Retaining Top Talent: Strategies for Keeping Your Best Employees

Improve Employee Turnover and Improve Your Bottom Line

Retaining top talent is crucial for businesses seeking long-term success. High staff turnover damages morale and increases recruitment and training costs. Losing your best employees can hit productivity and hurt customer relationships. The bottom line? Employee turnover is bad news for your bottom line.

The key to avoiding this is to implement effective employee retention strategies. This article explores various tactics and practices that could help your business to create a workplace that delivers exceptional employee experiences and improves your employee retention.

Build a Positive Work Culture

Three things that our candidates tell us are important to them are:

1.     Working in a trusting environment in which open communication is encouraged

Top talent appreciates being listened to, and knowing that their opinions are valued. Managers who can encourage ideation and provide regular feedback are highly regarded. Companies who empower collaboration and embed processes that deliver transparent leadership and team decision-making enhance trust among employees.

2.     Having effort and achievements recognized

We all want our efforts to be recognized. It boosts our morale and reinforces our commitment toward collective goals. From saying thank you, to public announcements and awards, performance-based bonuses, and career advancement, there are many ways of recognizing your employees for their achievements. A further tip here is to make it personal – understand your employees and reward them in a way that means most to an individual.

3.     Benefiting from improved work/life balance

Providing flexible work arrangements that enable employees to improve their work/life balance has also been shown to improve loyalty. Does your company provide wellness programs or mental health resources? Are you open to remote work options or flexible hours? Such benefits help to mark you out as an employer who cares about their people.

Provide Professional Development Opportunities

The most talented candidates aren’t prepared to stagnate in their careers. They are habitual learners and desire to grow professionally. There are several ways your company can demonstrate its commitment to nurturing talent, including:

1.     Creating a clear career path

Set a clear career direction for employees, and provide professional development and training programs that enable employees to enhance their skills and knowledge in alignment with their career goals. In flatter hierarchies, traditional promotion opportunities can be difficult – but helping your people to craft their own career path (and do work that is most enjoyable for them) is crucial to retaining top talent.

2.     Develop a mentoring program

Mentoring and coaching is also a highly valued workplace strategy. Pairing employees with experienced mentors provides guidance and helps individuals navigate their career choices within your company. Individualized coaching programs enhance skills and demonstrate your supportive culture.

3.     Encourage continuous learning

Do your managers support their team members in the pursuit of enhancing skills and knowledge? Does your company offer reimbursement for training or access to online training platforms? Do you encourage employees to attend industry events and workshops?

By encouraging continuous learning, employees will enhance their skills, remain updated in your industry, and become more productive.

Empower and Engage Employees with Positive Employee Experiences

The 2020 McKinsey Employee Experience Survey found that “people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience, and that they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company.

There are four key tactics that help individuals align with team and company goals:

  1. Assigning challenging and meaningful work provides opportunities for growth and allows individuals to showcase their skills.
  2. Granting autonomy and decision-making authority makes employees valued and trusted.
  3. Promoting collaboration fosters a sense of team spirit, strengthening connections and encourages knowledge sharing as well as development of innovative ideas.
  4. Encouraging feedback allows employees to express opinions and concerns. Implementing employee-driven initiatives recognizes and values contributions to your company’s growth.

Build Strong Relationships and Connections

Every business is a people business. Healthy relationships and strong connections help employees to feel part of something bigger and more meaningful. Here are a few strategies that help to promote connection to company:

1.     Nurturing a sense of belonging

Regular team meetings, promoting volunteering, facilitating team-building activities, and encouraging social gatherings are all ways in which a company can strengthen team bonds and promote a sense of purpose.

2.     Promoting diversity and inclusion

Ethically important and crucial to retaining top talent, building a diverse and inclusive workplace should be a top priority for your company. In workplaces with employees from different backgrounds and with different life experiences, teams are more culturally aware and more innovative. Providing equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity is not only a legal requirement, but also good for business and employee retention.

3.     Building strong manager-employee relationships

Have you heard the saying that people don’t leave companies, they quit bad bosses? Managers who take time to know their people, offer support and guidance, accept and give constructive feedback, and address concerns quickly are those who are most likely to lead loyal, high-performance teams.

Hire Best-Fit Candidates

Boosting employee retention numbers starts with hiring the right people. To do this you’ll need to:

  • Clearly define your desired candidate profile – one that aligns with your company’s values and culture, with the experience and skills necessary for the role, as well as the personal drive to help your company achieve its goals.
  • Streamline your hiring process. Utilize well-crafted job descriptions to attract your desired candidates. Implement effective screening and interviewing techniques. Evaluate candidates’ abilities and cultural fit, and make faster hiring decisions.
  • Conduct thorough reference checks to verify candidates’ qualifications, accomplishments, and skills and gain insight from previous employees.

When we partner with a client in their hiring journeys, we put all our experience and resources to work. We help clients design and deliver effective hiring strategies, reach out to our pool of active and passive candidates, and ensure we only promote those who are the best match. This helps streamline the hiring process, saving time and money, and allowing hiring managers to avoid ‘wasting’ time on unsuitable candidates.

Maintain a Competitive Edge

You’ll also need to stay up to date with hiring trends, and ensure that you maintain competitive compensation packages. In addition, conducting exit interviews can help you gain insight as to reasons for turnover. This will help you to understand your employees’ motivations, aspirations, and concerns – crucial as you continually redefine your employee retention strategies. Again, as a specialist staffing agency we collaborate with our clients to ensure updated market knowledge and gain key learnings of why employee turnover happens.

The Bottom Line

Retaining top talent is crucial for the long-term success of any business, which is why implementing effective retention strategies is crucial. This requires a comprehensive approach from building a positive work culture, to providing growth and development opportunities, empowering and engaging employees, and maintaining a competitive edge.

However, one thing is for certain. If you don’t hire the best people for your company, your employee retention is unlikely to improve. This could have serious consequences for your bottom line and future growth.

To learn how we work to present top talent to our clients for their creative and technology roles, contact TECHEAD today.

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