How To Keep Your Talent

Effective ways to retain your best employees (beyond simply paying them more). By Kirsty Bashforth

Regan Cameron for Harper’s BAZAAR

We can all hire a team, but keeping that talent is a challenge in today’s work environment where work is global, not local, the gig economy is thriving and pursuing a lifetime career with one company feels somewhat retro.

1. Purpose, not just tasks

Are you paying the bills, plastering walls or helping to build a house? These are three answers to the same question put to three people doing the same task. The last person understands the overall purpose of their work, and data shows they are more likely to stay with the organisation. Help people understand and find motivation from what the company is trying to do in the big scheme of things, as well as how they are playing their part.

2. Engage properly

Real engagement is a two-way broadcast channel – it’s not purely about informing the workforce of what is expected of them and the performance of the business. Engagement means actively listening, seeking challenges, asking for input and ideas, and searching for innovation within the organisation. Many want to be involved and feel they belong – give them a voice so that they can suggest how things can continuously improve. This doesn’t mean you give up all control, but people need to be heard; they may stay if they feel they have a stake.

3. A dose of reality

While it is motivational to hear how well the business is doing, when it’s not going so well, don’t shy away from letting the team know. Don’t pull wool over people’s eyes with a shiny message because you are worried they will leave if things aren’t so great. Give them the facts and what they can do about it to make a difference. There may be a few who jump ship, but for the majority, you’ll be amazed at the “Dunkirk spirit” that ensues and how many stay to be a part of getting back on track.

4. Redefine “keeping”

Loyalty used to be about staying for a lifetime. Now, it’s the norm for people to move around. So how can you be the organisation that your top talent comes back to? Keep in touch with your alumni and attract them back. Think of all the new skills and experience they will have developed in the wider world since they last worked with you.

 

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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