Talent retention is an important part of keeping a business competitive and heading in the right direction. Yet, surprisingly few companies actively work to keep their best people onboard, with no Employee Retention Strategy to ensure their top talent are satisfied to stay.
In this modern era, the failure of so many to be adequately prepared for the threat of early departures might come as a surprise. In fact, according to the US consultancy firm Towers Watson, over 50% of companies globally admit they don’t adopt any formal strategy after recruiting new talent.
But with a carefully designed Employee Retention Strategy, a company can create a working environment that encourages and motivates employees to remain at an organization.
A Global Talent Retention Crisis
There is ample research to suggest businesses around the world are experiencing difficulties in keeping their most talented employees.
In the Towers Watson 2014 Global Workforce Study, more than 25% of employees are considered to be high-retention-risk employees, with over 70% of them saying they will have to leave their organization in order to advance their careers.
According to research by PwC, meanwhile, some 35% of women who had changed jobs recently had done so because of a lack of opportunities at their previous employer.
These facts exist despite the traditional belief that if the salary is large enough, and the array of extra perks is suitably significant, that talent will stick with their employers. But we also know that with the arrival of Millennials, the type of perks preferred have changed dramatically.
Successful employee retention is no longer based on compensation (wages and other incentives); instead, something far less superficial is needed if today’s most talented innovators, creatives and thinkers are to feel appreciated and satisfied enough to stay.
4 Key Elements Of An Employee Retention Strategy
- Make Performance Relevant
- Establish A Clear Communication Process
Traditionally, performance reports achieved little more than confirmation that an employee is doing their job well and meeting their targets. But it’s possible to relate performance to a designed plan to improve employee retention. People love to know they are achieving their goals, so through clearly defined achievable objectives, employees can see for themselves they are making a positive impact on the company. When this is the case, an employee develops a keen ‘sense of belonging’, which in turn encourages an employee to stay.
Concise communication is invaluable to a business, and mixed messages hugely damaging. So, it’s important that a clear communication process is established, and one that reaffirms to employees that their contributions are highly valued. The manner in which management communicate with personnel is a big part of this and, if it’s done properly, can provide valuable insights into how staff members are feeling about their work and futures. Some key features should include:
- frequent interaction, through regular meetings
- two-way communication
- offering a non-threatening channel for comment and suggestion
- gather opinions on company issues and activities
- managers listen
A successful Employee Retention Strategy will demonstrate a company’s loyalty to its own employees. Let’s face it; loyalty is a two-way street, and a company cannot expect its employees to stick around if that company is not willing to stand by its employees. You can demonstrate your commitment to the people working for you by establishing support networks, providing financial and career advice, establishing a mentoring system and having greater transparency.
Matching the ambitions of your best people is an important part a successful employee retention strategy. After all, why would someone leave your organisation if it is going in the same direction they are? Having a competitive edge confirms they are already working for leaders and there is no apparent career advantage to making a change. So, reiterate your unique market advantage to reinforce the sense amongst employees they are part of something special.
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