In the modern world, company loyalty is often a thing of the past. Workers change jobs and even fields more frequently than ever. Whether the unpredictable economy, more appealing salaries, better commutes, additional perks or other factors are to blame, one thing is clear: retaining talent isn’t as easy as it once was. And replacing employees is a huge expenditure. Thankfully, there are things you and your team can do to increase the likelihood of talented employees staying onboard for as long as possible. Here are seven useful tips to retain top talent in your company.
1. Get flexible.
The advent of smartphones, tablets, and laptops have forever changed the way white collar workers perform their duties. No longer tied to a specific desk or location, employees are eager to work remotely. While the usual nine-to-five routine isn’t going anywhere (but may be challenged more by the 4-day workweek), more and more people are looking to work from home, take sabbaticals and work smarter, not harder. By encouraging flexibility in your team, you’re more likely to fit into the lifestyle of talented people. Fail to do so and you could be left for greener pastures.
2. Allow specialists to stay in their lane.
Talented people are often incredibly passionate about their work. When given the opportunity to focus their energy into the projects they care most about, these employees can produce amazing results. Too often, though, specialists are pulled from their core responsibilities to answer phone calls and perform other administrative tasks that distract them from what they are best at. Instead of asking employees to wear multiple hats, use a virtual secretary service to ensure all your callers are taken care of while keeping your talented team focused on their jobs.
3. Create a culture of transparency.
Today’s workers want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Not content to clock in, sit at a desk and clock out, employees are more engaged when they feel like they are part of a team. The freedom to express feedback is crucial in such an environment. If you’re hoping to retain top talent, you owe it to your employees to create a workspace that’s open and honest. Anonymous whistleblower hotlines are a great way to get the process started, but they should be a component of a larger culture of honesty and transparency in your office.
4. Offer professional development opportunities.
The best workers are those who love what they do for a living. Those people are more engaged, more productive and eager to keep learning. Give them the chance to do just that with professional development courses, workshops, and seminars. Team-wide training programs are fine, but allowing specialists to dig into meatier, trade-specific conferences and webinars are also necessary if you’re hoping to invest in your employees. While admission to such events can be costly, they’re a good way to show your commitment to individual workers.
5. Give feedback – good and bad.
Talented workers often want the opportunity to grow, learn and evolve. Inoculating them against any form of criticism might keep people happy in the short term, but nobody wants to be praised all the time. Work with employees to develop goals and identify weak spots in their skill set. Then check in with these workers on how they are progressing. Annual reviews shouldn’t be the only time you discuss performance. Instead, offer both constructive criticism and positive feedback on a more routine basis.
6. Know their worth.
When it comes to retaining top talent, it’s important to make folks feel appreciated. While employee appreciation events are nice, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. In a competitive field, salary is often the only thing keeping employees from jumping ship and onboarding at a rival company. Money isn’t everything, but it would be silly to pretend that workers will sacrifice significant income for company culture. Do your research, pay your people appropriately and offer regular raises to keep talented employees on your team.
7. Conduct exit interviews.
When someone does decide to leave, take an hour to have an honest conversation with them about their choice. While most employees don’t stay in an organization indefinitely, it’s important to chat with departing workers about why they are opting to go. An exit interview can help you mitigate the damage done in losing a valuable employee, but it can also inform decisions management makes about policies around the office. By understanding why a person is leaving, you can help prevent future loss of top talent.
There’s no secret formula for retaining talented employees, but these seven tips are a good start for any manager eager to keep a team intact. By operating with a healthy dose of honesty, transparency, and humility, you and your staff can prevent many of the most common forms of employee burnout. Add in a healthy dose of trust, appreciation, and support, and you’ll easily build a healthy company culture for years to come.