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You’ve invested time, effort and finances into creating a great team, full of talented and skilled employees. When unbeknown to you, your talent starts looking to go elsewhere.
Talent can leave for a number of reasons.
Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed he left the club to join Juventus because his relationship with those in charge changed.
Not only did this lead to on-pitch talent leaving, the commercial repercussions for the organisation, for example through a loss of shirt sales and social media influence, was significant.
This problem doesn’t just affect large organisations, a recent study by Aldermore Future Attitudes showed that two thirds of UK small business owners face retention problems and find it hard to keep existing talent.
With a tight labour market and UK employment at a record high, how can businesses take positive steps to help retain talent and stop them from going to another competing business?
Offer real development
It’s no great industry secret that staff require training throughout their career journey. But an employer that shows a serious commitment to its employees’ skills base and career development is one that encourages long-standing loyalty. Staff investment is essential to retention.
Large corporations such as Renault offer certifications and qualifications as part of their training schemes. Formal qualifications and diplomas are commonplace amongst big successful firms. Academic gold backed up by industry intellect.
Listen to your staff
Great leadership requires constantly communicating effectively with both staff and managers. Employers who take the time to assess workers’ contentment in their roles tend to hold on to their most valuable staff. In the US, hotel firm Hyatt created the “Change the Conversation” program, in which staff are encouraged to provide feedback – good or otherwise – to managers and leaders. They believe that this contributes hugely to their enviable retention stats.
Similarly, here at Peninsula, we issue a monthly “Engagement Plus” employee survey to all our employees within the business. The anonymous survey ensures everyone’s voice and perspective are heard. The survey provides insight into each department and employee allowing us to see key trends which ultimately shape decisions and guide our initiatives, making Peninsula more successful.
Keep challenging them
Talented employees are more likely to be looking out for the next challenge that keeps them interested and motivated at work.
Leaving them to stagnate could cause their eye to wonder on to the next opportunity. Just look at Chris Evans who left his Radio 2 breakfast slot after 13 years to move to a new challenge at Virgin Radio.
Professional challenges can include tasking them with a new project or asking them to step up in their senior’s absence.
Involve them in future plans
As talented employees look to their future, you can keep their focus firmly on your business by involving them in long-term plans.
Increasing their investment makes star employees more likely to stay than someone who feels they are simply another part of the office furniture.
If their ideas are being listened to and implemented, they will also want to stick around to see these come to fruition.
Assess your work-life balance
Talented employees, especially those classed as ‘millennials’, are becoming more concerned with how their professional life fits around their personal commitments. A study by EY and Timewise reported that 87% of full-time employees in the UK would prefer to work flexibly.
To keep your star employees, you can assess whether your employees have sufficient opportunity to be in control of this.
For example, do you offer flexi-time where an employee can start and finish at any time so long as they complete a minimum number of hours each day?
Tech leaders such as LinkedIn and Netflix have attributed their modern working practices such as flexible working and unlimited holiday to helping them attract and retain top talent.
Alternatively, is flexible working available from day one of employment? This may help retain your star employees who need flexible working arrangements shortly after joining your business.
At the end of the day, your talent may want to leave because they can get a higher salary elsewhere and it will be a business decision whether you want to match this or consider an increase.
You can, however, review your other benefits to see whether these make remaining in your business a more attractive option.
In March 2019, telecommunications giant, O2 increased their paid paternity leave for all permanent staff to 14 weeks, which many have claimed is among the best paternity packages on offer to retail workers, therefore, having a direct impact on motivating and retaining the best people.
If extended paternity leave is too costly, you could follow the example of Goldman Sachs and relax your dress code to create a casual office environment.
Small perks can outweigh the financial advantages of leaving – and not having to buy new suits will result in all employees having more money to spend.
Here at Peninsula, we find that benefits go a long way to retaining talent. One of the key benefits we offer to all employees is access to an employee assistance programme (EAP). An EAP is based on combatting stress from your employees’ personal and professional lives; preventing foreseeable absences with pre-emptive advice and guidance; creating a strong support network for on-going absence, and helping maintain a positive work environment which will enable you to retain the best talent.
April 12, 2019 at 04:31AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs