be able to drill down into this by department and team to review, compare and learn. 

Trusts have access to a range of information and intelligence that can be used to inform plans. Tools such as the Electronic Staff Record (ESR), e-rostering records, caseload data, feedback and complaints, and exit interviews all provide rich sources of information that can help you to understand how your staff experience the workplace.

Gather and use data and intelligence from the following sources:

Use some of the data sets identified to help you track trends, highlight where additional detail from an area may be needed or where something is working well so that you can look to replicate it.

2) Engage board members to gain their commitment to developing the workforce and improving retention. Planning is essential and action plans can help to communicate and deliver outcomes and outputs. Some trusts have appointed a steering group to oversee actions plans and ensure their delivery. 

3) Review the effectiveness of your staff engagement plans and activity and test whether your engagement and communication routes with managers around people management issues are effective.

4) Review recruitment processes, induction and preceptorship.

5) Consider how values are used in your recruitment processes and throughout the entire employee life cycle.

6) Review your health, work and wellbeing strategy and its effectiveness.

7) Review your approach to talent management and development. 

8) Look at whether your e-rostering practices are compatible with encouraging flexible working.

9) Review your approach to flexible retirement options.

10) Understand the impact of your activity. Build time and measures into your retention plan to enable you to reflect on what has and hasn't worked.

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