Talent is always acknowledged. Companies are always on the lookout for talent. Once they hire talented individuals, a business needs a foolproof talent retention strategy to avoid attrition. The year 2021 has been marked as the year of the Great Resignation when thousands of employees willingly resigned from their jobs. The resignations were so rampant that they gave birth to a whole new economic crisis. The crisis started when the American administration declined to provide remote work benefits to employees in response to the lethal COVID-19 pandemic, which fueled rampant resignations from employees.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4.5 million employees resigned in November 2021. New job openings also fell below 11.4 million.
Why Did This Happen?
Job dissatisfaction or zero pay raise amidst an increased cost of living did not seem to matter much when compared to safety concerns due to COVID. Many people preferred remote working opportunities rather than going outside to work. Receiving a resignation letter from an employee is a considerable cause for concern for an HR, especially, if the resignations are coming from top talent. Companies started to think about how they can retain top talent, reduce attrition, and establish an engaged workforce in the organization.
Here is where talent retention strategies come into play. What exactly is a Talent Retention Strategy and how can it benefit your business? Without further ado, let us find out.
Why Do You Need a Talent Retention Strategy?
A talent retention strategy is the collective efforts of HR leaders to hold on to the top talent in the organization either by creating a more lenient work culture for the employees or by opening diverse feedback channels.
With the ongoing COVID pandemic already having crippled the world economy, losing top employees can be a costly affair for companies.
Apart from the high cost of replacing a worker, employee attrition decreases the overall productivity of a company and also lowers the morale of the existing employees.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a high employee turnover negatively impacts the existing employees and customers of the company. The departure creates an additional workload for existing employees; with such a heavy workload, it is not possible for them to perform well.
Therefore, companies should do all they can to retain their talent, and here’s how.
A Foolproof Employee Retention Strategy
1. Find out why your employees want to leave
Companies experiencing increased employee attrition should first try to gauge why their employees want to leave. It is not always the work environment or insufficient pay raise that urges employees to switch jobs.
Most of the departing employees cite the following reasons for switching jobs:
- Huge workload affecting the work-life balance
- Stagnated career growth
- Lack of recognition
- Autocratic and opinionated management
- Lack of health insurance
- Desire to switch jobs
2. Recognize retention from the beginning
HR managers should complete the screening process strategically when hiring new candidates. Any mistake can cost you losing top hires. The entire interview process should be transparent. Any kind of ambiguity will cost you in the long run. Therefore, identifying the right candidate who will stay with the company through thick and thin is the key to retaining the best talent.
Screening the candidates based on their previous commitments speaks volumes about their tenacity and willingness to stay at the company when things get tough.
3. Provide effective orientation and mentorship programs
The hiring process remains incomplete until the new hires are given a proper orientation aligned with the objectives of the company. The orientation program should teach the new employees ways to thrive in the company culture. Assigning a mentor to new employees ensures steering them toward accomplishing the company’s objectives.
New employees may have a lot of inhibitions when they start working in a new environment. The mentors have the responsibility to make them feel comfortable. Once the new hires gain confidence, they can offer fresh ideas that will work positively for the company.
4. Deal with transition effectively
For the past two years, many employees have been working from home, which has irrevocably altered their working habits. Even if most offices have announced to resume work from the office, it will take time to deal with the transition. After the pandemic, most employees still prefer to work remotely. If companies fail to provide that option, these workers may resign. Therefore, companies should consider providing flexible working hours to employees to give them time to adapt to the new changes.
5. Reduce dependency
The dependency of the company on their best performers may prove to be detrimental when the best employees leave the organization. To curb such dependencies, companies should try to promote teamwork so that the entire responsibility does not lie on a handful of employees.
Delegation of responsibilities also reduces the workload thus helping employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.
6. Boost employer-employee connection
Fostering healthy workplace communication ensures active participation from employees. Proactively connecting with team members and making them feel that their decisions are valued can work wonders. Giving the employees a voice in the company’s decision-making helps in retaining employee engagement in the organization. According to the white papers released in a company’s survey, about 90% of the employees unanimously agreed that they would not switch jobs too often if their voices are heard by the management and their feedback worked upon. HR leaders should try to promote constructive and timely communication.
7. Provide competitive compensation
Providing competitive compensation and perks is an extremely important part of any talent retention strategy. If a company is running on a tough budget and is in no position to announce a pay raise immediately, it should consider other ways to compensate employees. Offering a yearly bonus or some perks like health care benefits and retirement plans might keep employees motivated. Companies that offered expansive wellness offerings during the COVID 19 pandemic faced less employee attrition.
Also read: Employee Health and Wellbeing
8. Invest in your employee’s career growth
People tend to leave if they feel there’s no vertical or horizontal growth in their current organization. Organizations can retain top talent by investing in their professional development, like upskilling. Upskilling is extremely important, especially as the losses incurred by a company due to ineffective training of employees can add up to millions of dollars.
Moreover, providing avenues for professional education uplifts talent attraction and retention. Setting a clear career path for employees makes them more creative and engaged at work.
9. Inculcate good leadership
If you want to retain good employees, make sure you have good managers in your organization. Your managers should have excellent leadership qualities which will play a vital role in engaging and retaining employees at your organization.
Training your managers would help them handle employees better. A manager should also be well-conversant in dealing with employees having diverse personality traits; merely instructing them about their work is not enough.
Managers should also be able to help with conflict and stress management. Instead of passing challenges to their subordinates, managers should know how to tackle them.
10. Avoid employee burnout
Employee burnout is a serious issue that causes organizations to lose many great workers. Lack of energy, feelings of isolation and alienation, and negative emotions are serious symptoms of burnout. However, with a strategic approach, companies can easily avoid employee burnout.
Employers should look for people struggling with burnout emotions and empathize with them. They can talk to each team member to find out if there’s too much workload. Think about ways to reduce that if possible, have an outing or a team lunch together if the team had worked too hard to meet a deadline. These gestures can go a long way to help dealing with burnout.
11. Acknowledge employee contributions
Acknowledging and appreciating an employee’s contributions toward accomplishing the objectives of the company helps in promoting employee retention. Employers should not miss any opportunity to celebrate the company’s achievements together with the employees even if their contributions are not that significant.
Also read: Employee recognition program
How to Implement a Talent Retention Strategy?
With the skyrocketing cost of replacing employees, it is crucial to have a comprehensive talent retention strategy in place. But is it possible to implement the correct strategy overnight?
Probably not. That’s because each company has its own policies. Changing them to make place for others takes time. Employers should try the employee retention initiatives that are best tuned with their organizational objectives.
Despite all your efforts, some employees may eventually leave your company. But with a time-tested Talent Retention Strategy in place, you can at least make sure they are leaving for the right reasons.
Employees who willingly switch jobs despite being supported and valued in the current organization can be expected to praise your company, which will have a positive impact on the company’s reputation and future recruitment efforts.
Companies securing high employee retention rates are always at a competitive advantage over others in terms of accomplishing business goals or recruiting new hires. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to develop well-executed employee retention methods to enhance the company’s potential to hold on to top talent.
Worried about how to retain your top talent? Need help to build your brand image? Fret not. Engagedly can help you do both.