Best Practices for Retaining Top Talent

Thanks to your stellar hiring methods, you’ve snagged the ideal new hire.  Now what?

According to a survey by Robert Half, nearly half of employees are planning on looking for a new job this year, and more than 8 in 10 employers are concerned with retaining top talent.  So what can you do to avoid losing your best employees (and potentially attracting some new ones at the same time)?

1. Pay a decent salary

A survey by Glassdoor found that almost half of employees who change jobs do so for better pay.  Be sure to periodically check sites like Payscale and Glassdoor to see what your competitors are paying their staff in similar positions. If your team’s compensation is significantly less, consider bumping their salaries to match your competitors (or risk losing your best people). And if someone asks for a raise, take the request very seriously. Evaluate whether or not you can afford to lose that person, and if their request is reasonable based on their role.

2. Communicate

Communication is key for most aspects of business, and employee retention is no exception.  Require managers to schedule regular check-ins with all of their direct reports.  Keeping employees up-to-date on company happenings and checking in with individuals to see how their work is going goes a long way to make them feel like an integral part of your organization.  Furthermore, making a point to communicate the company mission and values helps to make your new hires feel like they are part of a meaningful team effort.

3. Recognize efforts

Appreciation breeds loyalty, so if you’re not acknowledging your employees’ efforts, don’t be surprised if they seek recognition elsewhere. A study by Achievers found that nearly 7 in 10 employees would stay at their jobs longer if they received more recognition. Company awards ceremonies, department lunches, or even a quick conversation with an employee about a job well done are all excellent ways to make everyone on your team feel appreciated.

4. Offer opportunities for growth

Almost 1 in 3 employees who leave their jobs do so to advance their careers. LinkedIn predicts this number is even higher, asserting that an astounding 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if that business was dedicated to their growth. Keep these high-reaching employees from leaving your organization by showing them that they can grow their career without switching companies. Make internal promotions, mentorship programs, and career mapping a priority so that top talent can flourish at your company.

5. Promote engagement

Many great employees leave their jobs because they simply don’t feel engaged. If they are saddled with repetitive tasks, your workforce will likely become disinterested in their jobs. Don’t let your employees feel like their careers have stagnated – be creative with their assignments and avoid micromanaging. Letting your team have some latitude with projects allows them to be creative, which in turn promotes engagement.

6. Encourage work-life balance

A work-life balance is essential to retaining your best employees. Half of employees say they’d leave a company for better benefits and 42% for a better environment. Another 36% say they’re not happy with their current workload. Offering wellness perks is a great way to tackle all of these issues at once. To fight burnout and make your office a more enjoyable place to work, consider offering benefits like gym memberships, healthy snacks, company outings, or Friday afternoons off.

Moreover, flexible work options can make or break an employee’s time with your company. Individuals with young children, ailing parents, or a long commute will appreciate remote work options and generous family plans. Nearly a third of employees quit merely for a more convenient work location – don’t let your best employee be one of them.

A whopping 84% of employees surveyed expressed an interest in leaving their current job.  In total, turnover costs U.S. companies an average of $160 billion a year, making it one of the biggest costs facing companies today.

The truth of the matter is that your company’s efforts aren’t over once a great new hire accepts your offer.  The key to keeping your best employees is treating them as an investment.  Appreciate their efforts, communicate with them, help them grow, and cultivate an exceptional office culture to make working for your company sustainable. Great talent requires attention and care to reach their full potential within your organization. Like everything else, you only get out of something (or someone) what you’re willing to put in.