Most company’s these days have some form of strategy designed to support their rising stars. With good reason – high-performing individuals can have an enormous impact on business results.
That being said, people still move on, they change jobs, and often there is little you can do to stop this process. However, if employees are suddenly leaving en masse or several members from one team hand in their notice, it may indicate larger internal issues.
But without insights into how your employees are feeling, their well-being, how supported they feel at work, and how aligned they feel to the business, top talent can appear to leave with very little warning.
Why is it important to retain top talent?
In a competitive market, it can often be difficult to find people with the skills your company needs. Once you have hired someone that does – you don’t want to lose them!
What is more… employing new people can be an expensive process. Not only are there steep recruitment costs to consider, there is also the time and training involved in getting new hires up to speed – This can be a huge distraction for management, which can result in lost productivity, the process can also hamper positivity and impact team morale.
It’s often believed high salaries are essential to attracting and retaining top talent. However, a study by Glassdoor revealed that as long as the pay is generally market rate, other factors reign supreme.
Employees leave their jobs for multiple reasons, for example, having a child, retiring, or having a career change. These exceptions are out of your control, however, there are factors you CAN monitor and manage.
Common reasons employees are more likely to leave their jobs:
- They feel undervalued
- They experience high levels of stress
- They feel burnout on the job
- Lack of training and future career progression
- Lack of alignment to the organisations’ purpose
- Poor leadership
- Toxic/dysfunctional workplace culture
- Lack of regular feedback/recognition
Strategies can you employ to reduce employee attrition & help retain top talent
1. Understand your level of staff turnover.
Firstly, it is essential to understand how many people are leaving and why. Try:
- Measuring how many people leave and asses their reasons why
- Compare this against industry standards
- Evaluate company-wide, plus individual teams to provide insight into which departments may be experiencing higher levels of turnover
2. Provide training and development opportunities.
Training and future career progression is linked to higher job satisfaction. In fact up to 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work, and it has been reported there is up to 53% lower attrition for companies rated highly on employee training.
However, without insight, training costs can become a budget that is cut at the first sight of commercial difficulty and not the retention and investment plan it should be.
This risk can be reduced by evaluating training effectiveness, discover which learning environments and programs positively impact team behaviours, engagement, and performance – delivering a better ROI on your training spend.
3. Prioritise Employee well-being
Well-being is about people and creating conditions for everyone to thrive. Looking beyond the deliverables it includes areas such as health, relationships, education, and skills as well as what we do, where we live, our finances and the environment.
We spend a large majority of our time in the workplace, so organisations need to create ecosystems where people are encouraged to make better lifestyle choices. Promoting healthier behaviours empowers your people to be the best they can be, which will help them and your organisation to perform better.
There is much emphasis on well-being programmes being too expensive. However, this case study from SAP featured on Forbes, “shows that investing in employee well-being can deliver bottom-line returns. And when companies approach well-being as a core business strategy, and not solely to lower employer healthcare costs, it can lead to measurable ROI through higher engagement, lower turnover, and better productivity.”
But there does not necessarily need to be a cost associated with well-being. It can simply be reminding employees to take their holidays on a regular basis, taking a general interest in people’s day-to-day activities and workload, or simply just raising awareness of mental health and providing opportunities for discussions to take place.
4. Use data analysis to provide insights
According to the above Glassdoor study of 615,000 participants, culture, values, and leadership matter most to job seekers. Therefore, it makes sense to utilise and leverage your people data to prevent stressors, burnout, flight risk, and loss of productivity before they happen!
By using specific software to measure and strengthen your company culture, you can systematically assess the workplace factors affecting your teams and deploy your culture champions to promote the conditions needed for your people to thrive. It can also be used to analyse both individual and collective relationships in the workplace, helping managers to establish trust-based connections with employees.
Ultimately, by collecting people data you put your business in the best position to understand its people, what challenges they are facing and how best to develop strategies to make the employee experience at your organisation the best it can be. You may not prevent all your best talent from leaving but by onboarding these strategies you will identify and resolve any of the organisational issues that make it more likely for your top talent to source employment elsewhere.