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5 Strategies to Retain Your Top Talent

Thursday, June 27, 2019

In 2019, talent retention is a key concern for most employers. Today’s job market is an employee’s market – top talent enjoys numerous opportunities. This means you need to put extra effort into making your organization a special place to work.

In our previous article, we discussed how to find top talent in this competitive market. Now, these five strategies will help you retain your most talented employees.

1. Provide a positive work environment. 


Instilling a warm office vibe will help keep everyone in a good mood, which boosts engagement. Here are a few little things that go a long way:

  • Give employees a warm hello as they come into the office in the morning.
  • Drop by to ask if they have the support they need for a project.
  • Point out people’s strengths regularly, even in casual conversation.

Offer little perks in the physical environment that also make it an inviting space. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have an open office design? Add meeting room pods within larger spaces to promote privacy.
  • Create cozy seating areas where employees can work or chat. Switching between different inviting workspaces can help people stay mentally refreshed throughout the day.
  • Provide a healthy snack bar and offer attractive reusable mugs and plates.

2. Offer excellent benefits. 


Benefits like the following enhance the positive workplace culture you’re striving to create, showing how much you value your people:

  • Flexible schedules
  • The opportunity to telecommute
  • Subsidized transportation expenses
  • Gym memberships
  • Great healthcare options
  • Ample paid vacation time

Encourage employees to use all of their paid vacation time. According to SHRM, 54% of U.S. employees didn’t use all their vacation days in 2016, up by 12 percentage points from 2013. 

Why? 

“Because they fear falling behind (34%) or believe that no one else can step in while they are away (30%); 21% felt they can never be truly disconnected, and 22% wanted to show how dedicated they are to their job,” SHRM explains.

Create a culture that underscores how taking vacation days benefits the whole company, emphasizing, “We want you to recharge!” 

 Not sure what your employees want? Ask them directly!



3. Foster open communication. 


Transparency is key to building integrity and strong relationships. Employees will feel they can play a key role in the business when they’re clued into the overall company vision and important decisions. Solicit input about key changes in the works and tell employees why they’re happening. 


If adapting an employee’s role, ask them what training and support they’ll need to excel in the new position, for example. If implementing a new system, ask your employees if they anticipate any particular challenges. Get their ideas for solving any issues that may arise. Taking these steps will encourage employees to feel more invested in actively managing the issues their team is facing.  

4. Make them feel appreciated.  


Praise and a simple ‘thank you’ for specific ways people have contributed to a project go a long way. Celebrate milestones like an employer’s work anniversary, birthday, or completion of a training program.


Here are a few ideas for making people feel valued:
  • Congratulate a member of your team in front of your own boss or another company leader.
  • Mention people’s key contributions in meetings.
  • CC an employee on an email with senior leaders to thank them for their role in a project.
  • Hold a special celebration for a project’s culmination and thank the key players publicly. 
  Be specific when giving praise so that employees know you’re really paying attention. 

5. Design a personal development plan for each employee. 


Work with each individual to create a plan based on their goals and dreams. They may already have solid ideas for these goals, or you might make suggestions based on their interests and aspirations. Ask if they’re interested in making any career transitions so you can support their growth in the direction they ultimately want to go.


Here are a few key points for designing this plan:

  • Map out a timeline for achieving these goals and specific objectives along the way.
  • Lay out the tools the employee can use to get there. Provide opportunities to learn and grow, like training, conferences, and certificate programs. 
  • Decide on an online goal-tracking tool that you and your employees can use to measure their progress. 
  • Review the employee’s progress at a monthly one-on-one meeting.

Taking these steps will help ensure employees can envision themselves with your company years down the road.

Ultimately, you want your employees to be happy. Satisfied employees are more engaged and motivated, and they see a future for themselves with your company. By cultivating a positive environment and supporting their growth and wellbeing in the ways described here, you’ll help employees to find deep fulfillment in their daily work and to see a clear path for moving up through the ranks!


Sources:

Stand Out to Attract New Talent!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

In this day and age, opinions circulate on social media like wildfire. This means it’s easier than ever for potential employees to find out what it’s like to work at a company with a quick glimpse. But what do they see when they look at your company?


The prevalence of online reviews from current and future employees means you need to make sure you stand out in a positive way. This holds especially true today – with the unemployment rate at just 3.6%, talented employees have numerous options.

But what can you do to make sure your company stands out from the crowd?

Take Charge of Your Online Reputation


What are people saying about your organization on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed? Social media platforms are often the first place candidates turn to learn about a company, so you can’t afford to dismiss your online reputation.
  • Do a deep audit of your reputation. Comb through your entire website and social media platforms, examining every piece of content that projects an image of your workplace environment. Look through old blog and social media posts. Check the search results for your company to see what turns up. Then, remove material that no longer shares the current face of your brand.
  • Prompt satisfied employees to write online reviews. People who have negative feedback are much more likely to leave reviews, which means you need to get proactive about seeking positive feedback.
  • Share some personality. Create videos that show what it’s truly like to work for your company, through employee testimonials and shots of people performing various job roles. Have your CEO talk about the company’s mission, core values, and brand to help candidates envision what it’s like to be part of the team. When people like and admire the individuals who lead your organization, they’ll feel more compelled to join you.
  • Use strong SEO techniques to boost the rankings of the content that projects your desired image. Write new blog posts using keywords that sum up those qualities. If you’ve found content on other websites that doesn’t create the image you want to project and can’t be removed, the best way to address it is by pushing it further down the search results. Place new blog posts, videos, and other positive material about your current brand in the spotlight.

Gauge the Pulse of Your Organization


Don’t just focus on what’s happening out there – look at what’s happening inside your walls, too. That’s what creates your online reputation.




  • Collect anonymous feedback from your employees via surveys. Use third-party software that guarantees anonymity to encourage honesty.
  • Prompt managers to have one-on-one interviews with their employees to solicit ideas for improvement. It doesn’t have to be formal – invite them to have coffee or lunch as they share their input. This will help make them feel valued.
  • If you identify a particular area in need of improvement, consider holding a focus group discussion. Gather a group of employees together to brainstorm. You might hold it as a fishbowl-style discussion that a couple of managers listen to but don’t participate in, taking notes.


Remember, satisfaction is not just about salary – according to Glassdoor, 80% of employees would prefer additional benefits to a pay increase.

Continue seeking feedback from employees to boost engagement and satisfaction even after you’ve addressed a pressing problem. “Companies with a formal engagement strategy in place are 67% more likely to improve their revenue per full-time equivalent on a year-over-year basis,” Glassdoor notes.

Take Action!


Now that you have answers, it’s time to take concrete steps to put them into practice. Listening without acting could escalate frustrations, while decisive action shows you truly care about employees’ input and experience.
  • Strive to support your employees by meeting the needs they have voiced. Whether they want more flexible working arrangements or managers who don’t micromanage, create a plan and a timeline for achieving that objective. Communicate the steps that need to be taken to reach the goal so that they know the wheels are in motion. Whether you can implement the change immediately or need to convene a meeting of senior leaders first, your employees will know they’ve been heard.
  • Address criticism as soon as possible, responding to critical posts online. Replying to genuine criticism goes a long way toward framing your company in a positive light. You may not have the answer yet, but you can let people know that you’ve heard them.
  • Produce a company video that brands you in exactly the way you want to appear to prospective employees. Highlight interviews with employees who love their jobs.



That’s the recipe for standing out online. In a nutshell: show employees you care, listen to their input, and take action by publishing posts, podcasts, and videos that frame your company in exactly the way you want candidates to see it! Follow those steps, and you’ll develop a reputation for excellence and recruit the most qualified candidates for your organization.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Databases, Tables, and Calculators by Subject”
https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/lns14000000

Forbes, “Study: 97% Of Business Owners Say Online Reputation Management Is Important--Here's How To Keep Up”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanerskine/2018/07/30/study-97-of-business-owners-say-online-reputation-management-is-important-heres-how-to-keep-up/

Forbes, “What Employees Really Want at Work”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/07/10/what-employees-really-want-at-work/#7d3d8585ad3b

Glass Door, “50 HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2017”
https://resources.glassdoor.com/rs/899-LOT-464/images/50hr-recruiting-and-statistics-2017.pdf

Neil Patel, “The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management”
https://neilpatel.com/blog/guide-to-reputation-management/

The Society for Human Resource Management, “2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement”
https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/pages/2017-job-satisfaction-and-engagement-doors-of-opportunity-are-open.aspx