How To Retain International Staff In London in 2022

Posted on December 23, 2021

It’s no secret that the retention of international staff in London is much harder now. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, and Brexit meant a lot of international staff left the UK too. A lot of businesses are suffering low staff retention as a result.

Did you know that in 2021, an extraordinary 30% of UK workers said they hadn’t had any formal workplace training in 5 years? That’s pretty poor! However it isn’t entirely unsurprising for those of us that work in corporate training.

As we are in the business of English training, this post focuses on retention of international staff where the staff speak English as a foreign language. Here’s your staff retention action plan.

Support Their Administrative Needs

Many of us barely remember getting our national insurance numbers because it was so long ago. But for international workers it can be tough. Having to make phone calls in English and navigating a new system can be challenging. Someone to do this for them or answer questions can be a great help.

And how about visas? This is even more overwhelming in terms of unfamiliar paperwork. You don’t want staff leaving because it’s too much of a hassle.

Create Social Events

The pub is the most obvious one, and it’s a good start provided everyone is a drinker.

However it may not suit non-drinkers or shift workers. So get creative. Spoken English classes suitable for their level? Team sports? One large London hotel we know has a staff choir which is very popular.

Support The Families Of International Staff Too

Contrary to popular belief, people don’t pick up much English from simply being in London and going to the shops, figuring out public transport and so on. So spouses of international workers in London can struggle with English language skills, especially if they don’t work.

International staff retention can be low when spouses don’t feel at home and then the family decide to move back.

How about international schools for their children? Or tutors for when the kids need more help? If you have several members of staff from the same country you can pool information about this.

Pay Employees For Training Time

Staff retention and development to hand in hand. And staff always say that they want more training. But then when they get it, sometimes they don’t seem very motivated. If they’re off the clock they may resent having to stick around.

Clear Job Expectations

Imagine really wanting to get a job, when you don’t understand 100% of what’s being said to you in the interview, or in your training. Research shows that there is a high drop out rate for staff whose job expectations differed from the reality of the job.

We all want to attract good staff. But it’s important to tell them about the lows as well as the highs of the role. And make sure they understand it. Then they can make an educated decision.

Two Way Feedback

Do you know if your staff are satisfied? When employees aren’t happy, they’ll often start looking elsewhere.

So it’s vital to give them feedback, and to let them know you are open to receiving it too. The last part is the rare part.

Also, make it clear that employees can ask for clarification if they don’t understand something. It’s too easy for them to sit in silence and then ask a colleague who speaks better English to translate in private. If they get a couple of impatient reactions, it’s often enough to stop an employee communicating when they don’t understand.

Boost The Retention Of International Staff At Your Company

Online or face to face English language classes with Orchid English will help staff feel more at home in the UK. And better English skills will empower them to do whatever they want to do in their professional and personal lives.

Get in touch for your no-obligation free trial English class for groups or individuals. Give us a ring on 020 8150 7239 or write to us here.

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