Problem solver: I’ve taken on an HR coordinator who is excellent, but……..
Jun 5, 2024
Problem solver: I’ve taken on an HR coordinator who is excellent, but……..
Jun 5, 2024

Problem solver: I’ve taken on an HR coordinator who is excellent, but she’s likely to fast outgrow the role and leave as we can’t promote her. How can we encourage her to stay?

Our panel of HR experts advises on alternative retention methods to promotions and pay rises

by PM Editorial

Abi Manifold, head of OD at ICE Creates

People nowadays don’t expect to stay in a role until retirement, especially at the front end of their career. They often have more than one career in their work lifetime. We’re all on LinkedIn now so opportunities to embrace change are constantly front and centre – and that’s also what we’re competing with in the HR profession.

But we still want to get maximum benefit from our people while they’re with us. Remuneration and promotion are perennial engagement factors – but they are far from the whole story. First, explore what motivates the employee. Someone who’s intellectually engaged at work is more likely to be experiencing engagement. Also, explore where their skills are a good fit, and agree objectives that will stretch them beyond their normal remit.

Additionally, ensure the worker is feeling valued not just for what they do, but the ways in which they do it. Finally, consider the whole team and work environment. Ask them what their feelings toward work are. Do they feel psychologically safe? And my favourite question, where is their work joy?

Juliett Bohanna, director in OD at One Xec

One of the most important conversations any leader can have with their team member is about how they want to develop their career. Not only does this help avoid assumptions or judgements, it slows things down to work out what the individual wants.

This may not be the dilemma you might think; people increasingly value purpose over remuneration. It’s worth evaluating your culture and working out how you can shape this role to help your HR coordinator contribute towards the wider organisation with more of a senior mindset.

For example, could she lead a project linked to her own career development? Would she like to have more face time with senior management? Giving her the space to think about this will be essential.

You must give proper consideration to what you think the organisation needs, the particular skills your employee has, and ‘why now’, so that there is a good business case. You can’t stop people from leaving but, in addressing this proactively, you are consciously creating a positive working environment.

Kathleen McAdams, director at Albany HR

One of the benefits of working in HR in a smaller organisation is the opportunity to experience lots of areas instead of only working in your team’s specialism.

Try to find out where her interests lie and help her develop in those areas using the CIPD Profession Map as a starting point. It’s a great tool and you can then direct her to the CIPD’s Learning Hub, which contains great free courses on a range of topics.

You can also help her develop confidence in dealing with line manager queries by allowing her to shadow more senior members of the HR team; for example, as a notetaker in an HR strategy or welfare meeting.

Autonomy is important for engagement, so it’s a good idea to look for ways she can show her initiative. Process improvement is where someone new to an organisation can bring a fresh perspective. Also, be sure to encourage her to develop relationships outside of the HR team and learn about different areas of the business. If there are opportunities for cross-team working, involve her in these too.







We’d love to discuss your HR recruitment needs and help you find your next superstar.  Please call us on 0207 788 6600 or email us at and one of our consultants will be happy to advise you. You can also follow us on Facebook.


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