How to Attract and Retain Employees in Regina’s Buzzing Economy

3 min read

According to the most recent report card by Economic Development Regina Inc., our local economy is doing well, employment is up, and the unemployment rate, similar to the province of Saskatchewan overall, is down.  The job market favours job hunters, and they know it. That means companies have to work harder to attract the best, and to make sure the great people they already have aren’t tempted away by a better offer.  So, what can you do to attract and retain employees in Regina’s current economic climate? Employees are looking for a variety of things; creating the right mix is something that may vary among employees. Here are some top tips to retain employees in Regina.

Money talks

No-one can deny that salary can be a deal-breaker or a deal-maker for potential hires.  Managers should make sure to review salaries and do competitive market analysis. This will help make sure they’re offering an amount that matches the skill and experience levels they’re trying to attract.  However, small businesses and startups that can’t afford to pay as much as bigger companies shouldn’t despair. There are ways to negotiate and offer trade-offs that may meet the needs of potential hires. HR staff and managers just need to know how to sell them; they also need to be willing to find out what’s important to individual candidates and negotiate.

Offer Promotion and Development Opportunities

According to a survey by staffing agency Robert Half featured in Benefits Canada, a common employee retention tactic is to offer opportunities for professional development.  Some employees leave for a better salary, but many change jobs for career advancement opportunities and new challenges. To help keep employees in your workplace, employers can provide financial support for courses and workshops relevant to employees’ jobs or a role they’re aiming for. They could also coordinate training programs in the workplace to provide new skills. Companies should make sure to recognize the new skillsets and contributions staff make with opportunities for advancement or new responsibilities.

Supporting and Encouraging Vacation Time

Employee mental health and wellness, and productivity requires breaks, and many employees put a high priority on work life balance. Offering extra vacation time over the basic government requirement can definitely set you apart as an employer; while rewarding staff with more time off for the length of their service can encourage them to stick around.  More importantly, though, employers should create a culture that encourages using vacation time, and ensure that staff know the company views vacation time as critical to their wellbeing. Employees that feel guilty about getting away will lose the value of this important benefit.

Flexible Work Options

The internet has changed our lives, and in more and more workplaces, it’s creating opportunities for flexible approaches to work.  Many employees value being able to work from home some or all of the time to support family care, avoid commutes, or simply to get some focussed time away from office interruptions. Some staff might benefit from working an atypical schedule that fits better with their most productive time. While many employers may initially fear offering a flexible work schedule, in general, companies that take this plunge find that employees work harder, are happier, and are inclined to stick around.

Employee Benefits

According to a study done by and featured in Benefits Canada, one third of the people who said they plan to change jobs in the next 1-2 years were motivated by finding a better benefits package, among other factors. Most companies are aware that providing a benefits package makes them more competitive than a company that doesn’t have one; but there’s much more to it than that.  It’s helpful for companies to periodically examine their benefits package, explore new modern options in benefits, and even survey staff to find out if there’s something missing, or something unnecessary in the current offer. There are many ways a group benefits package can be adjusted to be more attractive, and they don’t necessarily equate to increased costs.

Making sure your team understands the value of what you offer

Maybe the wage you offer isn’t quite as high as somewhere else, but you have a great benefits plan that makes up the difference; Or you’re open to flexible work options, and you’ve got development opportunities available. The question is, are your managers and your employees aware of all these things?  Educating your staff about these extra perks, and sending updates about when and how to access them lets your staff know that you have their health, wellness, happiness, career growth, and job satisfaction in mind. For employees, knowing that they’re really valued goes a long way.

Attracting and retaining employees in Regina’s competitive job market takes a bit of creativity, but it’s well worth the effort; it can keep you top staff, and attract great new ones; it can save you money on training, and support your employees to be happier and more productive at work.  We hope these tips will make your business more appealing to potential hires and help you attract the best.  

If you think it’s time to re-evaluate your group benefits to make them more competitive, that’s our area of expertise. We’re here to support our Regina-based businesses.  Get in touch for help reviewing your employee benefits plan!