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Retention strategies to retain top talent

Retention strategies to retain top talent

A strategy for retaining your top talent and curbing the turnover of staff has many positive outcomes for a business.\

Firstly, it can help to prevent the cost of unexpectedly having to replace good staff. As most hiring managers know, the cost of such turnover adds significantly to a company's expenses.

While it is difficult to fully calculate the cost of turnover it can often equate to 25 per cent of the average employee salary – and this is a conservative estimate.

When an employee leaves there is the loss of not only valuable industry knowledge which can contribute to your businesses’ future success, but knowledge about your company, your customers, current projects and past history, which can take a long time to regain.

Customer and client relations can also be affected by staff turnover and the effect can be felt throughout an entire organisation with other staff having to pick up the workload.

However, the rate of turnover can be reduced by implementing a few integral but simple retention strategies – and they don’t always involve money. Candidates are also looking for good management, clear career paths and challenges, or even perhaps good relationships at work, to keep them engaged and satisfied with their roles and their employers.

Our top 5 retention tips:

1. Managing performance

This is key to any employer’s retention strategy. Performance reviews are a simple but essential process which should take place regularly and managers need to be committed to the practice. Formal performance feedback is also an excellent opportunity to ensure talent is engaged, but remember to make sure the system is user friendly for everyone involved. And be sure to communicate clearly with employees. Setting clear objectives and deadlines will mean your employees can be comfortable knowing what is expected and when they should deliver it.

2. Your leaders

Front line managers are also key to retention, so you should definitely evaluate the quality of yours. Remember, people join companies and leave people. Your managers are at the coal face. They should be good at motivating and inspiring their team members, managing performance - good and bad, and setting useful goals. They also need to provide useful performance feedback, including positive reinforcement or suggesting solutions when things have not gone well. So, employers may also need to look at what their organisation does to develop its managers as part of their retention strategy.

3. Good relationships

If an employee has good relationships at work they are more likely to stay with a company and feel engaged with their work. So employers need to focus on how they understand, communicate and build good relationships with their employees. It’s a good idea to ask employees for their opinion on key engagement factors such as career progression and performance feedback through employee opinion surveys, online forums or regular reviews. And it is best not to assume anything about an employee’s career path as there can be many factors at play – just maintain open and honest communication to find out what your employees’ goals are.

4. Career pathways

Employees can become stale and bored without the proper career development – and this is often a reason why candidates look elsewhere for work. As different organisations have different parameters within which they must work, career development does not always mean promotion, although it certainly can. Can you instead offer additional responsibility, or the opportunity to supervise other employees? Could an employee coach and train others, manage projects or chair meetings?

5. Training & development

Courses aren’t always what training and development is about, nor do they have to take place in a formal classroom. Mentorships are a useful retention tool and can also be used to pass on corporate insight to other employees. One-on-one training and taking on additional duties can also be just as effective. Investing in your employees’ skills development allows them to be the best they can be, which has obvious rewards for both them and you.

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