Retaining the best in the war for talent.

April 16, 2016    Andrew Peers     

So you’ve found the brightest and the best and they’re part of your team, but how can you be sure they’ll stay? Retention is one of the biggest challenges in the War for Talent, particularly when every company is pushing to identify, seduce and attract the best.

Losing staff costs British businesses in excess of £4.3 billion each year and the average cost for replacing an employee is £30,614, including recruitment costs and wages while they reach full productivity. For knowledge-based businesses there is an even great cost – for lost people means lost business acumen and disruption too. In such competitive times businesses really must reappraise their retention strategies and focus on creating cultures, building work environments and devising career paths that make employees want to stay.

The ‘war for talent’ is waging and businesses must retain, motivate and protect their biggest assets. Here are four key things to consider when devising your retention strategy:

Engage and consult.

There is a proven link between employee engagement and business performance. Where employees understand a company’s objectives, values and goals they are much more likely to give extra discretionary effort. The 2009 MacLeod Review of Employee Engagement highlighted that the top performing companies for employee engagement enjoyed 16% more profitability, 37% less absenteeism, 18% better productivity and 12% improvement in customer feedback.

Engage with employees – inform them of changes, ask for ideas and involve them in decision-making. Millennials choose their employers in the same way they choose their consumer brands: image and values.

Autonomy and flexibility.

Today’s workers, particularly the X, Y and millennial generations expect autonomy in the workplace and the freedom and flexibility with which to work. Empower employees to make choices for themselves – be that working hours, location or the right work setting for the job. Make sure the culture and working environment supports that.

Culture and frolleagues.

The very existence of the term frolloeagues (colleagues who are friends) shows the importance of relationships cultivated and supported at work. Millennials want to work in a business with a transparent, friendly and supportive culture.

Employees that feel connected to their company are much more likely to say they love their work according to research from US based Globoforce, with 89% of respondents saying that workplace friendships or frolleagues impacted their quality of life.

Develop skills and provide career paths.

Career progression outweighs competitive salaries as Millennials biggest priority when seeking a new job. Ensure that the brightest and best can see a clear career path with the right mentoring support and guidance to achieve their goals and those of the organisation.

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