How to Retain Best Employees in Your Business

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Globally, employee retention and engagement has been going down during the last few years. According to a report from KENEXA® HIGH PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE WORKTRENDS™, engagement levels have been decreasing mostly from 2009 to 2011. As of today, engagement levels have not been much better. A survey conducted in 2013 with 1,800 HR managers has revealed that 56% of businesses around the world fail to motivate top talent with their engagement programs.

In any company, the first critical thing is putting together an amazing team full of talented and qualified individuals. Once a great team has been brought together, the next most important thing is retaining the talent.

Your organization cannot disregard its strategical imperatives. It must find out how to retain top talent in the enterprise.

Not as expensive as you would think

A lot of resources and hard work are involved in interviewing, hiring and identifying a talented team. It means retaining them comes naturally and a top priority at any given time. Most companies do not know retention practices for the most talented and experienced employees is not as expensive as thought to be.

The global economy is changing and growing fast. Skills are becoming highly specialized as competition for the crème de la crème in the talent world intensifies. The question is whether you company is able to compete and attract, grow and retain great and qualified talent required by the organizational to accomplish its strategy and turn it into business success.

Steps for an efficient retention of top talent

Before you consider retaining great employees, you might want to think, for a moment, exactly what they always look forward to while looking for employment. Firstly, they want to be in a company that provides opportunities to develop their careers and grow in their line of work. A study has actually indicated that advancement and promotion opportunities increase employee retention and a strong psychological factor in developing job satisfaction among workers.

Employees also look for employment opportunities where regular feedback is given on diverse happenings taking place in the workplace. It’s also their desire to directly contribute as much as they can to the company while being recognized for it. Employees also seek work schedules flexible enough for them to have an easy life/work balance while benefiting from benefits customized to their personal requirements.

Above all, they want a great remuneration and opportunities of increasing it even further. Successful retention begins from the moment employees are hired until they have left the organization. Great human resource is not always easy to come by and when you find it you must do all you can to keep it within the walls of the company. There are a number of ways of retaining the best staff.

1. Begin by hiring the right employees

Hiring individuals fit for the job applied will make them stay, settle and adapt to the organization culture easily. The outcome is a longer stay with the company. Rushing through the recruitment process has the effect of hiring individuals who have a problem with the company culture and working surroundings. If an opportunity opens up elsewhere they’ll jump ship faster than you can reach them. As a company, take a considerable amount of time on recruitment. You’ll find that when the organization and employees match seamlessly, retention will never be a problem.

2. Keep staff updated

The worst thing that can happen to most employees is being in the dark about the activities of the company and generally what’s happening. They require regular updates especially where significant changes have taken place as well as the development of new projects, investments, new investors or clients, among other things.

Waking up and finding things have changed without prior alerts, notices and communication doesn’t augur well with the modern generation that thrives on information from the moment they wake up until they retire for the night.

Employees also desire to be heard and seeing their ideas taken seriously and molded into winning strategies. It means giving them the chance to communicate, share and contribute diverse business related suggestions is very fulfilling for them.

As you involve and inform them, they’ll love working in the company where they are valued. When a tempting offer from a rival company comes it’ll probably be ignored.

3. Perks and competitive compensation

One thing most companies do not get right is compensation. Today, a great talent will probably leave if they are promised a better salary and perhaps a bonus and superior perks. Before it’s too late, you must really take salary into consideration if you haven’t.

Most employees might indicate that career development is more important than a better pay but a great salary with good benefits will always be important, if not vital for retaining top talent. It’s critical for employees to believe they are receiving the kind of compensation deserved. If this doesn’t happen, any offer that comes from elsewhere might be accepted. The idea is a thorough research that clearly identifies the average market salary of a specific role.

Matching or exceeding the offer then becomes very easy. Salary is always a very competitive factor among employees and job seekers. Companies can lose out on the most talented if there are better offers elsewhere.

Think of setting up annual total compensation statements. Ancillary benefits you offer to your employees are often not well understood by the latter. They might be tempted by a competitor’s offer because of base salary, but in fact they earn more in your company. Make sure they understand their total value…

Great salary for each employee is very important but that’s not everything. Hand in hand with this are frequent assessments of employee work behavior and performance. It’s not easy to link staff performance to compensation particularly if the organization uses complex spreadsheets and disorganizes manual processes.

To help bridge these extremities to boost employee retention, an integrated and automated system is important. Lack of such a system means the data entered will not give any insight on employee performance and the company’s historical compensation data.

Decisions to give a raise or increase the wage will be subjective and left to the whims of the management to decide who deserves it. Tangible data on performance and compensation is absent, which leaves employees feeling undervalued by their employer since bonuses, merit increases, perks and how they are given is not clear. Such employees will not wait to be poached but will actively seek opportunities yonder.

To avoid talent drain from your company, a compensation solution is important. It’ll simplify the process for all involved in creating the strongest performance based payment culture founded on transparent, objective and clear data that aligns performance with rewards.

In a nutshell, a compensation solution that links pay to employee performance:

  • Makes sure top performing employees are rewarded and recognized in the clearest way
  • Ensures compensation calculations and workflows have been automated to remain within the budget while driving accountability
  • Allows entering of the total employee information within the most interactive interface for quick retrieval when needed
  • Equips the company with the communication and data systems needed to not only distribute but also recommend compensation transparently and objectively
  • Provides a well controlled and secure platform that mitigates risks by providing information on compensation
  • Gives the right tools to concerned managers to manage and inspect budget allocations

4. Development and training opportunities

Employees are always searching for chances to improve existing skills and learn new ones. It means they probably joined the company because they believed its one place that will give them the opportunity for personal development and training.  Offering better training opportunities to the staff gives employees a chance to remain in the company and grow with it.

Along with training, job opportunities are a must. Your company should offer employees a possibility to reach higher levels in their career. Ambitious people must feel they can attain their goals within your organization in an acceptable timeframe. Do not make false promises. Don’t say to your employees that they can reach a manager position within the first 5 years if this isn’t true. Insatisfaction will grow rapidly and people might get frustrated with the lack of career opportunities if they were told the wrong thing at first.

Development and learning is also not an activity that happens once. Every company needs to continue developing internal skills among its staff while remaining competitive and enhancing staff engagement. Lack of a clear commitment to develop employees is a huge risk that gives long term employees-the most experienced, talented and skilled-a reason to leave.

Development and learning solutions exist that can be used to connect employees formal learning and coaching activities continuously as well as learning on the job.

5. Motivate employees to give feedback

Another usually free yet effective method of retaining employees is encouraging them to give feedback. If they feel comfortable they’ll raise issues besetting them and pinpointing problems in need of a resolution averting serious damage. Give the staff a chance and a platform, such as board meetings and an intranet forum to give suggestions and provide feedback on diverse performance related issues and areas where change is required.

6. Keep employees engaged

Engaging employees simply means ensuring they are productive and committed in their duties. Hiring the staff the company requires engages them by offering jobs they are happy in and builds their commitment to the organization. On the other hand, engagement should never stop, in the process increasing retention.

To ensure they are always engaged, it’s important that:

  • Employees learn the company’s vision, brand and mission
  • Employee-employer communication is encouraged continuously to know how they and the company are doing
  • The company understands the different generations that compromise employees and what motivates them
  • Follow ups are done including finding out the needs of the staff regularly
  • Empowerment of each staff member takes place to motivate them to give their best through training, resources and better leadership

Treat retaining of your most critical investment seriously just like you did their recruitment. Above all, never ignore employees who usually don’t complain.

7. Offer small perks

This technique cost a very little and it will be greatly appreciated by all.

As the expression says, it’s the tought that counts. People percieve gifts at much higher value than if they received the same cash value. They feel appreciated and it is solely a gift instead of money to pay their living.

Try to offer gift cards, pizza dinners or a beer afternoon. 

It won’t cost your business much and employees will spread the word that their enterprise considers them. There’s nothing better than a good word of mouth.

Employees are often happier with a slightly lower salary and a better working environment. They must feel the fun to go at work.

8. Have interview lunches with your employees

Do you actually know why your employees are staying in your company?  Is he about to leave the company?

Each manager should lunch with their employees at least once per semester to get in touch with the latter. The employees must feel comfortable to express himself about the job envrionnement, his colleagues and the job itself.

Knowing why your employees are staying in your company is a great advantage for continuing to retain top talent.

You might also learn that an employee is not happy anymore with his daily work and that you should find him other job opportunities in your company before he decides to leave. Additionnaly, chances are he will tell you about his colleagues and discords. You will have a unique opportunity to make some corrections to the working teams so everyone will feel comfortable in working with each other.

The Final Word

Employees’ satisfaction concerning your manegement is extremely important for your business. They must feel appreciated, well rewarded at their true value and an added-value to the company.

Once you will have a good comunication and a great relation with your employees, your challenges of disengagement will drop.

Please tell us about your best tricks in the comments below. We are interested in hearing from you!

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