5 Pragmatic Ways to Retain Top Talent

Employee tenure and retention of top talent have received a great deal of discussion over the years. Formerly considered a form of job-hopping, it has now become accepted as a method of moving up the corporate ladder for better opportunities and higher salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people quitting their jobs jumped from 2.5 million to 2.8 million from August to September of 2021. It is the highest number since April of 2008. Employers must provide enough incentive to retain top talent given in accordance with what we now know about tenure and job-hopping. Employers currently have a lot of pressure to offer raises and promotions, so what can they do to encourage and retain top talent?  Let’s explore some options.

Ways to Retain Top Talent

1. Promoting Internally

A Gallup poll indicates that career advancement or promotion opportunities are the top reasons for job quitting. Although it is a challenging job for the manager to not retain top talent, it still is beneficial for them to transition to a new role at the company where they will be successful. A sense of challenge and responsibility in one’s job duties is essential for employees to flourish. Employees who remain in the same position protractedly may begin to look for new employment opportunities. However, they can thrive in other areas of an organization if they are provided with options to grow within. Recruiting and training a replacement will still be necessary, but the incumbent employee can serve as a trainee and eliminate the need for recruiting candidates for their new roles. In this way, managers can retain top talent and the company can benefit from this in varied manners.

2. Monetary Incentives

Among other available options, this may seem the most feasible. According to the same Gallup poll, “rewards and benefits” is the second most common reason for an employee leaving a job. Employers may provide their employees with perks like telecommuting, flexible work arrangements, paid time off etc but none of these will compensate them enough to pay their mortgage or support their families. It’s obviously a fact that employers strive to cut costs. When a manager must decide whether to increase a top employee’s salary or offer a bonus, he or she must weigh the cost of replacing the employee against the cost of finding and recruiting a replacement. It is the company’s responsibility to find the qualified candidate, interview and train him/her. Lastly, employers should account for the lost revenue from unfilled positions or covering positions by other employees whose work responsibilities may suffer.

3. Retention Interview

A top employee leaves a company far too soon before employers realize they need to improve. It is customary for employers to conduct interviews at the beginning and the end of an employee’s employment. Employers can use retention interviews to find out what’s working and what’s not to retain top talent. Is everyone happy, and if they aren’t, what needs to be done? With the benefit of hindsight, it can be said that there are normally at least few elements that can be improved. How can we find out what it would take to keep the best employees if we wait until they are gone? By empowering employees, not only will they feel like they’re making a difference, but they’ll also mend tears in the corporate fabric. Subsequently, companies and departments can benefit from retention interviews by finding out what needs to be changed before it’s too late.

4. Recognition Driven Culture

There is a common saying that employees don’t quite their job but rather they quit their managers. A culture of sporadic appreciations is one way of forgoing this pattern. The most valuable asset for any company is its employees, and it is crucial that employees understand this. In addition to giving credit where credit is due, awards should be given to individuals and teams that have achieved success. Additionally, employees should be allowed to work independently without having to be micromanaged. As employees learn they have the trust of their managers, they work harder to keep it. The most productive teams are those that recognize their worth to the organization and value their role within it.

5. Provision of Growth Ladder

To remain profitable, nearly all companies need to grow. It is evident that growth and change go hand in hand. Creativity is often the prerequisite for generating these ideas to change and growth. Creative people are an integral part of any successful company, and their insights keep the company ahead of competition. Nonetheless, no person can potentially exercise their creative skills in the absence of freedom to learn and try new things. It is their fundamental requirement to be leverage the space to experiment. It is important for managers to promote employees’ exploration of new ideas as well as sharing them with the team. Amazon’s Prime loyalty program and 3M’s Post-it notes are such examples of highly successful ideas that are a product of creative employees. It is also highly likely that other organizations will pick and wield the ideas originating from your own employees and that’d be a shame.

There are clearly many job options available to employees in the contemporary job market. An individual’s skill set is more likely to be in demand if it is unique and in demand, so there are more options available to him or her. Likewise, the employers do have options to pick and choose. Choosing the right choice before employees explore their own lies at the core of the challenge for employers. Recruiting costs and time spent on filling vacant positions can drastically increase otherwise. A top performer is obviously not easier to replace. Hence, there’s a question that naturally arises: What are you doing to retain top talent among your workforce?

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