Expert Insight

Retaining talent: Firm reveals its key to keeping a strong workforce

Retaining talent: Firm reveals its key to keeping a strong workforce

The right team can mean the difference between success and failure but once you’ve found your star employees, how do you keep hold of them? Paul Bibby, managing director of Liverpool’s MSB Solicitors, says respect and shared ethics are key.

Words by Christine Toner | Sponsored content 

If you’re starting a new job and you want to get an idea about what it’s like to work for your new company, taking a look at its employee retention numbers is not a bad place to start. While some industries are more likely to have high employee turnover rates, if the company’s turnover resembles a revolving door you might want to start questioning your decision.

Any good business owner knows the secret to a company’s success is not only to attract the right people but to keep hold of them. And if a firm is regularly losing its best employees it’s clear something is going wrong.

Paul Bibby is managing partner at MSB Solicitors – a firm which prides itself on its high retention rate.

“[Our secret] has to be that MSB employees feel valued and know that we will do everything possible to help them progress their careers,” he says. “We’ve always prided ourselves in being fair to everyone, which isn’t the same as being arbitrarily generous but ensures that no one feels disadvantaged. We promote social values, which in turn guarantees client empathy.”

The benefits of creating and maintaining a good team are plentiful. Getting your workforce right can save huge amounts of time and money on recruitment and training. One study by Oxford Economics found replacing staff members can cost businesses as much as £30,614 per employee.

But what makes employees more likely to move on? Aside from failing to share a company’s ethos and not connecting with other staff, job security can be a big factor.

“I think our staff feel secure because we have been here for many years and it’s clear that our growth is steady, organic and planned – not speculative.”

The last few years have been difficult for employees – and indeed employers – across all sectors. An uncertain economy, not helped of course by continued political turbulence, can make staff members fear for their job security. Employees are more likely to jump ship if they are worried about the future of the company, instead opting for a firm that looks more likely to go the distance.

Bibby says MSB Solicitors’ “steady” growth is one thing that has worked in the firm’s favour.

“I think our staff feel secure because we have been here for many years and it’s clear that our growth is steady, organic and planned – not speculative,” he says. “Nobody wants to work in a place where they reasonably feel their job could be lost.

“Additionally, MSB Solicitors leads from the top down. If our partners and senior management don’t demonstrate a commitment to social values then respect is lost – so too are our ethics as a firm. Does anyone really want to see their boss driving around in a Lamborghini?”

A progressive approach to the work/life balance, it seems, is also key. A recent survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found three out of four working mothers in the UK have experienced negative or discriminatory attitudes in the workplace, while 11% of mothers returning to work subsequently felt forced to leave their job.

More than 80% of MSB’s 100-strong employee base is female and in the past four years, 22 babies have been born within the firm with every new mother returning to work.

“Professional firms have traditionally been quite reticent about promoting a family-friendly environment, believing it disrupts the business,” says Bibby. “MSB Solicitors takes the opposite view. We recognise that people work to live – they don’t live to work.

“They want to bring up families and have a career. Women shouldn’t have to make a choice.” For more information call MSB Solicitors on 0151 281 9040 or visit www.msbsolicitors.co.uk