I Love this @glenn, I too hate buying cakes for farewells… I am taking to champagne and cheese boards! Because I believe it should be a celebration of someone continuing their life journey, and they will always have a place in the “Wendell Family” (Unless we really wanted them to leave then the Champange is for us and the rest of the team! Hahaha)
One thing we started many years ago was the “Bring us the offer” policy. We tell our staff, " you will be offered many other roles though your time here with us, recruiters and competitors like the way we train and the staff who work in our business. This is good for you, and your career some times, but sometimes it might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Im Kiwi I had to put a sheep analogy in here somewhere!) . Bring the offer to us, we will work through it with you, match if we can or if the offer is good, with a good company and career prospects and we cannot match we will give you our blessing!"
It has been very good. Staff have brought us offers which we could not match, but after talking it though they realised they would not have the support, or benefits or team culture they have here and they have stayed.
One good example of this was a staff member (who eventually was promoted to ops manager) she was offered $120k Per year + Car etc to run a similar size book for a rental agency 10min from her house. She commuted over 1hour each day each way to be in our inner city office.
When we talked through it, she realised it was a problem portfolio on the side of a sales business and they have had 8 property managers in the past 2 years, they were willing to pay anything to get someone to “Take care of the problem” She stayed with us because she had career aspirations, and loved the business, the culture and her role. She was paid $60k at the time.
Not everyone would have stayed, almost double the money is too tempting… But she valued the years of training and support we had given her, and eventually she was in new business, and ops and was earning that money with our business.
@adam is bang on, Culture is King. Focus on that, the rest will follow.