Top 15 talent retention strategies you need to know
Industry-leading businesses run like a well-oiled machine. Are you one of them?
Every department might just be a small component of your overall success, but you have to admit… the whole operation would stall without them.
In today’s digital environments, the combination of your people, your processes, and your technologies (PPT) seem to be crucial to how you continue to deliver products and services to the market.
Therefore, maintaining the health of each should be a matter of priority.
You might conduct website maintenance, and get a software developer to fix the bug on your CRM system, but how can you control the well-being of your staff?
It’s simple. Care for them, recognise their value, and practice these talent retention strategies. Soon, you’ll be putting yourself in an excellent position to surpass your competition.
Table of Contents
What is talent retention?
Talent retention is the act of keeping an employee and can be done in many different ways. Primarily, it focuses on increasing their engagement and satisfaction levels so they are happy at work and less likely to leave.
As a result, they aren’t going to be receptive to alternative opportunities opening elsewhere and their loyalty should ensure they stay with you for many years, expanding their experience and knowledge as they go.
Why is retaining talented employees important?
There’s an unlimited number of reasons why you should invest in talent retention, but one main one is… a labor shortage.
Almost 66% of businesses around the world are struggling to hire, and filling an empty position could take you months. In the meantime, your team will be forced to take on additional workloads to make up for the gap, pushing them into an early burnout where you lose employee productivity.
Although some resignations just can’t be avoided, a talent retention strategy can ensure you aren’t constantly replacing employees that you can’t afford to lose, especially if they hold critical skills.
What’s more? High employee turnover is not only a costly expense for businesses that damages output, but it’s also a source of disruption for team dynamics, innovation, and satisfaction. By retaining your employees, you can secure the top talent in your industry and make sure they remain an asset to your company (and not a competitor’s).
What causes employee resignations?
However, before you get started trying to transform your company culture and rewrite the rulebook to get employees to stay, you first need to understand why your employees are leaving in the first place.
Then, eradicate that issue.
- Is it because they don’t have enough career options?
- Are they being offered a better salary elsewhere?
- Has it been a long-time since they’ve been challenged?
- When was the last time they were rewarded for hard work?
Many things can cause an employee to hand in their resignation, some more serious (and hard to address) than others. Just one example includes microaggressions in the workplace, which cause your diverse employees to feel unsafe and guarantee their quick exit.
Is that the kind of business you want to run?
How to retain talent
It seems critical to your livelihood, therefore, that you start to funnel resources into talent retention strategies.
Without them, you risk losing the interest of your employees and are practically opening the door yourself to guide them elsewhere. This isn’t sustainable.
Not for any business, and not for you.
Our top 15 favorite talent retention strategies
Thankfully, there are plenty of tried-and-tested ways you can retain talent.
Human Resource Managers all over the world have been shouting at businesses to put their people first, and profits second. Be one of them.
1. Learning & development
One of the best ways to encourage employees to stay with you is to promote their growth, engage their minds, and provide them with ongoing opportunities to climb up the career ladder. Learning & Development is the answer. As your staff members progress and pick up new skills, there is a boost in morale and job satisfaction.
2. Change management
However, a well-structured training initiative isn’t enough by itself to retain talent. In fact, if you aren’t careful, you could be placing extra pressure on employees who already feel overworked by expecting them to learn new systems.
Therefore, to truly succeed with your development goal, you need to back it up with a change management plan that addresses employee concerns.
In turn, you can make your working environments less stressful even as you drive continuous improvement and protect the well-being of your employees.
3. Employee wellbeing
That brings us to the third talent retention strategy, which is intended to prioritize the physical and mental health of your staff members. Some businesses offer gym memberships whilst others offer 5-minute desk breaks throughout the day. Both of these are designed to increase positivity and counteract burnout – one of the main causes cited for workers quitting their jobs.
4. Pay reviews
One part of looking after your employees is reducing their stress levels, including in their personal lives. You should regularly conduct pay reviews to:
- Keep wages in line with inflation and the rising cost of living.
- Reduce the chance of them receiving a better offer elsewhere.
This way, you can continue retaining talented employees that would typically be headhunted by industry recruiters.
5. Internal promotions
Similarly, rather than risking losing your employees to competitors, you should always be aiming to direct individuals into a satisfying and rewarding job career. This is where internal promotions come in.
When you have a great scheme to allow your staff to advance up the ladder, you are actively encouraging them to commit themselves entirely to working with you, and, with this talent retention strategy, you can significantly reduce turnover.
6. Reward and recognition schemes
Sometimes a promotion isn’t possible, and that’s okay. Maybe you’ve got a C-Suite Executive in the highest position your company has, but you are still worried about losing them.
In this case, you need to make sure they know how much you value and appreciate their hard efforts through reward and recognition. This can apply to any employee at any level and is a great way to retain talent.
Research reveals that recognition is critically important to at least one-third of your team, meaning a simple “thank you” can go a long way to maintaining their positive perception of you.
7. Benefit packages
On the other hand, reward and recognition schemes are temporary; usually great for annual celebrations.
Benefit packages are an ongoing way to support your team, increase their engagement, and persuade them to continue working for you. These can even be combined with other talent retention strategies – such as Learning & development – to scale the impact it has on your company.
For example, by offering sponsorships to anyone wanting to study for a relevant qualification, you get double the chance to retain talent.
Around 42% of employees have reported being in a toxic work environment throughout their professional lives. Is yours one of them?
When there are weak bonds between your team, it’s likely individual staff members don’t care for the success of others. This creates a harmful view of “every man for themselves” and can often cause conflict.
When one staff member falls ill, rather than feeling worried for them and being willing to go the extra mile to pick up the slack whilst they are gone, their colleague might feel resentful and complain on their return.
These attitudes can significantly harm any firm, but also ruin satisfaction in the workplace. Pretty soon, you’ll have a resignation on your hands.
9. Employee Experience management
There’s a whole host of steps to being an employee, from job interviews to onboarding. It’s your job to manage employee experiences across the board and make sure they have the best possible time working for you.
10. Career plans
Alternatively, working with your staff members to create a career plan is another strategy for retaining talent. It acknowledges your employee’s desire to grow and promotes autonomy; meaning they can take control of their personal development. You can ensure these goals come true and provide support and guidance through performance reviews.
11. Flexible work
A benefit of sorts, flexible work deserves its own position as a top talent retention strategy. Why?
In 2022, around 56% of employees want to work remotely at least some of the time, and would even take a lower salary because of it. Therefore, if you want to retain talent, this is a factor that can’t be ignored.
If you have the technology that enables them to do so, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t at least foster hybrid working environments where everyone can have what they want (a perfect work-life balance).
12. Green thinking
Sustainability is becoming more and more important to employee decision-making, and, the way your business operates could be actively harming your chances of retaining talent.
Today, 71% of job seekers would like to work for someone environmentally-friendly, and adhering to a green initiative (such as a carbon-zero goal) could secure your staff’s interest in continuing to work with you for the long run.
Plus, it’s not only been proven to increase satisfaction levels but… it’s also the right thing to do.
13. Human resource management software
We’ve all been there. Waiting for days after our pay cheque was meant to arrive, wondering what’s happened and why we’ve been left in the dark.
We start to worry that we won’t be able to buy groceries or cover rent this week. We unwillingly reach out to a family member or a friend for help and feel awful about it.
Although accidents happen, there is something you can use on your end to make sure your staff are paid on time.
Human Resource Software is a fantastic technology that has many features designed to improve employee experiences and increase morale.
14. Listen to feedback
You can’t be perfect. Not all the time, at least.
There’s always going to be something different your employees want from you, and it can be really hard to keep up with their evolving needs.
That’s what makes communication – and providing a channel for feedback – so important to retaining talent. If you can listen to what they are saying, you become a leader worth staying with.
15. Deliver on your promises
Finally, if you truly want to know the secret to retaining talent, there’s one thing you need to do.
Always deliver on your promises. This is especially important when retaining millennials.
If you’ve said to someone that you’ll provide support on a particular day because they are understaffed, make sure it happens.
Even unintentional slip-ups can damage the relationship you have between yourself and your employees, and this, for the most part, can be avoided.
Talent Retention Strategies – FAQs
With so many options for retaining talent, it can be hard to decide which is the best fit for your business.
After all, you don’t have unlimited resources (wouldn’t that be the dream) and implementing too much at once could get overwhelming for your employees.
You’re trying to support them, not overload them.
So, before you proceed, here are some helpful FAQs that might point you in the right direction.
- What is a talent retention strategy?
It’s a plan or process that is intended to reduce employee turnover within your organization. Some of the most popular options that businesses use include regular pay reviews, a concrete learning and development strategy, and investment in boosting mental health.
- What is a real-life example of a talent retention strategy?
John Lewis. They have a very strong internal career path that lets many employees thrive from personal and professional growth and be rewarded accordingly. If they decide to study for a qualification that relates to their work, John Lewis will cover the majority of the cost.
- What is the key to retaining talent?
Above all else, communication. You can’t fix problems if you don’t know what they are, so being able to listen to your employees is paramount. Ultimately, want to be recognized and valued for their hard work, and this starts through present leadership.
How to Retain Top Talent with Userlane
Employees who are struggling with their workload or can’t work to your expectations are twice as likely to leave. It’s not always their fault.
When you start digging into the cause of their problem, you might find it’s because they haven’t had the right training or don’t have the guidance they’ve requested.
Userlane’s Digital Adoption Platform can combat this.
Designed to overlay software, it provides real-time advice to anyone who doesn’t know how to use an online system.
This reduces frustration and lets employees complete their work to their maximum ability – boosting engagement and satisfaction levels.
To learn more about how you can retain talent in our digital environments, request a demonstration today.