How to retain talent and inspire people

14 March 2017

HR talent blog

Sue Greenland, Head of HR – London, Group and Reward, reveals her strategies for holding onto the best and brightest

When people ask me how I know I’m doing my job right, I point out the number of head hunters coming after Land Securities staff! On the one hand this is the biggest compliment an HR team can be paid, as it proves our recruitment strategy works. However, it also means we must always be looking at new ways to retain and inspire our best and brightest.

One of the benefits of being a fairly small organisation, with only around 650 staff, is that we really get to know the people we work with. We have found that people in the workplace tend to be loyal to an organisation that goes the extra mile by investing time in them, listening to their needs, and taking on board what they say. When people make the effort to reach out to us, we take note and act on what we are hearing, whether that is around diversity, development, engagement or sustainability. That said, we know we are not going to be able to retain all our employees.

The reality of the workplace in today's world, is that employees come and go even if they make a huge difference and work incredibly hard. This happens because people want to experience different workplaces and learn a variety of skills. Because of this, at Land Securities, what we aim to cultivate are loyal employees who want to stay in our organisation because of what we can offer. By looking in house and by utilising our partners network, we’ve realised that through secondment opportunities, training programmes, and job rotations, we can offer employees different experiences and skills. This flexibility means we can motivate employees; allowing them to do something different, meet new people, and develop their professional skills.

Proving our commitment to professional development is of as much interest to our established workforce as our millennials. Indeed, sometimes it feels as though candidates are interviewing us rather than the other way round! However, it highlights peoples’ need to be challenged throughout their professional life, and as an HR team, we must be ready to answer that challenge. Of course, retaining people in the business isn’t just about career development, but about combining this with a clear narrative of company values and behaviours. Increasingly, employees want to know what an organisation stands for and how it proves this to the wider community.

At Land Securities, we place great emphasis on inclusivity and diversity and have worked hard to highlight areas for improvement. Two years ago, we did a mapping exercise which revealed there were very few women in development. We knew we had to do something about this, so, it was a matter of going through networks of people and looking at where there was young female talent, and in the space of six months we made three brilliant new hires. This demonstrates we are accountable to our values and helps inspire loyalty in our team members.

And this sums up our strategy; to pursue the work we are doing by listening to our employees to provide original and tangible opportunities in the workplace. One size doesn’t fit all, and that’s the approach we take at Land Securities.


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Head of HR London, Group and Reward

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