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For Moira Laird, human resources director at Best Employer Award Catey winner Valor Hospitality, which runs 20 hotels all over the UK, retention is vital. “We are obsessed by employee engagement, which is all about retention,” she says. “Each hotel carries out employee engagement surveys and we really do act on those. We even like to get employees fully involved in our annual company forums.”

In those surveys, Valor tries to ask open-ended questions such as “what would make you happier?” and “what’s on your mind right now?” in an effort to encourage thoughtful responses rather than automatic answers.

Laird says that the company also tries to be helpful when its employees need it most, by providing time off during periods of bereavement or divorce, for example.

Laird adds that the staff comments have also taught her that wages, while important, are far from the only or even most important factor that makes people want to stay in a job.

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