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Employee Retention: How To Retain Your Top Talent

It takes a great deal of time to create a team of professional all-stars that not only serve your clients well but build an industry-wide reputation for excellence. No matter what line of work you find yourself in, as an employer it is vital that you ensure those key players on your team know their value and remain committed to your organization. From quality of work to employee replacement costs and everything in between, the reasons for keeping those hard-working team members around are endless.

[postquote quote=”25% of high potential employees in 2012 planned to leave their jobs within a year”]

There are also an abundance of reasons why employees leave their current positions or move on to another career option. And with the slowly growing economy, thousands of employees across the nation are looking to make their exit in pursuit of better opportunities. A recent survey from the Corporate Leadership Council shows that 25% of “high potential” employees in 2012 planned to leave their jobs within a year (read more). Additionally, 21% of the same employees considered themselves “highly disengaged” in their work. Regardless of what resources or benefits your company may offer, keeping your employees engaged in the work they are doing will help ensure they are both valued and challenged.

Increase Employee Retention with Communication

One of the greatest mistakes you can make as a leader is under-communicating with your team. Employees usually need interaction with managers who respect and recognize their work while challenging them to learn and move forward in their careers. It doesn’t stop there. Communicate new initiatives, personnel changes, the financial state of your organization, and everything in between. Notice an employee doing exceptionally amazing work? Make it known. Encourage feedback from everyone. Opening the door for professional and legitimate concerns or ideas is one of the best ways to keep your team invested in their work. 

[postquote quote=”31% of individuals surveyed had been given the silent treatment by their boss in the past year”]

At some point or another, most of us have had that boss that is nearly impossible to please, fails to communicate, or is an all around difficult person to work alongside. Not surprisingly, employees leave their jobs because of their direct supervisor more than any other reason, according to a CMOE survey posted by leadership guru Michael Hyatt (read more). One group of individuals surveyed reported that 31% of those had been given the silent treatment by their boss in the past year. If you want to build a committed team, not speaking to those who work for you won’t do the trick. Reach out to your employees – get to know their goals, achievements, and potential areas of growth.

Increase Employee Retention by Challenging & Engaging

High achievers need to be challenged and motivated to excel. It’s not enough to simply delegate tasks. Hyatt encourages managers to empower your team to take responsibility and make decisions without routing everything through the management team (read more). Employees want to know that their supervisor trusts their decisions and skills. Start with small projects or initiatives and build up from there. This will keep your most valuable players both challenged and excited as they take on a new task that requires more from them than simply checking the boxes.

As Russell White, President of Pinnacle Solutions says, “Top talent wants to work with top talent” (read more). One of the most valuable things you can do for high achievers is give them your time and attention. Help those that are striving for excellence and trying to climb the corporate ladder achieve their goals. Share what you’ve learned along your journey, become a mentor to those team members, and encourage them in a way that pushes them towards their full potential. You are building the future of your company with these individuals, so wisely invest in them before they become disinterested and move on.

Increase Employee Retention by Eliminating Office Politics

One of the most frustrating elements of office life has nothing to do with the task at hand but rather the environment employees are expected to work and grow in. Politics and gossip are draining and do absolutely nothing to create a strong work environment. Foster a healthy community by speaking well of others and respecting the work of one another. Directly approach those that may be causing an issue. Leaders don’t lead by stating their power, but rather they lead by example. Set the bar high for your team by your actions and you’ll see the same done in return.

Increase Employee Retention by Offering Flexibility

Most young but promising professionals look for flexibility in their job. Work-life balance can feel impossible to achieve these days with long hours, the ever-present smart phones, and a constant flow of emails. As the up-and-coming workforce seek to advance their careers, jobs in middle management hold little allure. The distrust in management paired with the lack of upper-management incentives make the middle ground a less than desirable place for many. According to a survey published by USA Today, 36% of employees in middle management are searching for a new career while only 13% at executive level are pursuing other jobs (read more). This presents a huge opportunity for companies to step up to make these roles both attractive and worth-while to their high achieving team members. Flexible office hours and the option to work off-site can be incredibly attractive to many young professionals and even beneficial to your company.

[postquote quote=”36% of employees in middle management are searching for a new career”]

Flexibility shouldn’t be limited to office hours or working location but also in how the position grows. Each new hire brings their own valuable skill set that could be the next great asset to your company. Find out what that is and learn what your team is passionate about. It’s imperative that you allow the position to grow with the employee. Find ways to encourage flexibility in the various roles which will allow for team members and the company to get the most out of each day.

Increase Employee Retention with Incentives, Perks and Benefits

It’s a good idea to annually review your incentives, perks and benefits packages and also out what your competitors are offering. One idea is to build a pay structure and bonus program that rewards high achieving employees for their work and dedication. Incentives don’t necessarily need to include a traditional benefits package and a set number of days off each year. Providing employees with the products they promote, allowing flexible working hours, or even an in-office gym can be great incentives for employees to enjoy coming to the office! What other offers are enticing to your team members? It can never hurt to start asking your team what interests them and begin finding ways you can deliver.

As an example, Abenity has built an entire perks and benefits platform from the ground up that rewards employees through thousands of national perks and discounts and concierge services. We’ve also given human resources teams the tools they need to reward and recognize their employees through our Back Office administration program. Hundreds of companies look to us as a way to provide those all-important employee perks and leverage us to help increase the total compensation plan for their employees.

Increase Employee Retention with Career Development

The job landscape is rapidly changing and developing. Many career options available now were unheard of five or ten years ago, making it difficult for today’s young professionals to determine a long-term career path. According to a report by Forbes, less than 5% of people asked could tell you what they would be doing job-wise in the next five years (read more). This doesn’t mean that employees don’t want to talk about their future. In fact, the opposite is true.  Since so many supervisors don’t talk with their employees about their career goals, you have an incredible advantage by bringing it up and looking deeper at their goals and dreams. Don’t wait until the annual review to start talking — begin the conversation now. People tend to bloom where they are planted. When you show interest in their growth professionally, you are building a strong future in keeping your top talent within your company.

What Are You Doing to Increase Employee Retention?

What are some ways you can minimize your turnover rate and keep your employees satisfied as well as challenged? Analyze recent personnel changes, office culture, and your employee benefits and incentives programs. Are there changes you can make? Do you need to communicate with your team more frequently? Are there common denominators in recent employee departures?

Start pinpointing the reasons employees leave and begin building out a plan to keep your top talent engaged, challenged, and satisfied in the work they are doing!

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