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Retaining staff through a values-based approach

Lindsey Hanson, Recruitment and Retention Project Manager at Skills for Care

Lindsey Hanson, Recruitment and Retention Project Manager at Skills for Care talks about the vital contribution that a values-based approach can have on retaining staff in adult social care.

Some employers might think that once they’ve found the right people with the right values that reflect their organisation’s culture and ethos, that’s the end of the values-based journey, but it’s actually only the beginning.

At a time when there are 110,000 adult social care vacancies on any given day, values-based thinking can help you to retain new recruits as they develop their careers. We know high staff turnover can have a negative impact on the level of care and support in our sector, so a values-based approach should be central to your staff development and retention strategies. Valuing your employees and investing in their learning and development will improve your chances of keeping them.

Skills for Care supports employers to think about, and start to implement, a values-based approach to recruitment and retention, through its range of online resources and practical workshops and seminars.

Firstly, employers need to be clear why values matter, both for staff that are recruited and for the workplace they’re recruited into, and perhaps more importantly to the individuals that use the services. This allows them to create a values-based strategy to recruit and retain the right staff.

From talking to employers with low turnover rates we know a values-based approach contributes to:

  • the continuity of high quality care
  • a positive workplace culture
  • time and cost savings
  • employee wellbeing
  • positive CQC ratings.

This values-based approach to your recruitment and retention starts with identifying and articulating your own workplace values. It works best when you involve and listen to existing staff and people who receive care and support.

Once you’ve identified your workplace values, you’ll know what type of values you’re looking for in a potential candidate. This helps you to recruit people who’ll be a good fit for your organisation’s ethos, values and culture. You can then embed your core values into your induction, supervision and appraisal processes.

How Skills for Care can help

 If you’re new to a values-based approach to recruitment and retention or have already started using this approach, the Skills for Care website – lots of useful tools and resources. You can start by using our checklist to see where you are in the values journey and work out your next steps.

We also run interactive ‘Getting started with values-based recruitment and retention’ workshops, where you can learn how to identify values and start implementing this approach in your workplace. Our ‘Valuable conversations, conversations that count’ seminar looks at how to communicate more effectively with staff on an ongoing basis.

Skills for Care’s new ‘Retaining your staff’ key card resource shares the top five ways to help staff retention. This is taken from research with employers and employees and brings together practical ideas to help you start to embed new practices – the majority of which require a time investment, rather than a monetary cost.

The five ways are:

  1. supportive induction
  2. create a positive place to work
  3. offer learning and development opportunities
  4. good working conditions
  5. rewards and recognition.

Free key cards can be ordered by emailing

Those core principles need to be integrated into your recruitment and retention processes to give you a holistic, values-based approach that supports you to retain high-quality staff.

So, why not start by communicating your values to the right audience and then recruit using values-based methods. Once recruited, supportive practices need to be in place to show staff that they’re valued which leads to better retention. It will have a real impact, and everyone will benefit, particularly on those people who use your service.

Find out more

Go to www.skillsforcare/ . If you have any success stories you’d like to share about your values-based recruitment and retention, contact Skills for Care at





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