Retaining talent is a challenge all businesses will face at one time or another, people leave, careers develop in other directions it’s all natural and part of business life but there aren’t many business owners or managers out there who likes to see their best talent leave particularly given the effort and cost which goes into hiring in the first place. The good news is that in many cases it can be avoided.
Here we share practical tips for retaining your best talent:
We’ve put this at the top because experience tells us it’s the most important thing people are looking for and it largely doesn’t matter about age, gender or circumstance, sure working parents need flexibility let’s get that out of the way now as it’s the obvious one but so do people with no kids, older employees, hobbyists, people who own a dog, millennials and everyone in between. Flexibility increases productivity and job satisfaction and it’s the number one thing in our view to that will see your staff retention increase.
Pay what they’re worth
Seriously, don’t try and get a cheap date during the hiring process, even if the person accepts the job, we promise you it will backfire in the long term. It’s easy for candidates to know what they’re worth, salary information is widely available and as an employee, it’s pretty demoralising to know you’re not being paid the going rate. Even those who accept a lower rate of pay, to begin with, will almost certainly look elsewhere in the end so if you’re keen to keep hold of your best talent, pay them what they’re worth and make sure that keeps moving in line with the market.
This is not the same as paying them well. Salary is one thing, being recognised and reward for efforts is another. There are plenty of business leaders out there who will say ‘I’m paying a fair wage why do I need to do anything else’ our advice is don’t be one of them. All employees regardless of what they do or what level they operate at want to feel recognised and rewarded, you may choose to do this in the financial sense but simply saying thank you for a job well done is often more than enough to keep employees motivated and happy to be employed by you.
Look inside the business for talent
One of the biggest reasons for looking elsewhere is because people are looking to move up the career ladder, so if you’re looking to fill a more senior role it makes sense to consider the talent within before going for an external hire. We’re not saying you’ll always find what you need but if you do it sends a great message to your people that the opportunity to progress within your business is a real one.
Treat your people really well
We’ve talked about salary, reward and recognition and you may feel that they’re all part of treating your employees well – they are of course but here we’re really talking about that human connection. It’s a much easier thing to achieve in a smaller business of course but just because the headcount is higher doesn’t mean this should fall off the agenda because it is truly a cultural thing and something which should be passed through the organisation.
Ask virtually anyone who has stayed with a company for a while why they did so and they’re likely to say because they felt cared about, as a business owner or a leader you will never regret the time you spend asking how someone’s kids are, if they had a great holiday or what their weekend plans are – these are small things but in showing your employees you care you’ll be rewarded with their loyalty.