Staff Retention Problems: Could Doughnuts Be The Answer?

Recruitment and staff retention is challenging in New Zealand. Could something as simple as doughnuts help you?

Are doughnuts the answer to your staff retention?

Let’s get real: recruiting and retaining staff is an absolute nightmare right now. It’s always been hard, and it’s only going to be harder in the future. Could something as simple as doughnuts be the key to making staff retention easier?


New Zealand’s always had a small talent pool – and a sad
truth is many of the A-players are overseas. With the
borders closed, we have no option but to recruit from who’s

But recruitment is just one side of the story

And the other side – staff retention – is just as vital. The last thing you need right now are for your best people to pack up their tools and move to your competitors.

There’s some good news here. Kind of. And that is, most kiwi businesses are pretty terrible when it comes to looking after their staff. Very rarely is there an incentive to stay on. For you, that means you just need to do a few extra things
to get one over your competitors. And most of these
actions to improve staff retention cost very little.

The biggest challenge you will have around staff retention is consistency

1. Define and communicate your company’s vision, purpose, and values. This is so important. Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed each morning? What’s it all about?

2. Set personal and professional goals for everyone in your team. That way, everyone knows what’s expected of them, and gives them something to strive for. Importantly, it also provides them with a deeper connection to your business.

3.  Train, develop, and coach your team. Provide a career path. Sure, not everyone wants a
promotion – but recruiting internally and promoting top performers is good business sense.

4. Reward good performance. While this might cost you some money, it can also save you money if you’re able to retain your best employees rather than losing them to your competition, and having to recruit for that role.

5. Celebrate new starters. Ever had a morning tea shout or sausage sizzle for someone who’s leaving? But why celebrate people who are leaving? It makes more sense to celebrate new employees on their first day. Imagine the positive work stories and word of mouth when it gets around that you shouted everyone doughnuts on their first day, and sent them home with a movie ticket and dinner voucher. A first day in a new job goes from being OK, to being something memorable that motivates them at a whole new level.

6. Have a clear onboarding process. Celebrating new starters is just one part of the onboarding. Also make sure that everything’s set up for them that they need: work phone, email address, business cards, laptop, and so on. This not only makes your company look professional and organised, but also makes the employee feel valued. A crucial part of this step is also clearly communicating what you expect from the employee in terms of their role and responsibilities in their first week, first month, second month, and so on.


Look after your team. They are your most important asset, and looking after them means you’ll have to do less recruitment – which brings enormous time and cost savings. Building up to this doesn’t happen overnight, but you can at least start the journey to staff retention – whether it’s with doughnuts, or something else.


Next step

Need help? Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help with your recruitment, staff retention, and other internal processes.