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New Challenge: How to Retain Talent?

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Human Resources

17 March 2022

One of the most critical issues facing organizations today is how to retain the employees they want to keep. As employee retention is becoming a key competitive differentiator, academics publish thousands of research articles on how to retain talent every year!

As a busy human resource (HR) practitioner, do you have the time to read them all, synthesize their recommendations, and translate them into usable practices to improve retention? If you are like most busy professionals, you probably don’t.

That’s why we will briefly explore all the basic principles that will help you retain top talent in your organization.

With no further ado, let’s dive into it!

Why do Employees Stay?

Many talent retention studies focus on people who leave, on the premise that understanding why people depart will help organizations determine how to keep them. But we think it is just as important (or even more important) to understand why people choose to stay!

You may think that unattractive and low salary payouts are the only issue about talent retention. Well, it’s not that simple.

According to Harvard Business Review, people choose to stay in an organization for many reasons. Upon them, we find work environment, connections between team members, company values, career development opportunities, etc.

Now that we know that these aspects may be as essential as high compensation packages, what can we do to improve them?

Promote Socialization

For many organizations, turnover rates are often high among new employees. This situation is particularly alarming because the organization may have dedicated significant investments in recruitment, selection, and training. A new employee leaving may hinder the company from seeing a return on these investments!

Socialization opportunities can help new employees become embedded in the company and thus more likely to stay. These practices include shared and individualized learning experiences and formal & informal activities… all of which help people get to know one another.

Everybody feels stressed and nervous about a new job. But Companies that want to ensure that new talents won’t leave, should work on creating a stress-free and friendly working environment. So, how will you approach that?

Promote Good Company Culture

Company culture impacts everything from performance to talent retaining efficiency!

People want more than a steady paycheck and good benefits, especially if you want them to stay with you for years. Employees want to feel like what they do matter. They want to see that they are respected and appreciated for their loyalty, dedication, and good work.

How do you achieve this?

The answer is straightforward, just recognize good work! A culture that celebrates individual and team successes and that gives credit when credit is due, is a culture that creates strong bonds with the employee. This sense of belonging is crucial when we speak about talent retention.

Invest in their career growth

Some managers worry that training and development opportunities may be a double-edged sword. I have heard from many HR managers that training and learning opportunities may make employees more marketable and this increases the chance that rival organizations will recruit them.

Yet, let's talk numbers for a second.

Statistics show that employees who receive valuable training are considerably less likely to quit than those who get very little access to learning opportunities and traineeships.

 This may be because employees are increasingly focusing on growth and career development. And it’s even more evident with top-notch talents as training and development play an important role for the most talented employees. At the end of the day, those with great ambition, are usually the same people with great talent! And with a tight growth horizon, scarce opportunities, and less recognition… the result is good employees leaving the company.

If you’re still worried that training will augment turnover in your organization, you may want to consider offering job-specific training (which is less transferable to other contexts) instead of more generalized training (which transfers easily).

Also, think about linking some type of developmental opportunities to retention. For example, reimburse tuition for employees who remain with your company for a specified amount of time after they complete a degree program!

Promote from within

Promotions have become increasingly important to employees. A lack of career growth is one of the most prominent reasons workers reports leaving their jobs. Nobody, especially top talents, wants to stay in a company that does not offer opportunities for career advancements!

Promoting from within refers to the process of selecting consistent and talented employees to go through training to move to a higher position, instead of looking for a fit person for the position from outside!

When you promote from within, people see opportunity and become less likely to move around in their careers. If employees are truly interested in an opportunity for advancement, you should work with them to identify what kind of education, coaching or skill development they’d need to successfully move into that role.

The importance of supervision

You’ve heard this phrase many times before: “People leave because of bad bosses.” Facts support this claim: the quality of employees’ relationships with their supervisors is an important driver of turnover.

Studies also suggest that a worker’s satisfaction with his or her boss, the quality of the exchanges between them, and fair treatment by supervisors are related to retention.

To retain talent, a good supervisor should be able to guide an employee, provide them valuable feedback and acknowledge good work.

To Sum

Effectively managing retention in your organization isn’t easy. Keeping top talented people motivated, dedicated and engaged can also be a very tricky task.

It takes extensive analysis, a comprehensive understanding of the many techniques and practices available and the ability to put retention plans into action and learn from their results... But given the increasing difficulty of keeping valued employees on board in the face of major shifts in the talent landscape, it is well worth the effort!

If it's about you, it's about us.