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Holding on to Talent in 2015

Insight

11 February 2015

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Our Top Tips for Talent Retention

Retaining talent will remain a hot topic for businesses this year. Not only is the improving economy causing a number of retention challenges, but we’re also finding ourselves in the era of the job hopper, where workers no longer stay at the same company for multiple years. On average, today’s Millennials are leaving their companies in less than three years. And the problem seems to be intensifying. According to a recent survey conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), over a third of employees are looking to change jobs in 2015, a dramatic increase from the last two years and they’re not motivated by better pay alone. In fact, career progression is the top cited reason for wanting to move on.

Organisations therefore need more than just a quick fix; offering higher pay than a competitor might work to attract some talent initially, but it’s not going to keep them in the long run. Instead, businesses should adopt a proactive and long term approach to talent retention, taking into account the ambition of their employees.

 

Take a look at our top three tips for retaining talent:

Shift your mindset

Many organisations have a reactive approach to talent retention, only reviewing processes after key employees have left or decided to leave. However, successful talent retention requires a much more proactive strategy starting with a shift in mindset. Rather than focussing on whether an employee is classified as ‘talent’ or not, leaders should be thinking about what they can do to bring out the talent in their employees and then hold on to it.

Bring out the best in everyone (but target your investments)

More than previous generations, Gen Y employees are expecting more when it comes to career development. Once recruited, they expect the organisation to develop and invest in those that are skilled and work hard. Given this demand, leaders must strive to bring out the best in every employee. However, investments should still be targeted at critical business needs and at individuals who have the ability to accelerate faster.

Redefine retention and learn from your losses

Some of the latest thinking suggests that retention should be reconceptualised in terms of lifetime affiliation. This means that organisations need to accept that, despite best efforts, they may lose some of their key talent. Given that we rarely see ‘lifers’ in organisations anymore, it’s pretty much inevitable, and in fact, it’s a great opportunity for an organisation to learn what’s working and what isn’t. Ensuring that employees leave on a positive note, will help preserve the organisation’s reputation, also encourages those who leave to speak highly of the company and entertain the option of returning.

 

So don’t delay looking at your talent retention strategy until one of your key employees decides to leave. Start 2015 with a proactive and long term approach to retaining your employees this year and beyond.
 

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