The 12 Best Ways to Retain Top Talent
The last thing any company wants to do is to scare away its top talent. In addition to the significant cost of having to replace outgoing employees, organizations that consistently lose their strongest workers struggle to grow and take their business to the next level.
The good news is that you can build your organization in a way that not only attracts top talent but also encourages them to stick around for the foreseeable future. Here are 12 ways your company can increase the chances to retain top talent for a long time:
01. Strengthen your onboarding program
Getting your top talent to stick around for the long haul starts on the first day — if not before it. Make sure that all of your employees settle into your company comfortably. Let your new hires know where the resources they might need are. Pair them with a mentor who can show them the ropes and answer their questions as they arise. Schedule a team lunch on a new hire’s first day to make sure that they feel welcomed. If you need tips on improving your onboarding process, check this out.
02. Invest in new tools and technologies
According to our Engagement Report, nearly 70% of workers admit they have a hard time trying to get everything done each week. Part of that could be because they have too much work on their plates. Another part of that could be because many companies rely on outdated technologies that make jobs more difficult than they need to be. If you want your strongest workers to stick around, equip them with modern tools and technologies designed to make their jobs easier.
03. Be transparent and honest
Nobody wants to work for a company that consistently leaves them in the dark about major decisions. Your employees work hard for you every day of the week. They deserve to be told what’s going on at their company. Create a transparent culture by keeping your employees informed of major developments — this proves that you respect them. Top talent knows what they are worth. Odds are they won’t stick around if they’re treated like children.
04. Give your employees flexibility with their schedules
Studies show that remote workers are the happiest employees and that allowing members of the team to create their own schedules increases engagement. Do your employees really have to be in the office during the same hours every day? At some organizations, perhaps — but at most companies, what matters is that employees do their work well without missing meetings or deadlines. Embrace flexible schedules and remote working and top talent will stay put.
05. Schedule regular team-building activities
The number one thing employees like about their jobs is their coworkers, as we revealed in our Employee Engagement Report. The more your employees get along with one another, the more likely they’ll be to stick around. Plan regular team-building activities that give your workers the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better. The more top talent gets to know their coworkers, the more likely they’ll be to stick around.
06. Recognize your employees’ hard work
Everybody wants their bosses and colleagues to notice their work and compliment their contributions at least every now and again. Top talent is no different. Incorporate employee recognition tactics into your managerial routine. The more you encourage your workers and remind them how appreciative you are of their work, the more likely you’ll be to retain top talent and keep them engaged.
07. Make professional development a top priority
Though professional development opportunities are considered a must-have perk for many employees, only 25% of workers believe their organizations offer enough of them, according to our Engagement Report. By definition, top talent is already great at what they do. Understanding that, they want to continue expanding their skills to become even better. Make professional development a top priority at your organization and top talent will stick around. When possible, encourage your best workers to attend relevant trade shows and conferences nearby. Show them the thought leaders they should be reading. Develop a mentorship program that allows senior-level executives to take newer employees under their wings.
08. Promote managers internally whenever possible
If you’ve ever worked at a company that consistently hired managers from outside the company, you know how disheartening it can be. You see the future and five years from now you’re stuck in the same position as a parade of managers comes in and out of the organization. To help retain top talent, promote from within whenever you can. In doing so, you’ll send a strong signal to your best workers that they’ll be able to climb the ranks sooner or later.
09. Solicit ideas from your employees
Top talent will be much more inclined to stick around when managers regularly ask them what they’re thinking about certain initiatives or if they have any ideas of their own. Ask your employees to brainstorm new ideas regularly. Put the best ones into practice.
10. Enable your workers to share their feedback with you
When your employees have problems at work — whether it’s with the new direction the company’s moving in, their job expectations, or even your own managerial style — are they able to discuss them? If it’s not easy for employees to share their feedback with the decision makers at your organization, you need to remedy the situation. Use pulse surveys that let your workers share their feedback anonymously. That way, everyone can work together to make your company a better place to work at.
11. Encourage a collaborative environment
Workers — and millennials in particular — love collaboration. But 38% of younger employees feel as though their organizations are relying on legacy collaboration tools and processes. To counter this, create an environment where workers are encouraged to collaborate with their peers — even across departments. Not only do your workers want to collaborate with their colleagues, the end result of their work will often be an improvement too.
12. Let employees pursue pet projects occasionally
Even the most dedicated employee will grow tired of doing the same tasks over and over again ad infinitum. From time to time, even top talent needs to focus on things outside their job descriptions. Let your employees spend some of their time tackling projects that fall beyond the purview of their regular work. It’ll be a breath of fresh air that rejuvenates them.
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