Low levels of employee retention are upper most on the minds of CEOs and business owners. There is a battle for talent. Talented employees are the most valuable assets of any enterprise. It is essential to have an intentional strategy to reduce the risk of your employees jumping ship.
A Watson Wyatt survey recently reported in Entrepreneur, revealed that 50% of the companies surveyed did not have a retention strategy. Thus, half of the firms that responded to the survey had no plans to retain their employees after they were hired!
The report further discovered that business owners and managers think retention is based on compensation issues–wage and salary levels, incentives, and golden handcuffs. Decades of research has shown that salary is not sufficient motivation to keep top talent. In reality the factors that influence retention are much deeper, including those that make employees feel successful, secure, and appreciated.
Managers and team leaders must become accountable for initiating effective talent retention strategies. Here are three strategies to consider.
1) Establishing Clear Objectives and Positive Reinforcement
Employees are more productive when they feel that the work they do has meaning and purpose. Managers and team leaders must establish clear objectives, and provide feedback and coaching support. Lack of appreciation from mangers is a primary reason employees leave. It is often said that employees quit their manager, not the company.
2) Opportunities for Professional Growth
Top Talent, particularly Millennials, expect to have opportunities for professional growth and learning. To be competitive in the war for top talent, your organization must have a continuous learning process that includes training sessions, seminars, and follow-up coaching. These type of programs can cause employees to feel appreciated and empowered. This also helps them to feel part of the company, and to see the bigger picture and how they can become part of company’s future.
3) Financial Incentives and Security
While not a primary motivator, money matters. Money must be perceived as fair and appropriate for the work required. Otherwise, it becomes a demotivator which adversely affects turnover. It is important to show your employees that you value their work and time by paying them appropriately. Employees also want to feel they can rely on their jobs to support their life style and will feel threatened when workers are laid off or terminated. Team leaders and managers need to properly and effectively handle layoffs (proper sendoffs and salary management) to allay other employees’ fear of losing their jobs.
Team Leader Development
Managers and team leaders are the key to implementing effective retention strategies. Thus, you must assure the continuous development of essential skills of leadership and communication. The Talent Management Institute provides a series of highly effective and up-to-date leadership courses re-designed for today’s emerging leaders. Interactive, online learning options can actually be accessed on any mobile device for “just-in-time” learning and reinforcement.