The recent Work Index Trend 2021 published by Microsoft revealed over 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer this year. This number should have most employers extremely nervous and looking at every possible option to ensure their employees are not a part of that 42%. So, we’re going to look at what is meant by talent retention and some of the things you can do to encourage the talent you want in your business to stay in your business.
Employee Retention vs Talent Retention
Which term do you use? Employee retention refers to the ability of an organisation to retain its employees. A simple statistic can represent employee retention. Talent retention consists of a set of practices and policies adopted by a business to ensure that their top talent remains in it for much longer.
Your most valuable, high performing employees (your “top talent”) are the secret to your business success. However, they are also more likely to leave as they are often headhunted and offered roles that compete with, if not exceed, the package of their current position. When this happens, many businesses choose to counter offer and increase their salary, but employee satisfaction comes down to more than what you take home at the end of the month.
The pandemic has given employees the time to consider what they truly want from life, and as the Work Index Trend shows, many want something different to what they have now. So, now is the time to look at what you currently offer your employees, not just salaries and monetary benefits, but also company culture, values, environment, trust and communication. The future of work is changing, and employers need to keep up.
How does staff turnover affect your business?
Many of these go without saying, but here’s a quick reminder of why retaining top talent is so crucial to your business:
- Having skill gaps in your business can cost you time, money and even sales
- Recruitment and training of new staff is costly
- High staff turnover reduces overall morale and impacts the internal and external reputation of the business
How to retain your top talent
Get your recruitment process right
Retaining your top talent starts right at the beginning. Hiring the right people in the first instance will help your talent retention in the future. Before you advertise a role, take the time to look at the talent you currently have in your business, what the business goals are for the next 12 months and what talent you need to achieve them. Consider if current jobs can be redesigned to cover skill gaps or, as it’s extremely rare to find one candidate that matches your exact criteria, could a job share between 2 people give you your perfect candidate. Read more about managing job shares here.
It’s time to move away from traditional recruitment processes and think outside the box when it comes to top talent. Here at Career Voyage, we don’t just look at the roles you need. We consider the skills you need to achieve your business goals, we look at the talent you already have and if their strengths are utilised and then we look at the gaps you may have and the options you have to fill them.
Offer more than a job
Do you know where your employees want to be in 5 years? Do you know what their career goals are? If not, then you are more at risk of losing them. Most people want to progress their careers, and if they can’t do it with their current employer, they will do it somewhere else. When you are recruiting for a new role, think about where that person will progress and what you can offer them in terms of personal development and career progression. If you have employees you know you want to keep, schedule career development reviews, find out what they want to do, and where they want to go. You may find, some employees are happy where they are, and some are looking for their next challenge.
Career Voyage help businesses understand how engaged their employees are, how to effectively communicate with employees and how to develop the processes that will ensure their employees know they have opportunities to progress and that their employer cares about their futures.
One of the most significant work changes to come from the pandemic is the rapid introduction of hybrid working. As many employees were forced to work from home, it became routine, and the Work Trend Index has shown over 70% of employees like the option to work from home and want it to stay. While some jobs will never adopt a hybrid way of working, look at your business’s roles and think about whether it is an option for you. The future of work will be flexible and will be vital in attracting and retaining top talent.
When considering flexible work options, it’s important to consult employees. The Work Trend Index also identified that 65% of employees crave the contact they had with colleagues in person. So, ensure employees are treated as individuals and whilst one person might prefer to work from home, others need the social contact being in a team environment offers. You can read more about hybrid working in our article here.
Career Voyage has long advocated flexible working and is experienced in helping businesses develop flexible working policies, from consultation with employees to exploring the logistical side of making hybrid working work for you.
Value your top talent
It’s no secret that employees that feel valued are more productive, engaged, and less likely to leave their employer. All of the points above will go towards ensuring your top talent feels valued; however, here are some further quick tips:
- Pay them what they are worth – whilst money isn’t everything, it still plays a big part in retaining your talent. Competitive salaries, bonuses, employee perks, and regular salary reviews will leave your employees feeling valued.
- Encourage feedback – letting your employees know they are listened to, and their ideas and contributions are welcomed makes them feel like a part of the bigger picture and that their opinion is valued.
- Pay attention to their wellbeing – another thing the pandemic has thrust to the forefront of businesses is employee wellbeing. It’s harder for managers to notice if something is bothering their employees when they haven’t seen them in person, so look at your employee wellbeing programme. Does it really benefit your employees? Is it promoted to employees? Do they have someone approachable to talk to? Employees that know you care about their wellbeing, and not just their productivity, feel much more valued than those that don’t.
- Communicate clearly and often – keep employees up to date with company news. Celebrate company and individual achievements and ensure your employees know how their roles impact the bigger picture. Employees feel more motivated and are more productive when they understand how their role plays a part in the overall success of the business.
- Reward effort – don’t just wait for wins to reward your top talent. Some roles require huge effort to impact a big success for another department; however it is often the employee that secures the win that is rewarded. Look back at the effort of everyone involved and offer sincere, on par rewards. It doesn’t have to be huge bonuses or an expensive gift; you’d be surprised how far a genuine well done or thank you goes towards your top talent feeling good.
Here at Career Voyage, we help businesses explore their complete relationship with their employees and identify what you currently do that makes your employees feel valued and areas that can be improved upon to increase motivation and employee engagement.
You can read the full Work Index Trend 2021 here.
As a business, you cannot demand your employees feel valued or motivated and you cannot make them stay if they really want to leave however there are many things you can do that will attract and help you retain the best talent your business needs. If you are ready to make some changes and improve your employee experience then please get in touch and find out how we can help.
Sarah started her career in fmcg marketing working as a brand manager on Clover and as an interim manager on Clover (twice) and Quorn. She founded a start-up interim management company in Gloucestershire and that business changed the percentage of women and diverse talent in senior marketing and HR roles. Sarah specialises in attracting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining diverse talent into forward thinking businesses to improve productivity, performance and profit. Flexible working and wellbeing play a large part. Since covid-19 wreaked havoc on the job landscape, Sarah has a created an innovative programme to get senior experienced professionals back into work or fine-tune their current role so that it makes happy.